Join us as we conclude our series, Social Media for the Dental Professional. In Part 1, we discussed social media dos and don’ts. In Part 2, we explored ways to use it to advance your career. Here, we conclude our dialogue as we consider the future of the virtual dental world and how it can impact your professional life.
More than ever before, the corporate dental world relies on social media for critical elements of business such as marketing campaigns, retention of customers, and even scouting for potential team members. Having an attractive online presence is now mandatory for any successful organization. But did you know that you too can individually benefit from a professional online presence? How? By forming your own personal “brand.” Just like the Kardashians and other celebrity influencers, an active online presence can allow you the chance to portray, and subsequently, attain the professional image about which you have always dreamed. At a time when titles like “key opinion leader,” “consultant,” “lifestyle influencer,” and “wellness coach” have become commonplace, developing an attractive professional online image is now a basic and effective tool to success.
In Part 2 of this series, we examined initial steps that will leave a great first impression on your virtual contacts—things like changing your profile photo to a professional headshot, creating a professional email account, and maintaining a current LinkedIn profile. However, it isn’t just your online physical image that can help you stand out. Consider stepping back and examining your entire digital footprint. For example, are you involved in Facebook groups that carry negative reputations? Do you regularly leave pessimistic comments online? Do you actively contribute to discussions or sit back and let others do the work for you?
Technology is relentlessly changing, adapting, and reinventing itself based on the demands of the market. In stark contrast, the dental profession is often quite the opposite—slow to change, even stubborn at times, and perhaps a bit stagnant. So how are dental professionals supposed to fuse these two contrasting elements together in a synergistic reality?
The long-awaited answer is the newest thing to hit the virtual dental world: All-inclusive online communities geared specifically towards dental professionals. More than just “social” media platforms, these tightly-knit learning communities are one-stop shop platforms where a member has everything they need right at their fingertips—networking, news, events, marketplaces, e-learning, discounts, and more. Where social media as a whole tends to be inclusive and allow anyone and everyone to have a voice—both for good and for ill—these new member-only dental communities consist of reliable information, trustworthy reputations, and invigorating discussion led by experts.
This shift online toward exclusive communities is not only taking place within the dental profession but instead is an industry-wide response to the laissez-faire attitude of open platforms that have allowed things like fake news and online bullying to proliferate. An equally important benefit of these new groups presents itself only when we step back and consider the paralyzing effects of information overload. In an era when we are often overwhelmed by too much too fast, we find ourselves regularly searching for reliable ways to filter and organize the information we encounter. All-inclusive online communities are now the most trustworthy and convenient way for the dental professional to do precisely that.
Where do you want to be in 10 years? What is holding you back from achieving your potential? The future of the virtual dental world is bright, promising, and full of opportunities. Begin with the steps in this series aimed at creating the professional online presence you need in order to follow your dreams. Once you start to market your personal brand in reputable virtual communities, you can then enjoy yourself and watch the opportunities pour in!