Do you recall when you first opened your Facebook account and made your personal profile? Your kids may have talked you into it after years of your objections. Perhaps you were one of the first to join Facebook, and you update it from your phone, tablet, and PC many times a day. Regardless of why you hooked up with this social media monster, if you’re a professional, you need to consider Facebook part of your public relations, or PR. Sure, you can have a private life, but Facebook is not private!
Gotta Keep ‘em Separated!
Your patients and potential patients can find you on Facebook, as can your buddies, parents, and children. The best practice, for teens and adults, is to keep everything light on social networks. Ideally, you shouldn’t say or post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. If you want to talk about old girlfriends with high school buddies, or you feel the need to post a risque cartoon, you need to keep your professional and personal lives separate on Facebook. This does not mean creating a business page; that’s a separate issue. Instead, you should set up a personal page using your college nickname (and maiden name if you’re a chick) and a professional page using “Your Name, DDS.”
Both pages are just regular FB pages – there isn’t a professional option, so you’ll be creating two separate personal pages, but we’ll call the business one professional to keep them straight. You will need two different emails and passwords for these accounts. Then, only befriend personal pals on the personal page, and on the professional page, you can befriend colleagues and patients. In security settings, hide all content on your personal page from anyone who is not your FB friend. Leave content on your professional page open to the public.
This may seem like a hassle, but it’s part of modern professional life.
Praise and Appreciate, Don’t Rant
What you say on Facebook is a direct reflection of your professionalism and your dental practice. On your professional page, do not rant or share controversial opinions. An example of a rant is complaining about a fast food worker, or going into depth about how you hate a sports team. Controversial topics would, of course, include religion and politics, among other things. If you want to rant, don’t do it online. If you rant online, keep it to your personal page.
If you can’t complain or share opinions, what can you do on Facebook?! Praise and appreciate. Saying “good job” or “thank you” is always great PR. You can also use your FB page to provide public information, ranging from dental care and health tips to upcoming local events and high school football game scores. Post photos of you and your smiling patients, your vacation with the family, or your team’s last outing. These are all acceptable for professional Facebook profiles.
Here’s a quiz. Which of the following would be best suited to a personal Facebook page, no your professional page?*
- I HATE THE (your most hated sports team here)!
- The new deli by WalMart has amazing chili.
- Do not get your hair cut at Mel’s Cuttery!
- My son’s teacher is irrational and irritating.
- Does anyone remember that bonfire after the homecoming game, senior year? Woo-hoo.
- Played golf with Dr. Martin and my wife this morning. The weather is amazing!
- My mom got robbed last night!
- I should have been a cardiologist.
- Congratulations to all the graduating seniors at LHS!
- For fresh breath, chew parsley or mint after meals.
Need Help with Dental Marketing?
If you want your practice on Facebook, but you just don’t have the time, or you need a marketing manager, but you don’t want to hire another employee, call MDPM at 972-781-8861 today. We offer complete dental marketing to dentists and dental industry professionals. From graphic design to website development to custom copywriting and social networking posts, MDPM is your partner for dental marketing.
*ANSWERS: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8