CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 3 • Issue 4

31 Volume 3 Issue 4 | I ssues and P eople Dr. John Syrbu, an American dentist practising in Minneapolis, Minnesota, knows the power of social media. In 2011, while attending dental school, he created the Facebook page Dental Art and Humor “for dentists and dental personnel, or anyone who has a profound interest in both dentistry and creative humor.” The page now has over 49,000 followers. In 2015, he published a book titled Practical Social Media for Dentists to help his peers navigate the different social media platforms. He discussed the relevance of social media for dental practices with CDA. Could you tell us more about your book? Of course. I created the book as an actionable resource for dentists. There are a lot of articles talking about how important social media is for any business, but I wanted to really relate it to dentistry and what any office can do to improve its effectiveness at communicating with both new and existing patients. What does social media mean to you? I like to keep it simple. For me, social media is nothing more than people interacting with other people in an online or digital space. It’s a means of communication—simple as that. Whether you’re a friend or a family member, a business or a consumer, a dentist or a patient, it is simply people interacting with other people . I think that in order to have success on social media, you need to keep that at the foundation of your definition as well. Why is it important for dentists to be active on social media? I think the numbers speak for themselves in terms of how many people are using social media, how often they’re using it, and the amount of time they’re spending on it. What makes it especially relevant for dentists is the type of industry we’re in: the service industry . We’re not selling a product like a phone or a car—products for which most of us can’t name anyone involved in creating it. As dentists and dental personnel, we are providing a very personal service to our patients. They know our names. They know our faces. We have that built-in familiarity with them. That’s what makes social media the go-to way to communicate with patients outside the dental office. What are the most common mistakes dentists make on social media? That’s actually part of the reason why I wrote this book, there was a big learning curve with dentists getting on social media. Some of the most common mistakes? Probably not being authentic and relying on it too heavily for advertising. In terms of authenticity, social media is very transparent. If you’re hiring a company to take care of all of your social media platforms including your messaging and communications, it’s going to be noticeable and feel impersonal. Because that’s just not what social media is about. You and your staff have to participate and be present online. SOCIALMEDIA in the Words of a Millennial Dentist Dr. John Syrbu This interviewhasbeencondensedandedited. Theviewsexpressedarethoseoftheauthor anddonotnecessarilyreflecttheopinions orofficialpoliciesoftheCanadianDental Association. Watch the full interview with Dr. Syrbu at 2016/01/19/js More Online /DentalArtandHumor @dentalarthumor /dentalarthumor Dr. John Syrbu’s social media presence