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cosmetic dentistry_ beauty & science

I 25 practice management _ world wide web I cosmeticdentistry 4_2011 party they went to last night. You may be thinking that this massive amount of sharing has no more value than the latest episode of Jersey Shore. How- ever, this is where you may benefit from a change in perspective! Although social media started as just that, a place to socialise, it has expanded into a mas- sive enterprise that has since evolved into a realm withnumerousapplicationsforanyoneintheworld. Let us take a few minutes to really dig into what socialmediaisandwhyitcanbenefitYOU.Whocares about how it can benefit Lady Gaga or President Obama. I want to know how it can benefit ME in my life and why it is such a big deal. Unfortunately, this time around our good friend Wikipedia let us down. Wikipedia defines ‘social media’ as “the use of web-based and mobile tech- nologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue”. Okay, so that tells us the specifics of what socialmediadoes.Itallowspeopletoconnectonline. Well, that’s cool. E-mail did that. Why is social media so special? Let us bring it down a peg and see if we can gain some further insight. “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends,” Jeff Bezos, CEO of, said. WOAH, now that provides a lot of insight! Social media allows people to in- teract with thousands and thousands of people that they would not have access to otherwise. And they can tell them whatever they want. Uncensored. Fantastic! So, social media allows people to say whatever they want online without being censored. Social media is a +1 for free speech. However, we still have notansweredthequestion:whatdoesthatmeanfor you?Well,letusgodownonestepfurtherwithsome specificexamples.Ifyourcustomersaretelling6,000 peoplethattheyareatthedentistandtheyarelovin’ it—that’s really good. If they are telling 6,000 people thatyourofficeisterrible—that’snotsogoodforyou. Beingpartofthesocialnetworkandgettinginvolved in communication areas that your patients are in willgiveyouanunprecedentedlookintoyour‘online reputation’ and give you a chance to really see what your patients are saying. So now we’re spying!? Fantastic, just what you want to do in the health-care industry. The news industry recently tried that and the resulting News Corp and James Murdoch phone-hacking scandal has resulted in worldwide embarrassment for both the media industry and the governments in which those companies operated. However, there are more aspectsofsocialmediathatareverybeneficialtoyou, andnotinacreepykindofway.Whenpeoplethinkof social media, their minds immediately jump to huge websiteslikeFacebookandTwitter.Whiletheseweb- sites embody the values of social media, they’re not the end-all and be-all of the social media landscape. Social media is about connecting and collaborat- ing online. Take a look at LinkedIn, tumblr, YouTube and the many other social media websites out there today. These are social media tools. These are social networks. These are YOUR networks. They are places where you can come to connect with fellow people, to collaborate and to LEARN. That is the most im- portant part of all of this! Social media provides an extremely effective medium for active learning, par- ticipation and collaboration. Social media is one major player on the Internet, but it is not the only way that the Internet is chang- ing the dental industry. The Internet has a vast array of resources that are making our world faster paced, more dynamic and more thought-provoking. It is also changing the way that we compete and how we do business. The health-care industry has long been a profession in which competition is not considered