I think every dentist can tell you a story about their first amalgam. Mine was in dental school of course. The whole restoration was probably about 1.5 mm, but it took the whole three hours. I have heard this story a million times. In fact it took half the time to put the rubber dam in place, and by the time it was perfect, the fire alarm would go off and we would all have to evacuate. The fire alarm seems to go off at least once a week at our school. But that simple filling that took hours at first now only takes a couple of minutes. Not that I do any occlusal amalgams anymore! I have learned the processes of placing a restoration, and I have practiced it thousands of times by now, so it is second nature. Often times we as dentists don't want to try new things, but we forget that our great successes often come from taking risks. Sometimes calculated risks like letting a 23-year-old newbie place a restoration.
I like to think of Social Media like that first amalgam filling. It can be a bit daunting at first to jump into something new, even if you know all the basics. Many of you have enough knowledge to organize a great social media campaign, but you just don't know how to get started. At some point you will have to jump in and just do it, much like that first amalgam.
I also remember mentally preparing for days before my first amalgam. I had every tool set up in a perfect row, and practiced the routine several times. I made sure I was first at the dispensing window to gather all the needed items. These practices can also be great for your first foray into social media. Take time to prepare. Watch how people interact on the different social media platforms. Gather up all the tools you will need to succeed in social media. Collect great pictures and videos, and save them for later. Surround yourself with people you are comfortable with at first. They will foster your new profile. Make sure your profile is complete, so when you do dive in to social media, it appears that you are a pro. Start out slow. I didn't start out with implants my first day in clinic, I started out with a small amalgam. The same goes for social media.
Start out slow, learn the ropes and then expand your practices. As you learn methods and repeat them over and over you will fall into your stride. Like I said above, that first small amalgam probably took 2-3 hours, and now it would take a couple of minutes. Your time needed for social media will also decrease for social media when you become familiar with the process, throw in a couple of assistants, and have set procedures in place. Jump in and do that first occlusal amalgam of Social Media. You may make some mistakes, but before long you will be a master.
Jason T. Lipscomb is a general dentist in Richmond, VA and a co-author of Social Media for Dentists. Dr. Lipscomb has developed the methods used by Social Media for Dentists after several years of private practice. He maintains a unique perspective on dental marketing by operating two busy practices and researching social media practices. Social Media for Dentists is one of the only dental specific Social Media marketing books. Social Media for Dentists L.L.C. offers hands on training to dentists all over the country.