Oral Health Group

Is It Time for TikTok? Four Social Media Platforms Dentists Should Be Using in 2021

May 20, 2021
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO

These days, being “social” is good business. Here’s a quick look at why dental professionals shouldn’t dismiss social media as an integral (and fun) part of their broader marketing strategy.

Why? Because instant connection with your existing and potential future patients provides great practice benefits.


In five words, this is your immediate future. (And by future, I mean the future of your practice.) As Baby Boomers slowly fade into retirement, Millennials are nipping at their heels and eagerly becoming the majority decision-makers, both at home and in the workforce. This means that any day now most of your patients will be Millennials or younger.

Younger patients speak “image” rather than “word,” prefer text over email, and have a deep desire to connect with their communities. Incorporating Instagram into your practice’s marketing strategy will keep you connected and relevant to future patients.

What should you post? Relatable photos of your team, your practice, volunteer efforts, and your involvement with the community. Connecting with patients and the Instagram community means a successful practice for the future.

Why? Because of its significant growth and new additions that allow you to connect even more.

LinkedIn has yet to hit its fullest stride while realizing explosive growth with a long and healthy life ahead. Here are four new additions you’ll want to incorporate:

LinkedIn Live: LinkedIn Live videos get an average of 24 times more comments than native videos produced by the same brands. Users have to submit an application form for review.

Polling: My favorite! Activity can be watched in real time, such as how many votes have been cast, results so far, and how much time is left for voting.1

Reactions: Since more members are using LinkedIn to connect and engage with one another like on Facebook, it has added reactions to be more visually expressive.

Pronunciation: You now have the ability to provide a 10-second audio greeting to explain how to properly pronounce your name. This feature can only be created on the LinkedIn mobile app.

Why? Because we all need ongoing professional support (anonymously).

An anonymous chat app for professionals within the same industry, Fishbowl raised $5.3 million in Series A financing last year to grow the network.2

Fishbowl’s secret sauce is that all users remain anonymous, and it gives professionals significant access to conversation with leaders, including CEOs in one’s industry. With anonymity comes transparency, ingenuity, safety, and a lot of support.

In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted our professional and personal lives, it is crucial to find support where you can. Fishbowl may be the answer.

Why? Because we all want more human interaction right now.

Imagine if Zoom and podcasts joined to create a new network. Enter Clubhouse.

Paying homage to the AOL chat rooms of the late 1990s, Clubhouse is a drop-in audio chat app that allows you to listen in to someone else’s phone conversation. And yes, it’s legal and you can even request to join the conversation at any point.

Launched in 2020, Clubhouse is currently available only on iOS by invitation only (you must be invited by someone you know).

As folks are trying to socially distance and suffer the consequences of decreased human interaction, Clubhouse is an easy way to join informative, casual conversations anytime through favourite topics or friends.

I hope you find these four social platforms provide you significant personal and professional benefit. Or, you can always dance…TikTok, TikTok!

Editors’ Note: A version of this article originally appeared in Dental Economics. Reprinted with permission.


  1. Fung H. Tapping into the power of your professional network with polls. LinkedIn. May 12, 2020. https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/may/12/tapping-into-the-power-of-your-professional-network-with-polls
  2. Fishbowl raises $5.3m to grow its social network of conversing professionals. News release. Cision. January 6, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fishbowl-raises-5-3m-to-grow-its-social-network-of-conversing-professionals-300981870.html

About the Author

Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Health advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.

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