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Ticktock, ticktock...it’s time to look at what social networks we should be on in 2021

April 12, 2021
These days, it's part of business to incorporate social media in dentistry. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, shares information about four social media platforms dental professionals should be a part of in 2021.


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 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. LinkedIn Live isn’t available to everyone. Users have to submit an application form for review. Go here to apply: linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/lv-app

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 Go to: linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/119595/create-linkedin-polls 

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 clip to provide a greeting and explain how to properly pronounce your name. Currently this feature can only be created on the LinkedIn mobile apps available for  iOS and Android.


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 chatrooms 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 suffering the consequences of decreased human interaction, Clubhouse is an easy way to join informative, casual conversations anytime through favorite topics or friends. Conversations are often put on by industry experts and scheduled around educational topics, though they can quickly evolve into entertaining and casual conversation. 

So I hope you find these four social networks valuable and that they provide you significant personal and professional benefit, or...you can dance! TikTok, TikTok...


  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

Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, is CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, a leading dental 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 Dental Economics editorial advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.

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