Carèle: On which ones?
Gilbert: We are on several social networks as either Brookside Dental or as Bellevuedentist. We are on Facebook and G+ as Brookside Dental and on Twitter as Bellevuedentist. I have a personal account on both FB and G+. My daughter, Dr Cynthia Pauley, is on FB and on LinkedIn. My son-in-law, Dr Brian Cave, is on FB. We also have a presence on Digg, Delicious, Connotea and Stumbleupon as Bellevuedentist and on Scoop.it which connects via Bellevuedentist on Twitter. Scoop.it is a platform that is similar to Pinterest. Speaking of which, Pinterest is the one that we should have a presence as dentists – because it is made to order for businesses that can show changes with before and after photos. In recent months, we have been concentrating on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter – generally every work day and some on other days.
Carèle: What do you like the most about Social Media?
Gilbert: I believe that there are two aspects of social media that are important.
First is the interaction with other people – customers, patients, peers and new friends that you make through various social sites. This aspect has been evolving with us at Brookside Dental over the past two years and continues to do so. The two sites that we find the most social interactions on are Facebook and G+. Even though we get a good number of retweets on Twitter, I find this social platform much harder to actually interact with people – I rarely meet new people here for interactions. If I know them from either FB or G+ then there may be some interaction on Twitter. I find that I enjoy reading other peoples’ posts and information more when I have had some back and forth contact with them – it makes the material more personal. Our patients tend to interact more with us on FB at this time than any other social media. Referrals from our current patients are probably our best sources of new patients.
Second is the search engine value that is given by being present on certain social media sites – this requires some trial and error to see if you think this will help the search position of your website. Things that helped two years ago don’t necessarily help today. For example, Digg and Delicious were good sites to post information 3-4 years ago, but I don’t think they help that much now. I think that Facebook, G+ and Twitter along with Pinterest are the major ones that help the most. However, I do see Scoop.it links showing up when doing backlink checks on Google – I just don’t think many people use this site yet. Our position on website searches is very important, because it is a major source of new patients. If someone is looking for a dentist in our area on the internet, our website will often convince them to call us for an appointment – but this is dependent upon staying high up in the search rankings. This where I think G+ may be more valuable than FB at the present time.
Carèle: What is your favorite Social Network?
Gilbert: I think at the present time, I really like the potential of G+ the best, because I think the possibilities for the future as far as search rankings are better served with G+ and ultimately generating new patients. Ironically, I find it a little more difficult to navigate than Facebook. However, at the present time, I think FB is probably better for our existing patients to interact with us. There are some people that I do interact with on both sites which is really quite nice.
Gilbert: With Google as the main search engine, I think having a good presence on G+ has a great value in your search position at least with Google. I think Facebook has a stronger influence on Bing and Yahoo search. My next step here is to get our website and blog posts set up with Google “Authorship” avatars – this appears to me to be the next big way to set yourself above your competitors in search. We have set up authorship on our blog for “Dr Cynthia Pauley” but we don’t have the avatar photo attached to it yet. Google does however, pull Dr Cindy’s photo from our G+ business site and attach it to any of our blog posts that we post on our G+ business site, which I think helps in search rankings on Google.
Carèle: What is your vision about your social network presence in 5 years from now?
Gary: That is a really difficult question to answer. I really think we will see things in 5 years that are not even here today. Go back 5 years and think about the ipad and mobile phones with aps that were not here and early search which looked like it would be dominated by AOL which is not even a player in today’s search. I am not really a big mobile phone user for search but I know it is there and important to people, so we rebuilt our “flash” website two years ago and eliminated the “flash” with the idea of it being more search efficient and accessible for mobile phones which it is today. We try to add new content at least once each month which can sometimes be a challenge. Finding new content is difficult to some degree, but it is even more difficult to put things into your own words and put a different spin on things – but it has to be done to stay on top of your field. Talk about new, Colgate is trying to patent tooth brushes with caffeine in the bristles – I just put an article about it up on both our FB and G+ sites. Why? I continue to be astonished by what computers do and how they have evolved over the last 15-20 years. I can remember the day Microsoft became a public company while I was still teaching at the University of Washington in Seattle. And now to see how it has been passed in some respects by other companies such as Google and Apple is just stunning to me. The Microsoft campus is only about 20 blocks from our dental office and many of our patients are Microsoft employees – in fact about 20-25% or our patients are Microsoft employees. Because of them, we were the first dental office in the Seattle area to have an email list and to email our patients about appointments – really! That was around 20 years ago. We also were the first dental office in our area to use a new Windows based dentistry program about that same time for scheduling patients and charting their dental records – it was a small company called Dentrix and it now dominates this aspect of the dentistry field.
Carèle: What is the word success means to you?
Gary: Success to me is enjoying your family and activities with them. It goes without saying that good health is success. Success at work is knowing that you delivered an excellent product to the patients that they enjoy. You know that people are happy with your work when they refer their family and friends to you for their dental work. Another aspect of success is being able to contribute to charities that you have a strong conviction in their purpose and goals. For example, I am a regular contributor to the CCFA (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America).
Carèle: Can you describe in which industry your business is with the services and products you offer?
Gary: We are in the dentistry field. We specialize in cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry. We use porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns to give really beautiful smiles to people that have teeth that they are not pleased with. We do porcelain bridges. Also, we do porcelain crowns on dental implants. In many people, we can simply do tooth-colored composite fillings to repair minor cracks, chips and spaces between teeth. We use both in office and take home tooth whitening kits to alter the color of peoples’ teeth. Also, we do preventative cleanings of the teeth and check for oral cancer when patients are in the office. We also work with children primarily doing fillings, cleanings, tooth sealants and fluoride treatments. We do not do root canals and we do not extract teeth on any patients – those procedures are referred out to specialists.
Carele: Why did you decide to start this kind of business?
Gary: My wife was a school teacher for 10 years. She decided she wanted to be in the health care arena and went to dental school. After 10 years as a dentist, my wife, Dr Patricia Pauley, started Brookside Dental while I was a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. My daughter, Dr Cynthia Pauley, then graduated from dental school and joined her as the first mother-daughter dentistry team in the Pacific Northwest. This gave them a very unique branding identity. In 1997, I took an early retirement from the university and started working with them on their marketing since I had MBA degree in addition to my science degrees. They have always done exceptionally good dentistry and have received many awards and honors for both their dentistry and their community work. Two years ago, my son-in-law, Dr Brian Cave, sold his successful dental practice in Edmonds WA to be closer to home and joined Brookside Dental.
Thank you very much Gilbert Pauley!
You can also follow Gilbert Pauley:
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/brooksidedental
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BrooksideDental and http://www.youtube.com/user/Bellevuedentist
Google +: https://plus.google.com/111094919450074913696
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