Thursday, August 9, 2012


I am so loving the Olympics. I am losing sleep because of it. It is not the events or the contest for me; it is the stories. The one that I just can't get over is the runner that doesn't have any legs below the knees. This story is so crazy. He is RUNNING an OLYMPIC EVENT without LEGS!!!! And to watch this guy run, wow.

How can the Olympics not inspire you? How can the stories not resonate with you? It is not the medals or the competition that will stick with me, but the stories of people overcoming obstacles. I will take these stories back to my life and say, "You know, this isn’t so bad. I know I can overcome this petty little thing." That is what is going to stick with me.

Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old female swimmer, won 3 golds and a bronze medal. She says she can't wait to get back to her senior year of high school. Can you image what her high school swim meets will be like? She is turning down gazillions of dollars so she can swim with her friends in high school.

And lastly, I am going on record and saying this publicly: I am not a fan of woman's gymnastics. I think about this 15-year-old kid that has been taken out of school and home-schooled so she could practice gymnastics for 15 hours a day for 8 straight years. Then put on a strict weight program so she will stay less than 80 pounds (or something ridiculous like that). She gets there and she has to put on all this makeup that makes her look like a doll.

I know, I am totally over thinking this, but I have seen it happen. I have had patients whose daughters were good at something, and they started this stuff. One was good at ice skating. They took her out of school so the mom and daughter (without the dad and the siblings) could move to Colorado to train. She was 10 years old. And to think: there are only 5 girls every 4 years that make it. You think the odds are bad for the NBA or the NFL? Try being an Olympic gymnast. The odds are about .0001%.

Okay enough of that. I want to talk to you about Twitter. You know what this is, right? Everyone is talking about it. You can't go five minutes listening to the media and not hear about it. I watch a TV show and on the bottom left corner of the screen, there is something like #suits. Watching the Olympics, there are ads that finish with #olympics. I assume this has something to do with Twitter.

But I have to confess, I don't get it. So you are telling me that I can say something on my twitter account (@johngammichia, just in case you want to follow me) and all my followers will be able to know it almost instantaneously? And if I follow you on Twitter, I can hear what you have to say instantaneously? You know what I say to that? So what? What am I going to say that everyone wants to know about? There is nothing you have to say that I need to know RIGHT NOW.

The big thing is actors and sport figures. Do I really want to know what they are thinking right now? I don't care what Angelina Jolie is doing right now. I don't care what Dwight Howard is thinking right now. I think the sports talk show hosts do, but you know what? When they report on it, I will hear it.

I know, I know. I am old and crotchety. I know I probably could tweet that I just finished a veneer case and send out a picture. But that would mean I need potential patients to follow me. That is work, just like Facebook. I have a page and I put a case on there about 3 times a year. Does updating it make it more likely that people will follow? Maybe.

I realize that, at 43, I might not be someone to ask about this. I had a single guy in my chair. He works and lives in downtown Orlando. I would think if anyone has his finger on the pulse of technology, it is going to be a guy like him. I asked him about Twitter and how much he uses. He said he has never tweeted or read a tweet. Hmmm. Is it something for 20-year-olds? Teenagers? I talked to a couple of 22-year-olds at my church; they all said they have very limited experience with Twitter.

Can someone please tell me that I am not crazy? Am I missing something? Is anyone using Twitter and loving it? Is anyone using it for dentistry and, if you are, it is working? Let me know.

Have a great rest of the week,


P.S. The AGD tweets! Follow us on Twitter @AGDadvocacy to learn about the latest local and national advocacy issues affecting you.


Will Russell said...

"Am I missing something?"

Yes, you are missing something. Something huge.

Let's forget the whole networking aspect of it for a second, and forget that it provides the chance to build a community, promote your business and build trust in your practice. For me, that's 90% of it. It might not drive sales immediately, but it will, in time.

So (while it pains me to say), let's ignore that for now, and focus on the 10% that can get you customers right now.

What you can also do on Twitter is use their search tool to find people who have dental problems in your area, and then reach out to them and say "hey, we can help". It would be foolish to ignore people walking past your dental practice that are holding a sign saying "I have a toothache", wouldn't it? By ignoring Twitter that's effectively what you're doing.

I just did a few Twitter searches for people within 25 miles of San Francisco (where I live):

- 19 people are currently complaining about toothache.
- 40 people are talking about their dentist.
- 5 people are explicitly complaining about their current dentist.
- 10 people are complaining about how their teeth look.

Erm… that sound like 74 potential new customers to me. You might not be on Twitter, but A LOT of your potential customers are.

Here's my Twitter handle if you want to talk more: @willrussellmktg

Jeannette said...

Your question is "can someone tell me I am not crazy" ....sorry I can't do that.
As a Business or Practice you're missing the point of this powerful tool called Twitter or Social Media for this matter.
It's not about wanting to know what Angelina Jolie is doing right now (which I don't care either) and please keep in mind "everyone has different goals" In your situation your goals should be about branding, about creating awareness of your practice, by creating relationships with your local followers and creating a community around you that will bring loyalty and trust - and when I need your type of services; why would I use the phone book? when I already feel I know you!
My loyalty will bring me to you as a dentist! My relationship with you will make it easy for me to recommend your practice to others around me!
I hope some of this will help you "get it" It's about connecting and engaging by developing relationships and make long lasting clients!
Good Luck!

Jonathan Payne said...

To your questions:

1) You're not crazy, just misinformed.

2) You are missing something, especially if you're a business owner in any capacity.

When radio was invented, it caused a cultural shift in the way people received and shared information. When TV was invented, it caused a cultural shift in the way people received and shared information. When the Internet was invented, it caused a cultural shift in the way people received and shared information.

Let's all be honest here: If you're betting against social media, you're betting against the Internet -- you're betting against the medium that billions of people are using to speak to one another and to broadcast their opinions about everything (that includes your brand, product, or service).

If you want to take that bet, have at it. But you WILL lose. That is a guarantee.

In the early 2000s when online retailers, Amazon, eBay, and similar sites started to pick up steam, brick and mortar business convinced themselves it was just a fad. They convinced themselves there was no way retailing could be done without a showroom and stacked shelves where people come wait in a line to purchase something. They bet against the Internet.

Look around: How did that bet work out for them?

Go to!/search-home

Type in your city/town and search. You see all those people that pop up? They all probably have teeth. They all probably need dental work. Your target market is in that mix of people somewhere. Ignoring that would be tantamount to ignoring TV ads in the 70s. It's corporate suicide.

Consumption hasn't changed and neither has business. The only thing that has changed is the medium through which these two things occur and the tools used to continue pushing them forward.

Five or six years ago, your mentality of "I don't care what anyone is saying on Twitter" would have been perfectly normal. Now, it's stone age talk. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube...all these things are here to stay. Whether you choose to adapt to those new mediums or not is your call, but I think you'll be sorry if you don't give it some serious consideration and don't base your decision on something as small as asking a handful of people what they think of Twitter.

Anonymous said...

I use twitter for dentistry and a variety of other interests. I do not think it necessarily has to do with age, because I know many younger people that have no interest in it and alot of older folks that throw out 10 tweets per day. It depends on your personality, and if you want to interact with people you do not necessarily know in real life. Unlike facebook, in which people mostly have private accounts, Twitter is supposed to be an open platform (although you can make your tweets private but this defeats the purpose) so you can see what everyone is saying and they can see what you are saying as well. Give it a chance! More dentists need to be on it and not just to promote the current bleaching special they are offering :)



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