Should you use Clubhouse to grow your dental implant practice?

TL;DR: Get on Clubhouse. Get used to it. Learn how to use it. But don’t rely on it as your key marketing strategy. Clubhouse is currently more valuable as a platform to connect with influencers, colleagues, and thought leaders than it is to find patients.

If you’ve been online recently, chances are you’ve seen a post or two (or ten) talking about the new hot social media site, Clubhouse.

If you haven’t, don’t worry. We’ll share all you need to know about Clubhouse and, most importantly, whether you should spend any of your valuable time using it.

What is Clubhouse?

Simply put, Clubhouse is a new, audio-only social media app that took the world by storm in 2020. It works by creating audio-only networking rooms in which one or more moderators leads a conversation. Others can join your room as spectators and request the ability to speak by raising their virtual hand, at which point the moderator can permit them to speak.

Users find Clubhouse refreshing for many reasons. For example, being audio-only, you don’t have to worry about having perfect lighting, full make-up, or well-groomed hair. You can just log on and chat or listen in. Additionally, the content is all live and interactive. You can start or join a room and have a real, live conversation with influencers, peers, patient leads, and more.

So far, Clubhouse is open by invitation only. You need to be invited by another member to join. As of early 2021, it’s also iOS-only, so you need an iPhone or iPad to join, at least for now.

Should you use Clubhouse for your implant practice?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is to get on it but don’t rely on it as your go-to marketing strategy.

As a practice owner, your time and money resources are limited. If you can use a new technology to improve your practice, you should. But with limited resources of both time and money, it’s smart to make sure you don’t make what’s working less effective by redirecting too much time or money in Clubhouse.

When it comes to any new technology, including social media platforms, two patterns tell us to take a cautious approach. 

First, new technology follows a hype cycle. At some points in the hype cycle, excitement outpaces the value of the new technology. At other points in the hype cycle, the value of the technology is higher than the hype. Understanding where Clubhouse is on the hype cycle will help you make sure you’re getting the right value for your time and money when using it.

Second, new technology gets adopted in a pattern, from innovators to laggards. Before spending too much time or money on a platform, it’s important to know what audience is using the technology. That way, you can use it in the most efficient way.

As a Practice Owner, Consider how the Technology Hype Cycle Impacts Clubhouse

The first pattern is called the “hype cycle” of new technologies. During the first phase, called the Innovation Trigger, hype for the new technology skyrockets as people learn about and get excited about the possibilities. In the second phase, Peak of Inflated Expectations, the excitement continues and hype quickly spikes and then begins to decline as expectations begin to come back to reality. The decline accelerates into the third phase, the Trough of Disillusionment, before leveling off and then slowly increases into the fourth (Slope of Enlightenment) and fifth (Plateau of Productivity) phases of the life cycle.

Many new social platforms will only appear useful on the way up to the Peak of Inflated Expectations. With those platforms, people realize the hype was more valuable than the reality of the platform. Once the hype clears, they realize it’s not worth their time.

As of early 2021, Clubhouse is currently on the Innovation Trigger phase and heading toward the Peak of Inflated Expectations. People are seeing it as the next great social media site — and it may be — but data suggests it will peak much higher than its true value when it moves into the third phase. Thus, getting in now might allow you to experience the big rise, however, some or all of that effort could be wasted if the drop to reality is too steep. If Clubhouse disappears like many new social media sites, all of that time could be wasted.

Is Your Target Audience on Clubhouse?

The truth is, few patients are currently using Clubhouse. It’s currently much more populated by thought leaders and influencers than everyday patients because thought leaders and influencers tend to fall into the earlier stages of how people adopt new technologies

Only a small minority of people (2.5%) are called innovators. Innovators get in early and risk the technology will fail. Early adopters get in after the innovators work out some of the growing pains of the technology and represent 13.5% of people. They get in early, still, and risk wasting time or money but the innovators have worked out many of the biggest risks. Next are early majority (34%) and late majority (34%) consumers, followed by laggards (16%). Each of those groups adopts a new technology later and later, risking less and less.

Driven Dental Implant Marketing co-founder, Elijah Desmond, is an early adopter of Clubhouse and leads regular conversations about growing a dental practice. Connect with him on Clubhouse at @motivation501.

When you’re running a dental practice, time is one of your most precious commodities. From chair time to your own free time, you can’t afford to waste it. For that reason, jumping into a new technology as an innovator might not be the best plan. You could easily waste all of your time with nothing to show for it, especially if the platform turns out to be a dud. You might miss out on the small chance that the platform explodes in popularity with you as the dental authority. But you don’t have to risk all of the time going all-in on a platform that might never give you any return. A much better approach would be to adopt the mindset of an early adopter or early majority and let the innovators take the biggest risk.

What’s the bottom line about using Clubhouse to grow your dental implant practice?

The bottom line is that it’s worth using Clubhouse but make sure you don’t turn off what’s already working to attract patients because Clubhouse will be much more effective to network with thought leaders and influencers than to acquire patients.

Over time, you can use Clubhouse to build your own reputation in dentistry and improving your practice by leading conversations from people around the world to get feedback about how you run your practice. These people might not be potential patients, as they will be from all around the world. But they can give you a patient’s perspective or advice from how other industries work that you can use to improve your practice.

For every Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are countless social media platforms that burned bright and then burned out. For that reason, professionals like those in the dental industry are best served to proceed with caution.

The most effective use of your time when it comes to Clubhouse is to go slow and dip your toe in the water to use it in the best way possible, given where the technology is on the hype and adoption cycles. Join and spend a little time learning about the platform.

Everyone is excited about Clubhouse, and for good reason. Using this approach, you can maximize the value you receive from the platform and be ready to pounce as it gets adopted by more people. If you join Clubhouse, reach out and let us know. We’d love to get to know you. And we promise to make our conversations a valuable use of your time.

Nick Pavlidis
 

Nick Pavlidis is a recognized author for several dental implant articles.

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