by Marc Bernard Ackerman, DMD, MBA

Facebook Posts:

6:30 a.m.-Ready for my 5K run. Below zero out but Dr. Smith thanks for the fleece hat. Your pedo office rocks!
8:20 a.m.-I can’t function without my triple shot Venti americano. Time to take on the day!
3:00 p.m.-Plastic is fantastic. We’re rockin aligners.
11:00 a.m.-Shout out to my staff for being the best. Pizza lunch on me!
10:00 a.m.-Want to give huge props to the Jefferson Middle School Band. We’ve just sponsored your trip to Band Camp…play that funky music boys and girls!
8:00 p.m.-Watching finding Nemo with my little angels…Mommy is my idol.
8:37 a.m.-LA here I come. Don’t want to give anything away but guess who the Late Show is having on their show…
3:04 p.m-Have to thank the lovely flight attendants on American AirlinesTM. Pretzels with a smile! That’s why I fly coach.
9:30 p.m.-Just got to the Green room. #butterflies
6:00p.m.-Home sweet home. Wanna thank my associate Dr. for holding down the fort. PM me if you need anything…I’m here for you.
8:00 a.m.-Thank you for the dozens of likes last week! I wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for my incredible patients!
Subject: Social Media and other to do items

Dear Doctor Braces:
The schedule is packed with new exams. Your social media campaign this week was a super success. Our practice’s social media consultant just called and wants to know when he is going to receive payment. He said that he’s spent a lot of time writing and posting for you and doesn’t want to be the pretend orthodontist. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hold his check like we do with the other vendors’ bills. Your Wife’s anniversary gift is wrapped and in your office. I have also sent a thank you note to the woman from the Late Show who booked you and a $25 Olive GardenTM gift card to your cousin who made it happen. The first class ticket put you into Executive Platinum.
See you on Monday.


Subject: RE: Social Media and other to do items

You need to tell me what I got my Wife for the anniversary. I don’t want to be as shocked as she is when she opens it. Please tell me it didn’t cost more than $100. Remember the time you were supposed to get my son Pokemon cards for his birthday and you got him baseball cards? I’m still getting sh$t from him, so I hope that you didn’t mess this one up. You can hold the social media guy’s check, he needs us more than we need him.
Get your hair done before Monday, you’re not looking young enough.


Subject: RE: Payment

Thanks for the email. Dr. Braces wants to see some more data on the social media campaign and then we’ll send you a check. We haven’t had that many new calls yet.
I am sure you understand.


O.K. everything I have written above is a complete fabrication. No one in their right mind would be crazy enough to have someone else pretend to be them on social media. No one who has a modicum of decency would treat their family and their office manager that way. So why would I write this other than to get some laughs from the cheap seats and some major head shaking from the serious crowd?

Well, I am a believer that life imitates art and that perception is reality. Social media is an essential component of marketing for an orthodontic practice. To ignore it or to think that it is a passing fad is not wise. However, you own what you post. Everyone who can see it and believe me it is far more people than you think (friends of friends etc…) will all form an opinion about you. For as much as we can try and shape how people perceive us in real life, the digital world is not as nuanced and far less forgiving. So take a moment and think about how you want to be perceived on social media. Got it. Good.

The reviews are in. Consumers liked the story but quite a few were unimpressed by the main character. Let’s hope you’re cast in the sequel.

4 thoughts on “Casting Call: Playing an Orthodontist on Social Media

  1. Great post Dr. Ackerman! This is so true. I’ve held off on doing any work related social media for the same reasons: less forgiving, privacy invading and life consuming. I hope I’m not wrong in thinking that I’m a person first and don’t want every day of my life to be defined by my profession which is only a part of who I am. Of course I could be missing out on so much business as a result but each of us need to come to terms with what it is exactly that we are content with.
    Keep writing great posts!

  2. Nona:
    Thanks for the nice note! We all have a comfort level with how much to divulge on social media. I totally agree that there’s more to life than orthodontics!
    Wishing you continued success!

  3. John:
    I am glad that you liked it. Will try and keep my pen filled with ink!

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