In today’s market, everyone is communicating on social media, specifically through pictures on Facebook and Instagram. I saw that the dental industry could benefit from getting involved in that conversation.
Orem-based Social Dental has closed a $3.5 million seed round led by Kickstart Seed Fund, with participation from Peterson Ventures and Jeremy Andrus.
“The enthusiasm and energy of the team is infectious,” said Gavin Christensen, founder of Kickstart Seed Fund. “This is probably the major reason that they are getting so much traction with dentists — it is clear that they care deeply about their customers, they are solving a deep problem for them and holding their hands the whole way to make sure that they are successful. The response that they are getting from the marketplace is pretty special.”
Traditionally, dental offices don’t concentrate on marketing. They clean teeth, fill cavities, and try to give every patient an enjoyable experience, but the act of publicizing that experience usually isn’t concentrated on. This is the void that Social Dental is seeking to fill, by giving dentists a full-fledged platform combining social media, patient experience, and analytics under the same roof.
“In today’s market, everyone is communicating on social media, specifically through pictures on Facebook and Instagram,” said Tom Clark, CEO of Social Dental. “I saw that the dental industry could benefit from getting involved in that conversation.”
For good or bad, social media is a powerful tool. There’s something strangely exhilarating about posting a personal message or photo in a public forum, not knowing who will see it or be impacted by it. For dentists, sharing patient information (even something as simple as a photo of cute, smiling, no-cavity children) has always been a hurdle because of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) — patient consent, that sort of thing. Social Dental solves this issue with Smartshare, a HIPAA-compliant technology where dentists can snap pictures of patients, have them digitally sign their consent, and then immediately be able to post those pictures to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. Every photo is also shared with the patient and includes an invitation to write an online review (through Yelp or Google+), enabling dentists to quickly and efficiently have their services graded by each customer.
“HIPAA was a major barrier to many dentists marketing on social media,” said Clark. “A HIPAA compliant photo-sharing app did not exist. So, I built it.”
Then comes the analytics side of things. If you’re posting things on social media, you obviously want to see how much consumer engagement comes out of these behaviors. Social Dental allows users to track live analytics of both social networks and company websites, so you can legitimately see the fruits of your labor.
“We started this company to win, and we are doing it,” said Clark. “And, the real winner at the end of the day, is the doctor connecting with his or her patients that so desperately need their care, judgement and skill.”
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