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a blog by Chris Barrow

Consent and Selfies

Many forward-thinking owners are now asking their marketing team members to actively manage a Facebook Page for the practice, recognising that social media (and, in particular, Mr Zuckerberg’s little experiment) is an integral part of many patients’ life. Facebook is an advertising company, not a social media site, and they are watching very carefully to make sure that the news feed of your Page isn’t simply a stream of product placement adverts. If so, they will penalise you and ask you to get your cheque book out and pay them for proper advertising (not a bad idea). Your news feed should focus on news – about the patients, the team members, any special guests of visitors and news about the word of dentistry, charity fund-raisers and any other local gossip that might be fascinating for the lay person. In amongst all that, an occasional selfie of the clinical team in surgery X with a happy patient at the end of treatment is a smashing way to spread your message and expose you to the risk that the patient will share on their own news feed – and so selfies can become a new Word of Mouth system in your business. Those of our clients who have taken this on board are posting photos of patients from 21 to 80 years old so far – social media is no longer the preserve of the young. I was asked the other day about consent for selfies and decided to check in with CEO of ApexHub, Brendon Macdonald, on the latest thinking: Hi Chris Yes always, even if patient says it verbally. CQC upon inspection are now checking Facebook pages and then want to see specific consent form for patient being promoted on page as evidence of record keeping To be clear – that is the practice uploading or sharing a patient selfie to their page – if the patient uploads to their own profile and tags the page then no consent need as out of your control .

It is a good habit to check in weekly to see what has been posted on your Page and whether it has been viewed, commented on or shared.

You will also have to nag your team initially to get this started – after all they have enough to do already. It’s worth it. If done in a compliant fashion and with passion, Facebook can be your friend and spread your message virally, faster than many other more expensive marketing methods.

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