South African Dental Journal
versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to identify and understand social media usage behaviour of dentists in South Africa, in general and in particular as part of their marketing strategy and to consider the potential determinants associated with these behaviours. METHODS: Dentists who are members of the South African Dental Association were requested to anonymously complete an online questionnaire. Apart from demographic information, respondents were asked to report on their use of social media and their adoption of social media marketing. One-on-one interviews were also conducted with three dentists, to gain a deeper understanding of their adoption of this marketing option. RESULTS: South African dentists have started to embrace social media and 50.2% interact through these channels at least once a day. The most popular social media platforms are GooglePlus and Facebook. Respondents use social media mainly for personal purposes, including staying connected to family and friends. Only 13.2% of those responding currently use social media as a marketing tool, but the majority (83.5%) predict that such usage will increase in future. CONCLUSION: Social media marketing is a growing trend and will become more significant in future. Although respondents used social media regularly for personal purposes, most are only now starting to use it as a marketing tool.