Social Media Interview with D’Anne Rudden

Social Media Interview with D’Anne Rudden

December 20, 2017 Interviews

Many of us log onto Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis, but have you ever wondered about the role of social media in audiology? Emily Lundberg (EL), Chair of the SAA Communications Committee, asked Dr. D’Anne Rudden (DR) about her thoughts regarding social media and its role in the profession. Dr. D’Anne Rudden is the owner of Longmont Hearing & Tinnitus Center in Longmont, Colorado. She currently serves as the Director of Social Media for AuDConnex Practice Management Group and is considered an industry expert on Social Media and Marketing with published articles in Audiology Today, Seminars in Hearing, Audiology Practices, and The Hearing Journal. Dr. Rudden is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She travels nationally as a sought-after public speaker, thought leader and self-described greatness enabler. In her spare time, she is an Advanced Certified Yoga Teacher, teaching yoga workshops and yoga teacher trainings, incorporating the importance of infusing spirituality into the mind-body connection through the use of sound and vibration. Connect with her on social media channels (@AudioDocRudden) and on her websites – www.longmonthearing.com and www.dannerudden.com.


EL: What role does social media play in your audiology practice?

DR: It’s become an integral part of how we connect to our patients and our community. I take the responsibility of curating quality information from credible sources and disseminating that information very seriously, but I also want to share the story of our practice. Social media is the perfect venue for us to share all that we are and all that we do with potential patients. I want people to hear our company history, mission, what inspires us to do what we do, what our goals for the future are and why we get up every morning and strive to help people connect to the people they love through the vehicle of better hearing. I want our story to resonate with people at a level that goes way beyond what’s tangible — the functionality, features, and benefits of our products or services — to create deeper, emotional connections with our audience. With our social media presence, I ideally want to create community; to facilitate a space where people come to share experiences and receive educational support.  

EL: What role does social media play in your personal life?

DR: Social media has started to play less of a role in my personal life these days. I am trying to find a greater balance between feeling the obligation to document and share every interpersonal experience and shunning social media altogether. While it is wonderful to be easily connected to the people I love in my life, especially friends and family who live in other countries around the world, I have felt the need to keep more of those moments private. When I leave technology out of the picture, I can be more present with the people right in front of me.  As much as I thrive on social interaction, it is equally important to value what is unfolding right in front of you. Besides, no one needs to see my latest meal plastered all over the internet!

EL: Do you have any recommendations for resources regarding social media and online marketing?

DR: I follow the masters of social media and learn from their brilliance. Experts like Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzgerald (authors of The Art of Social Media), Rebekah Radice and Gary Vaynerchuk - (author of Jab Jab Jab Right Hook and #AskGaryVee) have made careers of leveraging and maximizing each platform.  

There are some great voices on social media within the Audiology community, like Dave Fabry, Gyl Kasewurm, and Amit Gosalia to name a few. There are also some really stellar practices that I admire like Animas Valley Audiology Associates in Colorado, Holland Doctors of Audiology in Michigan, Centers for Hearing Care in Ohio and Quincy Hearing in Massachusetts.

I love to follow companies and individuals outside of the Audiology industry who are skilled at connecting with their followers in a very personal level. Companies like Starbucks or Nike know who they are and they are artful in how they relay their brand messages. As far as online marketing resources, there is no better online marketing resource than Amy Porterfield. She has some great podcasts and ideas that can be applied to the audiology business.  

EL: What social media platform do you use most?

DR: Professionally, I prefer Twitter. It has an edgy, immediate and conversational style that really resonates with me. Twitter is the most beneficial social networking platform I use to interact with colleagues. It is an extraordinarily powerful way to connect with inspired, innovative professionals who have a wealth of resources and information to share. It’s easy to develop a network in a short amount of time with this tool, and it’s very easy to share ideas and resources.  

EL: How do you envision social media being used as a tool for audiologists?

DR: Social media isn’t just reserved for athletes, fashion brands and movie stars. When it comes to marketing your services in an ever-changing healthcare world, your goal is to reach your target audience where they’re paying the most attention. For the past 10+ years, that has been social media. A whopping 78% of Americans have at least one social media profile, so there’s a strong chance your patients and their influencers are on at least one of the major networks. Social media isn’t an advertising platform for you to shout your message as loudly as possible. Instead, I see it as a platform to connect, educate and entertain your target audience.  

EL: How do you envision social media being used as a tool for audiology students?

DR: Social media is an incredible networking opportunity for students. You can follow industry thought leaders and create connections people in our field that you may not have had access to without it. As students join the workforce, they bring social media skills to their careers. Social media prepares young workers to become great marketers. It has become essential for businesses to include a social media marketing strategy and students today are the people to potentially fill these positions.

EL: What advice would you give to an audiology student looking to establish a social media presence?

DR: I wholeheartedly encourage you to begin to use social media to make connections with other professionals, especially through audiology-focused Facebook, LinkedIn and Quora groups. These platforms allow you to throw out ideas and get feedback on them quickly. Not only can you learn a lot from the discussions, but you can develop connections with people in the industry you may never have had the opportunity to speak with otherwise. It is a great way to build your network with fellow students, professors and industry thought leaders. You can analyze topics and trends as well as beginning to engage individuals and organizations you are interested in with fairly minimal effort.

LinkedIn especially is an awesome networking platform with an abundance of employers who are actively recruiting talent. These recruiters can do specific searches based on things like age, skills, former workplaces, and schools. For those reasons, it's imperative that you keep your profile accurate, descriptive, and up to date.  Who knows, if you seek out the right connections, future opportunities may present themselves!

EL: Do you have any recommendations for validating sources and information prior to posting?

DR: Do your due diligence! Choose your sources wisely. If you had to choose between getting your world news from The New York Times or Joe's Basement Newspaper, most of us would grab the Times, because it's a name we know and trust. The same is true for Internet research. If you want to find the latest audiology innovation news, visiting websites from the major professional organizations and trusted manufacturing partners is a great place to start. There may be better information out there, but starting with an organization or company you already trust is a good way to narrow your search. Then if you do decide to look up information from other sources, you can compare it to what you found first.

EL: Are there any boundaries that audiology students should be aware of before posting professional or personal information on social media?

DR: It used to be good advice for personal use of social media is: Would you want your mother to see that?  But as a young professional, you should start to think of this advice as: Would you want your boss to see that? Yes, this is true even if you are already using social media in a personal way. Out of 100 times, it may not matter 99 times, but for that one time it does, are you prepared to live with the consequences if you need to? People are fired or disciplined at work because of their personal use of social media. Some avoid that risk by avoiding social media. In today’s modern world, THAT may also have consequences for your career. Social media can be a powerful connective tool…just use common sense and be discriminating in what you post.

 

Emily Lundberg is a third year AuD/PhD student at the University of Colorado. Her audiology interests include signal processing of hearing aids and cochlear implants, hearing and aging, quality of sound, and music perception. She is currently serving as the chair of the SAA Communications Committee.

 

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