Most doctors’ lives are already way too busy. There isn’t a lot of time for social media monitoring between those 12 hour on-call shifts. However, those few who can find the time to maintain a social media presence are doing a service not just for their practice, but for society as a whole.
Because qualified health care providers are so busy, the people on the internet talking about health issues tend NOT to be qualified health care providers. Rather, they are typically attention-seekers with way too much time on their hands. This has led to an absolutely shocking amount of medical misinformation on the Web. In this age of instant information, it is bizarre how many people (and even politicians!) buy into fraudulent health care rumours.
Social media is a great way for doctors to take their voices back and become leading authorities on our society’s health care once more. Doctors on social mediaare creating, spreading, and commenting on accurate, helpful health information. But it isn’t just good for society.
The great thing about social media is that you are rewarded for producing valuable content. All content becomes an advertisement. This is particularly true for doctors.
Say you made a post that commented on and criticized some recent medical research. This post will go out and become part of the global conversation on health care. It could be read by thousands. Now, let’s unpack all the things that this simple post says about you:
- You stay abreast of modern medical research.
- You think independently and critically.
- You care enough about others to be part of the global online discussion.
- You respect your patients enough to speak to them like adults who can read the research and make up their own minds.
- You are an authority in your field.
All of this can be communicated by one brief post. The thousands of people who see it are more likely to choose you as their doctor.
How to Make the Most Out of Social Media
- Do not go it alone. Hire a social media manager to take care of the busywork.
- Do make it personal. Posting the occasional funny anecdote (within the bounds of doctor-patient confidentiality, of course) can go a long way to make you seem less intimidating to potential patients.
- Do make friends with the competition. This will help you keep track of developments in your immediate medical community.
- Do not engage with people who want you to diagnose them over the Internet. Have your social media manager reply to them with your regular office hours and contact information.
- Do engage in social media advertising. Advertising is a great way to build up your follower base. Start with standard ads, sponsored stories, and promoted tweets. You should end up with a healthy and consistent base of followers.
- Do not post controversial materials. Medical doctors are held to a high degree of professionalism. Posting political or otherwise inflammatory content will only cause you to lose people’s respect.
Techwyse has served and continues to serve many medical professionals with social media optimization. Contact us today!
Steve is a Social Media Manager and Google AdWords Certified Individual at TechWyse, an internet marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. TechWyse specializes in SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing. You can read more of Steve’s writing at TechWyse.com/blog.