Why to Rethink Social Media for Doctors & Physicians
Physicians are some of the busiest people on the planet, right? So, for medical doctors putting time into social media is just not feasible. Or is it?
Read more about social media for doctor's offices and social media for physicians on an individual level:
Social media for doctors is a new territory of healthcare that changes every day. Physicians, in many cases, have opted out of the traditional social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram- so they don’t have to deal with crossing professional appropriateness, or HIPAA. Another reason? They don’t have the time or resources. But for clinic leaders, keeping your doctor's social media up to date is a necessary evil when marketing staff just isn’t possible.
But what if there were great mutual benefits to having active social media accounts—both for the physician and the patient? With a small investment in time, a medical practice could reap major rewards for specific areas of a medical practice and a career.
For connecting with the community, traditional channels can be used to make consumers aware of your practice including setting up a Twitter account, a professional Facebook page and a LinkedIn professional account. For example, did you know that LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked platforms for getting to a more professional audience? It’s great for highlighting a physician’s expertise, for creating and strengthening relationships with patients and prospective patients, and more. Content that can be shared on these channels include:
- Office News: New hires, hours of operation, services, staff profiles
- Seasonal Updates: Back to school vaccinations, protect your skin this summer, etc.
- Shared Posts: Interesting medical articles from trusted sources, new studies
- Feel Good Stories: Patient success stories (with permission)
What are the benefits of doing this? Increased patient engagement and retention, building trust in the community and discovering what people care about through comments and feedback. Many physicians have found success in using the forums, posting and receiving recommendations and endorsements that can also build their awareness in the local professional community.
Social Media can also be used in professional networking and development, as well as peer collaboration. Running a medical practice is based on relationships and is bolstered by ready access to new information. Plus, physicians are natural teachers who are often eager to share findings or ask probing questions. Here are some physician-friendly social media channels where medical doctors like to gather:
The largest private network of physicians in the country, with more than half of all U.S. physicians as members. This platform promotes collaboration across specialties and academic medical centers. Physicians can also earn CME/CE credits and send HIPPA-secure faxes from mobile devices.
A social network for fully verified, licensed physicians. The site boasts 800,000 verified physicians from around the world from 96 specialties and subspecialties, representing 40 percent of the American physician community. SERMO’s mission is to provide physicians with a safe, private, and trusted platform for free and open discussions about medicine.
One of the largest online physician communities and collaboration platforms. Members share real-life experiences from clinical practices nationwide and engage directly with healthcare institutions to meet a variety of objectives that reduce costs and improve the quality of care. These platforms can be a way for your physician to begin to access the advantages of social media for your clinic without blurring the lines between doctor and patient.
Want to learn more about the “hows” and “whys” of social media for physicians? Check out these articles: