2 Common Myths Doctors and Other Healthcare Professionals Avoid Social Media
by Designer Rob Russo, Creative Director of MediaDoc Marketing
So many doctors and other healthcare professionals avoid social media marketing and networking — at least beyond a personal Facebook profile — for two reasons. Most in the healthcare industry do not take advantage of social media, blogging and most forms of marketing and advertising, really, because they believe two common myths: 1. Doctors are afraid to share too much information online. (Think HIPAA privacy laws, etc.) and 2. Healthcare professionals don’t have the time to spend on marketing efforts or any advertising, really, beyond taking out an annual ad in the Yellow Pages.
Today we will break down those two common myths and find solutions for doctors and other healthcare professionals, helping them break through these social media marketing roadblocks.
- Myth1: Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals Can’t Share Information on Social Media. False. While it is true you can’t (nor should you!) share private information of an individual patient, there is a plethora of health and wellness tips, suggestions and guidelines you can share. Focus on your area of expertise and become the online expert in that department. So you avoid mention of Patient John Smith’s diagnosis of diabetes. But regular posts about healthy eating habits, tips on managing sugar intake, common symptoms and explanations of the top warning signs of
diabetes would be welcome information many would appreciate. And then, of course, during Patient John’s next office visit, you can point him to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. He can follow his doctor’s advice there, using the reminders and updates to keep on track after his appointment.
- Myth 2: Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals Don’t Have Time for Social Media. False. Once your have defined your focus and dialed in to your niche, updating your various social media channels does not have to be a massive time suck. There are management tools that can assist in uploading posts and you don’t have to be overwhelmed by all of the social media networks. Find the top one or two you enjoy — and your patients utilize, of course — and start there. In addition, expert social media managers like ME Marketing Services exist (see Mandy’s previous post Facebook & Doctor’s Offices) to help you stay in touch with your patients and take advantage of these marketing possibilities while freeing your time up to do what you do best — providing the best care.Realize the truth and take advantage of this marketing potential, doctors! While online health tips and other information will never provide equivalent care or replace the need for face-to-face time with a healthcare provider, patients will appreciate your online presence and value the knowledge shared. Patients can learn everything from common symptoms of a specific disease to basic nutrition advice for healthy living online, on their own time. Then, the doctor’s valuable time in one’s actual appointment time will be maximized for individual, specialized care.
Are you a healthcare professional scared to take the first step with social media? Or, are you a patient that values your health and would appreciate your doctor’s advice on social media networks?
Designer Rob Russo has a strong background in advertising and marketing and a love for social media which he puts to good use as Co-Founder & Creative Director of MediaDoc Marketing. He has worked with companies both large and small designing logos, print ads, websites, brochures, newsletters and more. Rob helps businesses — especially solopreneurs and start-ups — develop engaging marketing plans and an eye-catching brand identity. Otherwise, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and kids (and flock of chickens) on their family homestead. Oh, if you like to tweet, you can follow Rob and/or follow MediaDoc Marketing on Twitter.