Whether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.
How has social media gone from a way for college kids to meet potential dates to a force that is literally shaping the world? Anyone arguing that this point is hyperbole needs to look no further than the 2008 presidential election, Occupy Wall Street, the 2012 elections and even “Tebowing.”
If done properly, social media and networking can benefit even the smallest of medical practices. People do not view this content as something obtrusive as they do advertising. Knowing what to do can be just as important as knowing what not to do. Let us examine social media and look at how you can better utilize this powerful tool, especially in growing your wound care center or practice.
• Do share pictures of your office or wound center, live Tweets during an event, videos, articles and live streaming.
• Do remember that generally, people do not get annoyed by interesting and valuable content regarding your brand.
• Be honest.
• Be transparent.
• Share, share, share. Spread the word on a variety of sites.
• Do treat your network as you would your friends.
• Do make sure content is updated and has value to your audience.
• Do beware of staff social networking and usage. Staff must use discretion. I strongly recommend that staff do not mention who their employer is on their personal sites. One can damage the credibility of an organization by his or her lack of judgment through misinterpretation of an innocent photo, comment or other information.
• Do not be anything less than truthful.
• Don’t simply use social media to network because it is there or because of the perception that everyone else is doing it
• Don’t post medical information that is relevant to an individual patient’s case.
• Don’t post personal photos, information, family information or political and religious views on your practice’s social networking sites. Nothing good can come from such information. You never know who is seeking such personal information and, most importantly, how they may potentially use it against you.
If the emergence and utilization of social media and networking seems to be evolving at an almost overwhelming pace, please understand you are not alone in this feeling. Remember, you already have a good basic understanding of the concepts. Try learning how to use one site at a time. Expand to other sites once your confidence grows. Make networking fun. Make it work for you but do not give into frustration and opt for avoidance.
People really are interested in you and what you have to share. Your expertise carries more credibility than any advertisement.