Social Media: Can It Be Beneficial For Your Practice?

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Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

   The practice should educate staff about the power of social networking to keep the practice strong, which Lorenz notes is directly connected to their jobs. That power can work the opposite way to hurt the practice so she advises posting with wisdom so as not to hurt the practice. Cheerful interaction on social networking sites can help boost the conversation and connect the practice with patients and potential patients, comments Lorenz.

   All passwords and accounts should be in the practice owner’s name and under the owner’s control, suggests Jackson. If a staff member set up passwords using his or her identification and that staff member leaves your practice, Jackson says control of your social networking leaves with that person.

   Jackson notes the doctor should have a guide in writing on all policies for any communications that represent the practice. One very important point, he notes, is never to use art or content of any kind that the practice does not have the rights to use, as such use is illegal and content owners may rightly pursue their rights in this regard.

In Conclusion

Not being online at all is a drawback, notes Jackson, who says that the competition is online and patients are online. In particular, the patients who are online are the ones who will be talking about your practice, emphasizes Jackson.

   Social networking “allows the practice to reach significantly higher numbers of prospective patients at very low cost,” says Jackson. “It also (because of its inherent design) enables podiatrists to reach groups of people who they have no affiliation with at all other than the connection with other professionals or companies. The reach is really quite remarkable.”

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