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Dr. Day presents her best tips on approaching social media channels as a tool to engage with potential patients, knowing your audience and sharing the latest science and trends in dermatology.
What used to be “the wild, wild west” of social media has evolved to a more familiar landscape, but it requires a savvy approach in order to make the most of this tool, says Doris Day, M.D., of New York, who presented on the topic at the recent Music City SCALE meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Day, who describes herself as a dermatologist, artist, journalist and world traveler, has embraced social media with a vibrant presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
As you ponder “What is appropriate for a medical doctor to post on social media?” you might also ask yourself these two questions, she says:
How much of your story is about you, the person? How much is about your professionalism?
If you’re already active on social media, you may be driven by “likes” and the level of interaction between you and your followers. It’s true that more engagement usually yields more followers. And if you’re not active, but think you want to be, you, too, can consider Dr. Day’s advice to make the most of being social.
#1 BE CONSISTANT
Post regularly, daily or weekly, and ideally at the same time.
People will know when to look for you.
#2 DON’T OVERDO
You needn’t spend hours constructing and editing videos. You’re already busy enough. Just ensure that your content is authentic and keep up with technology as best you can.
Dr. Day uses the Canva program for graphics. “It definitely can be challenging at first, but stick with it, and it gets easier,” she says.
#3 THINK, THEN POST
Think ahead about what you want your post to say and how it should look. Go for an interesting mix of content. If you choose engaging content, add a picture or graphic to go with it - you can locate plenty for free.
#4 RELATE AND BE YOU
Dr. Day wants patients to get to know her as a human being who’s relatable. She also shares when something nice happens in the office, or someone wins an award, or she sees a beautiful flower or scene that marries perfectly with an inspirational quote, ideally relating to dermatology. She might share a special family moment.
“If I think this is interesting, I’m hoping my followers will too,” she says. “Content should be a reflection of who you are.”
#5 SHARE THE NEWS
Yes, she posts about the latest science and trends in dermatology, for that’s her expertise and patients want to see more.
When they are links to articles, they usually run on her Facebook or Twitter pages or as part of the Linktree on her Instagram pages. Linktree is a free tool for optimizing your Instagram traffic. This summer, for example, she’s posted about ticks and mosquitos - research and safety tips. Post articles in which you’re quoted, and those that you think readers will like from other news sources, she says.
#6 STAY THE COURSE
Don’t get too graphic, for the average person isn’t a physician.
“Remember, too that representatives from RUC (RVS Update Committee) and others you might not expect look at your content,” she says. “When you post a procedure, you may be ‘giving away the magic,’ and you can alienate a potential patient, or you may be giving the wrong impression about how complicated, or not, a procedure may be.
“That includes so many of the before-and-after photos I see posted, which I feel can drive more people away than to you,” she says. “People don’t know what to look for and they may judge based on factors not related to the work done.”
#7 LAY THE GROUNDWORK
Think of your posts as an introduction to you, as an icebreaker, and a way to get comfortable before the patient meets you in person or a way to continue to build trust with patients already in your practice.
“The office visit will be easier when they come in with trust and a connection,” she says. “Be patient and your followers will increase, especially if you’re authentic and true to yourself and do things that make sense to you. You really will be successful.”