Social media can be a great way to expand exposure for a practice or physician; however, there are many dos-and-don’ts to understand when signing up for a social platform.
Social media continues to show its importance to the practice, physician, and patient by providing physicians with the platform to spread accurate information to the public, arming the practice with free marketing for services and products, and giving access for patients to ask questions to experts in the field.
In a recent session at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, held March 25 to 29, in Boston, Massachusetts, experts rounded up their top tips and tricks to make social media work best for business needs.
Kavita Mariwalla, MD, Maxim Polansky, MD, and Muneeb Shah, DO, came together to give the audience a “how-to” guide on the basics.
For this, they suggested to post on social media accounts at a consistent pace, ie. once or twice a day. It’s good to be flexible with what social platforms to use on a certain day. Switch it up and use Instagram one day and Twitter the next.
The presenters noted that it helps to find your niche and run with it—think Dr Miami, or Dr Pimple Popper. Doing this can help narrow down a target audience to reach. Show your personality online but, be careful to not cause too much controversy, they said.
Social media can be hard work with sometimes small reward, but tagging, following, and making comments on other accounts can help garner interest. The presenters also said that buying followers to get started is not the way to go.
Social media inherently comes with internet trolls. Trolls are known as accounts that comment or respond to posts, usually in a confrontational manner, or to get a rise out of the original poster.
When this happens, the presenters recommended blocking and reporting them on the platform. You can respond, but mostly, this will only embolden the commenter to continue. It’s important to remember that people are always watching, and sometimes replying to a troll only looks bad on you. As a physician first, sometimes it’s better to just let it go, they said.
As a physician, many may have partnerships with companies that could expand to social media. If a company reaches out for partnership using social media, it’s important to ask:
When posting from a partnering company or showing products gifted by a company, it needs to be disclosed. Many use the hashtags #ad, #sponsored, and #brandpartner. When items are gifted, many viewers understand the use of the word PR as a clarification.
The presenters continued that, just like in conference presentations, do not copy the intellectual property of other colleagues, post pictures of patients without their written consent, or alter before and after photos.
Lastly, they highlighted their recommendations for apps to use when editing images and creating a landing page for any “Link in Bio” items.
For editing pictures to put on social media, the presenters recommended:
Their favorite “Link in Bio” options included:
Mariwalla K, Polansky MA, Shah M. Don’t be an online tool: #winning in the age of social media. Presented at: 2022 American Academy Dermatology Association Annual Meeting; March 25-29, 2022; Boston, MA.