While having a social media presence is a relatively new idea for physicians, advantages to building an online presence as a practitioner include making professional connections and taking control of your own reputation. If you have decided that you want to be on social media, the immediate consideration is how to do it well. It’s worthwhile spending a little energy deciding what your social media strategy will be.
Start simple. There is no need to join Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms all at once. Each platform has its own personality and culture, and each takes time to understand and use to your advantage. The medical profession inherently carries risk of burnout, so don’t let tending to social media keep you away from practicing.
Keep it positive and helpful. If you are representing yourself as a professional, you need to establish a positive and informative presence. Steer away from controversial topics and focus on helping people.
Connect with readers. Decide to whom you are speaking and use language that educates without alienating your audience. Are you talking to moms? Other medical professionals? Prospective employers? Consider your readers carefully with every post you make.
Include images. This is a social media rule that applies across the board, whether personal or professional. Pictures attract readers. A 2014 study on eMarketer confirms that 87 percent of shared Facebook posts include photos. Be sure to include a profile photo.