So far in this series, we have concentrated on what to avoid posting on social media and the potential dangers of social media. But with Facebook boasting more than 1.8 billion monthly users and Twitter having upwards of 300 million active users, it would be a mistake to ignore the positive impact that social media can have on a successful medical practice. When used appropriately, social media can benefit your organization while still maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy.
Communicating with patients
Social media can be a great tool for communicating general information regarding your practice including availability, office policies, appointment scheduling, and websites. It can be a great place to provide links that directly connect your patients with secure websites where they can log in and access their information.
Educating your patients
Social media can also be used to educate your patients on common conditions that you treat, procedures you perform, medical symptoms, events in the news, and emerging technology. You can also provide pictures and biographies on physicians and medical staff.
Interacting with your patients
Though the internet is certainly not a great medium to share private information, it can be a great platform for a general Q&A type conversation. Some practices have found success setting up scheduled hours to answer questions directed at a Facebook or Twitter page. For practices with a high volume of traffic on social media, you might even want to designate a member of the staff to respond to postings.
When used correctly, social media can take a medical practice to the next level by utilizing the existing platforms to reach current and potential patients already accessing social media daily.
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