Medical professionals on social media carry an even bigger responsibility – you have to be aware that colleagues and potential patients are always watching!
Everyone is looking for an edge to promote their business or service and the healthcare industry is no different. One of the most powerful tools doctors have in their bag to promote them self is social media. It is a digital resource unlike any other when it comes to allowing the ability to acquire new patients, stay connected with current patients, and build relationships that prove beneficial in a multitude of ways.
Social media is hardly new to anyone at this time, yet for a number of doctors, it is still something they are not especially adept at. Sure, they are well aware of what social media is, but when it comes to harnessing that power to promote them self in a meaningful way, they are lost.
Others are fairly well aware of how to use social platforms, but choose not to out of fear that they will make mistakes that damage their reputation and possibly, their career. Regardless of experience level or sometimes irrational fears, the importance of social media has never been greater than it is now.
Doctors are human, and as humans, they tend to make the same mistakes on social media that many professionals do. Whether you have been on social media for years, or you are just beginning, these are common mistakes doctors tend to make on social media.
Not having a strategy in place
Entering into social media with no plan is no kind of entry. It’s akin to asking to fail before you even really begin. You have to know why you are using social media, how to use it, and then you have to follow through on your strategy. Blindly posting content and hoping for the best is not a strategy. Take the time to produce or procure content that will inform and engage, then follow through with conversation as necessary.
Shying away from conversation
You’re on social media to engage with people so it makes no sense to ignore people when they are trying to talk to you. If you view social media as some sort of one-sided advertisement where you shout your glories through a bullhorn and nothing more, you will fail. That is not speculation, it is fact. You have to respond to comments, listen to feedback (good or bad), and show that you are available and care enough to carry on the conversations directed toward you. Anything less is not going to work.
Remember how we said just a moment ago that social media isn’t a big one-sided advertisement? If not, we’re saying it again in a different way because it is that important for you to grasp it. Only about 20% of your posts should be aimed at promoting yourself. The remainder should be somewhat generically engaging content. It was what draws people in so that they do see the content that directly promotes you. As the song says, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Focusing on quantity over quality
It’s not all a numbers game. More in no way means better on social media. Focus on creating and sharing enough high quality content to keep people engaged, not piles of random postings in which you hope something catches on. Similarly, it’s not all about views, it’s about the quality of your views and if they come with engagement and shares. To just blindly post scads of content is a waste of everyone’s time and your money.
Not managing time and resources
Be efficient! Use tools to make your time on social media more effective. Most platforms have internal schedulers and for those that don’t, there are apps for that. This frees up more time for you to actually talk to the people commenting on your content which is what you are there for in the first place. Also, you don’t have to use every social network under the sun. Try the ones that appeal to you, but if a platform isn’t working for you or you just don’t like it, don’t waste time on it. Focus on what works!
This is self-explanatory. Don’t expect to rule the web in a week. Or month. Or ever! Go in knowing that success takes time and success is measured differently for everyone. Keep it cool and natural and don’t push! Social media is a triathlon, not a sprint.
Not setting up bio and profile picture correctly
You have to show people you take your presence on social media seriously if you want them to take you seriously. The first step in that is setting up your profiles correctly with banners, a real profile picture and all information fields filled in. If you can’t be bothered to do the basics, it looks unprofessional and no one is going to take you seriously. You have to lay the groundwork!
Not knowing the line between personal and professional
You have to know and respect the line between personal and professional. There are many aspects of your career that cannot be discussed or even alluded to online. If you cross the line, you will pay the price. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about anything to do with your career, you just have to stay aware of the legal and ethical boundaries.
Not using it at all
If you’re not using social media, that is your biggest mistake. You are missing opportunities and that is more than unfortunate, it’s almost tragic. Your possibilities online are endless, seize them before you miss the chance to benefit!