7 social media platforms every urologist should use

November 11, 2015

With 87% of all adults using the Internet and 70% of all millennials searching for a doctor online, it’s become essential for every health care professional to cultivate an online presence, and social media is the quickest route to establishing it.

With 87% of all adults using the Internet and 70% of all millennials searching for a doctor online, it’s become essential for every health care professional to cultivate an online presence, and social media is the quickest route to establishing it.  

Also Read: Twitter’s benefits extend beyond ‘social’ aspects

Nick van Terheyden, MD, defines social media as “a platform for interactions where individuals can interact, create, share, obtain, and exchange information and ideas using web-based and mobile technologies to create dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals.” In these interactions, always remember to remain professional and maintain patient confidentiality.

Through sites like Facebook or Twitter, you are not only able to proactively control and communicate who you are and what you do, but you can also create a forum to educate patients before they turn to unreliable, and often harmful, websites for professional medical advice.

You can even use these resources to educate yourself on the latest health news and partake in field-specific journal clubs. Can’t make it to a major conference or meeting? You can feel like you are there by simply following the Twitter hashtag of the conference.

You might also like: Social media: Why you need to be involved

Think of social media as simply being able to hand a personalized information pamphlet to anyone with an Internet connection.

To help you get started, here’s an overview of the seven core social media sites urologists should be using.

1. Facebook

Facebook is the quintessential social media site, with 213 million active users in North America alone, which makes it a must-have in your social media tool kit. Users post updates, photos, and links, play online games; and use a built-in private messaging app for direct communication.

You’ll want to create a Facebook page for your practice (not the same as your personal profile) and post content here on a daily basis. This could take a variety of forms, including promoting your professional blog to posting what’s new in your practice to listing links to external articles or sites you think your followers would find helpful.

2. LinkedIn

Best described as a professional social networking site, LinkedIn is your avenue to finding jobs and headhunting for your practice.

Once you create your profile, you’ll want to keep your profile up to date-including your credentials, published works, and skills. These will all help you find, be found, and connect with other professionals, all on a single site.

 3. Doximity

Doximity is similar to LinkedIn, except it’s specifically tailored to the medical community. Although Doximity is free to join (as are all the sites listed here), you will have to undergo a verification process, which exists to ensure only physicians, medical students, and clinically practicing health care professionals are registered.

With the ability to securely access your account and send messages from a desktop or mobile device, this is a powerful way to collaborate with other physicians, as well as share and receive the latest in medical news.

 4. Twitter

Twitter is an abridged version of Facebook, allowing users to post content that’s up to 140 characters long (called “Tweets”) and post links directing followers to external sites.

Twitter is great for communicating in short bursts-a fact, quote, or quip, for example. There are also tools for your blog that allow users to “Tweet” content directly from your blog with one click, which their followers can then use to navigate back to your site.

NEXT: Twitter, Instagram, Figure1 and periscope

 

5. Instagram

Instagram is an immensely popular photo-sharing site, where users upload photos and short videos. Photos/videos can be edited before posting by applying “filters” to enhance the color or add a creative flair.

Get creative-post photos of the practice or show the extra, unseen work that you do to ensure your patients are getting the best care possible. Instagram can auto-post to a linked Twitter or Facebook account, building extra content for your profiles on those sites.

6. Figure1

As Doximity is to LinkedIn, so is Figure1 to Instagram. Health care professionals can use Figure1 to view and share photos, with the platform offering advanced features such as the ability to conceal identifying features on photos to ensure that patient confidentiality is upheld.

Figure1 is yet another great tool for collaboration and discourse, with other doctors being able to comment and hypothesize on the same content from more than 100 different countries.

7. Periscope

Periscope is a mobile-based, live video-streaming app, which lets you put a face and voice to the rest of the online content you are providing.

While not something you would use daily, Periscope is useful in building rapport with your followers. Consider using it for an “Ask Me Anything” session or for a brief information session. But keep your content educational-you’re not providing direct consulting advice, nor are you sharing patient details.

Conclusion

The many platforms available to connect and communicate online can seem overwhelming, but understand it’s actually that variety that will give you more exposure and allow you to proactively and effectively educate your followers, as well as keep yourself current and educated.

Start your social media journey by following me on these sites today!

https://www.facebook.com/jaminbrahmbhatt

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaminbrahmbhatt