Is it time for urologists to get on board with social networking?

June 1, 2010

In the Internet Age, it's all about making sure that Google ranks you on page one in position one.

Key Points

Urologists, like other physicians, have either adapted to, ignored, or embraced the Internet and all it has to offer. Just as physician practices have changed, the Internet has also changed in the last 10 years. One notable development is "social networking," a term that generally describes using the Internet to reach out and share information with friends, clients, and colleagues. After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of social networking and how it can be used to maximize your practice's online presence.

Blogging and you

Another benefit of a blog is the ability to provide an additional line of conversation with both existing and potential patients. Instead of simply stating facts, you can add some personality. For instance, when one of the authors (Dr. Baum) was recently on a bike-riding vacation, he wrote about the dangers of bike seats causing erectile dysfunction. This kind of writing will appeal to those who enjoy a more informal description of their problems. Every post can potentially reference and link back to your Web site for more information. As a result, Google will provide search results for your Web site, videos, and blog posts, and you will find yourself taking one of the top positions on page one. For anyone in search of a urologist, you become the obvious choice.

Facebook, Twitter: Not just for teens

Are Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/) and Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/) something just your teenagers use? Would you believe Facebook and Twitter can be used for networking and marketing?

Of the two, Facebook is easier to understand. Aside from your personal Facebook profile, you can also form a group that others can join and create a professional profile that others can follow. If you are collecting your patients' e-mail addresses, you can promote these pages to them and have a new, efficient way to communicate with them.

Twitter is a platform used for microblogging, with each "tweet" limited to 140 characters. The idea is to follow others who you are interested in, and others, in turn, follow you. The goal of Twitter is building relationships. Through Twitter, we have learned invaluable marketing tips, discovered new blogs and Web sites, and networked with some fantastic folks. Twitter can help attract new patients to your office as well as enable you to refer others to colleagues around the country.