5 Social Media Tips for Physicians

As a physician, have you ever thought to utilize social media as a means to accelerate your career? Social media is a great tool for educating the population, collaborating with colleagues, and advocating for topics you are passionate about. 

Here is a list of how to create your online presence as a physician as well as what not to do through social media:

5 Social Media Tips for Physicians:

  1. Create professional profiles. It is paramount that you do not mix your professional and personal profiles. Make sure all the information on your professional account is accurate and that you are easily searchable. The principle of providing safety and accurate information, should always be at the forefront of your profiles.
  1. You may share patient stories (with great caution), but never offer medical advice on social media. With your employer’s policies and permissions, as well as HIPAA or PIPEDA in mind, sharing certain patient stories can create an educational atmosphere to your social media accounts. Having said that, these stories often spark discussion in the comment section of your post, or you may receive direct messaging regarding certain medical conditions similar to those mentioned in the stories. Do not offer any specific medical advice to anyone that you have not met and are not able to perform a full medical evaluation on. Just stick to general health tips, and encourage them to seek medical attention with their own physician.
  1. You can demonstrate your values and skills as a physician through social media, and network with like-minded colleagues. Make sure to keep all of your professional accounts up-to-date, include daily creative content such as short updates or blogs, and showcase any projects you are working on outside of your daily profession. Your contents will draw attention from like-minded physicians who may follow you, which will help increase your online presence. In addition, you may follow colleagues that you admire and comment on their posts to engage those individuals. This practice may also teach you how to further utilize your social media based on their practices.
  1. Pick and choose which comments and messages you answer to. Try to engage all valid comments and messages. Being ignored will likely have a user thinking twice about visiting your page more than once. Social media is a tool for communication with your followers, so make sure to stay engaged! Having said that, do ignore the internet trolls. They are simply looking to offer false information and create disturbance. 
  1. Keep a schedule and post consistently. This is critical, especially during the early stages of trying to build your online platform. It shows your followers that you are committed to providing valuable content and cultivating an online community for your audiences.