There are ten words every Social Media Physician will do well to remember. Before you print them out and post them where they will always be seen, consider these two brief snippets of wisdom;
Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it. – Chris Pirillo Tweet This
A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is. - Scott Cook Tweet This
Positive – Your name is your most valuable asset. Keep that in mind with anything and everything you post. Reviews may be biased, and tweets may be misleading, but you cannot afford to respond in kind. Always be constructive not destructive.
Public – Every tweet, comment, and reply to a review has the potential for going viral. Never assume you can undo a moment of carelessness on the Internet. As we noted earlier in “On-Line Comments: A Two Edged Sword”, medical practices have to be careful how they respond to comments and reviews. It is easy to make the matter worse rather than better with an improper response to a negative review or comment.
Respect– If you refer to someone else’s work give it due credit. Listen and respond to comments as though everyone is on an equal playing field. No one likes to be talked down to. Respect the views and ideas of those you interact with. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree –just do it constructively. You can write in an authoritative way without appearing arrogant.
Concerned – Be responsive and show interest in what others are saying. There is a reason it’s called SOCIAL media. TV, radio and print media push information. All take a “look at me” approach. Social media, on the other hand, implies a two-way street of communication. Picking up new followers is relatively easy but losing them is even easier. Remember to thank followers for comments on your posts and tweets, answer questions when posed, engage in conversations, and take time to read what others are saying and leave comments.
Relevant – Your posts need to be current and reflect that you are at the forefront of the cosmetic surgery conversation. People can tell if you had nothing to say but said something anyway. Dated articles, quotes, and links are a negative.
Accurate – Always check your facts and links before posting anything. Again, the goal of a social media physician is to join the conversation as an authority.
Standards – This is ignored far too often in all Internet communications and shows disrespect for your followers and audience. Avoid all offensive language (swearing and offensive terminology) and work to eliminate grammatical and spelling errors. Put simply, people will not follow poorly written blogs and will not retweet badly written tweets.
Consistency – It is essential to be consistent in the form and frequency of your posts. Before engaging in any type of social media, take some time to think through the way you want to be perceived. Being consistent requires a bit of discipline but the results are more than worth it.
Review - Before posting any blog, tweet, comment, or email, read through what you have written. Does it meet live up to the standards set in these words? Make sure you will not be inadvertently misunderstood just because you were in a hurry. There is no way to ensure everyone will take what you write the way you meant it but you can at least make sure you agree with what you just wrote.