Cosmetic surgeons, by and large, accept the need to try some aspect of social media. They have a web site, a blog they post to from time to time, and send out a tweet if they think about it. But until they begin to think like a social media MD, chances are it will all end up being a major waste of time and resources.
There was a time when most people thought radio was a fad, and then TV, and then surfing the web. Unfortunately, some medical professionals are still approaching social media the same way. To think like a social media MD you have to move beyond trying Facebook or Twitter because a peer suggested it and embrace it as something that is here to stay.
Social media is not a fad. It has become the way people communicate across generational and geographic lines: friends, children and grandparents, realtors and home buyers, teachers and students, pastors and congregants, sellers and buyers, patients and doctors.
- 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 30 with 96% of them belonging to some kind of social network. Tweet This
- Women between the ages of 55 and 65 make up the fastest growing segment of Facebook users. Tweet This
- 14% of consumers say they trust advertisements. 78% say they trust the recommendations of friends on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet This
- Facebook has about 800 million users. Tweet This
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook every day. Tweet This
- The average Facebook user has 130 friends. Tweet This
- Users spend 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook. Tweet This
- Twitter has 200 million users. Tweet This
- There are 65 million tweets sent every day. Tweet This
Take the Lead
You might well need a social media manager at some point to ensure you get the best return on investment from your social media efforts. But even if you hire such a person, you still need to be the captain of your social media ship.
With Your Staff - It is vital everyone on your staff understands what you are trying to accomplish through social media. Have a brief staff meeting and lead them in looking at your web site, your blogs, and your Facebook Business Page. They need to understand your vision for who you are as a physician and what you want your practice to reflect.
Your Patients – A social media MD understands how to communicate to patients the value of the information contained in his or her web site. Long-time patients can tell if you are personally interacting with them through replies and tweets rather than delegating. That doesn’t mean you have to answer every tweet or Facebook comment yourself, but you should take a few minutes every day to do as handle as many as you can personally. Take the time to answer patients’ questions and point to your web site as an educational and support tool.
Some cosmetic surgeons see themselves as professionals unworthy of handling social media matters. But more and more medical professionals realize that, that just like every other aspect of their practices, they must lead or their social media efforts will fail. Just remember, at least 400 million people are using Facebook every single day. And a good number of them are looking for what you have to offer. What have been some of your social media experiences?