Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you know that social media marketing is the newest, hottest trend in medical practice marketing right now. The unserious, fun way of communication that once was a simple website you should probably become a part of to monitor your children’s online persona, is now a vital tool used to reach patients and colleagues, alike. Social media is no longer the nonchalant, often illusive, site that sucks away your personal time, it is now the very impossible-to-ignore tool that can suck away your patients if you do not invest the time necessary for its various networks. In just a few years, social media has successfully crossed the bridge from being a personal hobby to a necessity for a successful business.
So, let us say that you know the ins and out of social media from your own personal accounts. You know how to like your daughter’s engagement photo, or comment on your son’s wildly inappropriate status, or retweet your wife’s loving message to you, right? While ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ and ‘retweeting’ are straightforward, they take on an entirely different meaning when it comes to managing a business social network. It is much easier to create and endorse a post that will only be seen by close friends, than it is to create and endorse posts that will be viewed by patients and others in your field. Suddenly, you have a much more formal audience to critique every piece of news you share with them. That engagement photo turns into a colleague’s review in a journal that could be controversial, and that comment you leave on a status becomes your officially documented opinion as a physician. When dealing with business social networks, simple social networking evolves into social media marketing, an entirely different animal that comes with higher stakes and higher consequences.
The question now is, do you risk taking on social media marketing yourself, or do you outsource it to experts? Unless you are a physician that also has a Communications degree, along with the time to read and learn about the constantly changing landscape of social media, leave it to the experts. While personal social networking is yours for the taking, social media marketing for your business requires an expert’s eye as to what content will be received well, or poorly, by your patients and colleagues. This does not mean that you need to be hands-off when it comes to your professional social networks, but it does mean that it is important to retain a trained eye to manage how you are creating and maintaining your online reputation.
Face it, your day is spent with your patients, and rightly so. When do you have the time, even if you did have the expertise, to create and manage content for multiple online social networks? Fortunately, as social media becomes the newest, hottest trend, more professionals are becoming social media experts that spend their time consulting clients just like you. Do not miss this trend in medical practice marketing today; contact RX Medical Web for more information on our own social media offerings.