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    Marketing your practice on social media platforms

    Maximizing online, social media presence takes work, but potentially has massive gains

     

    Check your online presence

    Do an online search of your name and your practice to see what you find, Dr. Cockerham recommended. Go beyond just the first page to read what information comes up. See where you can add your picture on certain sites (such as sites that aggregate information about doctors), and have a staff member verify that factual information is accurate--this can include your location, website, and phone number.

     

    1. Twitter

    Twitter is a great way to educate patients, but it is underutilized right now within ophthalmology, Dr. Abugo said.

    Twitter is important because you can influence via education. This is an area where ophthalmology is lacking behind other specialties,” she said.

    The specialty of plastic surgery shines ahead of other specialties in its usage of Twitter, both on the part of surgeons as well as to report research findings, Dr. Abugo said.

    “When you have effective communication [on Twitter], you gain followers, which equals more patients, which equals more money,” she said.

    If you are unsure what to tweet on Twitter, you can set up Google alerts on specific topics, and the alert system can automatically post to your Twitter account, Dr. Abugo explained.

    2. Instagram and Snapchat.

    Both of these social media apps can help mold the landscape for future patients, especially younger ones, Dr. Abugo said. In fact, some younger patients will turn to an app like Instagram for medical information before they use an online search engine, she explained.

    Both are used to share photos and short recorded stories, and hashtags are used to lead people to view them. Use these apps to post live surgeries and Q & A sessions, Dr. Abugo suggested. Add appropriate search terms with hashtags to lead people to your posts—for example, #eye or #uveitis.

    Facebook, YouTube

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