Are you a doctor looking to raise awareness of a medical topic or expand your brand? Turns out you aren’t alone. Over one third of consumers now use social media sites for health-related conversations, including fertility-related topics. Patients and doctors are embracing the power of Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to engage, educate, and network.
During an event at the 2016 Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS) Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, two leading fertility doctors– Dr. Serena Chen of IRMS at Saint Barnabas and Dr. Kristin Bendikson of USC Fertility– shared their insights and professional successes from embracing social media into their routine practice. They hoped to share best practices so that other doctors can join and continue to engage the online community.
A few tidbits we picked up from the docs during the event:
– Look before you leap: Is your goal to increase brand awareness? Spread knowledge? Be sure to define your social media strategy and explore which platforms will allow you to connect with your target audience.
– Be a contributor, not a lurker: Get the most out of your social media presence by posting often and responding to comments to build a rapport with followers. Avoid duplicate posts and be conscious of timing!
– Avoid separation anxiety: Feel comfortable creating separate personal and professional social media accounts, just as you would create separation between your life and work.
– Don’t forget your #hashtags!: Adding 1-2 hashtags to a post has shown to boost likes by 21%. But beware of going #hashtaghappy, as >3 hashtags can decrease likes by 17%.
– Do you know your Twitter Dictionary? Learn the fertility lingo to connect with others and aggregate posts:
#2WW: 2 Week Wait, #TTC: Trying to Conceive, #BD: Baby Dance (sex), #BFP: Big Fat Positive, #BFN: Big Fat Negative
– Use the professional guidelines to help you navigate: In February 2015, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a Committee Opinion that encourages the use of social media in medicine and provides guidance on ways to limit professional liability. Learn more here.
If you’d like to hear more useful tips, watch Dr. Chen’s full presentation on YouTube. If you have great tips to share, post them using the hashtag #DocsTweetToo. We’ll be waiting to read and share!