19 Apr This Doctor's View on Social Media and Medicine
I’m going to Chicago this weekend to talk about Social Media and medicine!
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) has its annual meeting this year in Chicago. Ophthalmology Management, an ophthalmology business development company, and Allergan are hosting a “roundtable” discussion on the use of social media in ophthalmology.
Allergan has a business development division whose experts provide guidance to medical practices. I have been invited to participate and will be sharing what I have learned from you and this blog.
Every Website Must Be a Blog
Any modern website should be a blog. There is no reason to use the old-fashioned so-called “HTML generators” (e.g. Microsoft FrontPage, Dreamweaver). Blogging “software” has the same versatility as the older programs, but blogs have the unique ability to allow the reader (you) to leave a comment at the end of each article.
The ability to “comment” is the single reason blogs have become so powerful. The “comment” allows the reader to engage by asking a question or sharing some experience.
Blogs, therefore, are the purest form of social media.
Every Website Must Offer Value….and for Free!
If you have no value, you can not generate traffic…aka interest in your website. Simply Tweeting or posting on Facebook about your website will do nothing if you do not have valuable content. And, oh yes, your content must be refreshed regularly (ever go to a website that hasn’t been changed in a while?).
The value of this website is my ability, as an authority on retinal diseases, to share my knowledge of retinal diseases. My articles help educate my patients and those non-patients surfing and looking for answers to their health related questions.
Giving value for free is also integral to developing a following. “Free” generates trust. Trust builds relationships.
“Comments” Attract More “Comments”
I try to answer every comment left on this website. By doing so, it invites future readers to leave a comment.
There are several aspects of the “comment” that are powerful. Comments help engage other readers who have the same problem. While reading one of my articles might attract your attention, identifying with another reader who shares the same problem is the most engaging.
My participation in this “conversation” demonstrates a willingness to engage my patients, gives me the opportunity to explain my practice philosophy and gives you a sense of my “bedside manner.” This “transparency” is the most compelling aspect of my blog.
Scarcity Marketing and Medicine
Scarcity Marketing says that if I own the only restaurant in town, I don’t have to have the best food or the best service.
The Internet provides information (this website, for example). Patients are now more knowledgeable about their own health conditions, ergo, the value of the doctor has decreased. Knowledge has empowered patients to be more selective in their choice of caretakers. Doctors can no longer use knowledge to leverage their own value.
Physicians of today must learn how to be transparent, both as a person and as a business owner, to survive in this new era of social media. The digital age and social media are making modern medicine a consumer driven market!
Would you agree?