1. Always be professional and mindful of privacy (and hipaa). Encourage a follow-up connection by phone or at an office visit when patients complain or overshare on social media.
2. Sign up for Google Alerts. Track yourself and your specialty to find blogs to respond to, hear what people are saying about you and your specialty, and catch and correct errors in ratings sites.
3. Find a champion or be a champion. If you’re in a private practice and don’t have an interest in social media, find out if one of your colleagues is savvy. Work out a system to share the workload. And if you’re secretly a social expert, volunteer to take the lead in your practice.
4. Be where your audience is. For example, Facebook might be an essential communication platform for a pediatrics practice, but it might not be an effective way to reach patients for narrow subspecialties.
5. Provide content. Blend original, supplied, generic and curated content for frequent and current social postings.
6. Know legal and organizational limits. Use disclaimers where appropriate, seek appropriate advice, and learn and follow your organization’s social media policies.
7. Keep boundaries. Know the difference between your personal Facebook and a company page, and maintain appropriate boundaries between personal and practice connections.