Social media is the future of communications. You can use it for branding, for community outreach, and you can use it for patient education. The fastest growing segment of social media consumers is populations over the age of 50, and research shows one of the primary reasons to be because they are looking for information on chronic pain and disease. For practitioners, there are also many opportunities to use social media to transform outreach and communications. What we see mostly is physicians or medical groups using platforms like Facebook or Twitter or YouTube to share information with patients and the community. We also find that very simple mobile based devices like text messaging to be convenient and powerful ways to convert one to one communications into one to many communications from physician to patient populations.
The real power of social media is that all of the platforms can be integrated together to create one very broad and compelling message from your office to your clientele, and it’s important to think about creating an identity for your practice across multiple platforms. Some of the names of the tools, like Twitter and Flickr and Hulu are kind of silly, and it’s hard to take them seriously, especially for white collar professionals. But the tools offer tremendous opportunity and advantage for changing the way we communicate with our clientele.