Social media may be the only form of free advertisement to ever exist. It’s an excellent platform for business owners and medical professionals to promote their practices, establish relationships with their existing and potential patients and to establish an expert social media presence in their given field. However, with little-to-no official regulation, it’s easy to self-sabotage your medical practice on social media. Here are 5 things to do if you want to destroy your online presence.
- Post irrelevant content to ride the coat tails of trending topics. Using hashtags that are trending on Twitter is a great way to have your tweets seen. However, if the trending topic isn’t relevant to your medical practice than you’re joining in on an A-B conversation where you’re most likely to be talked over and ignored. Using trending topics just to get your tweets seen will only earn negative attention.
- Wear social media “earmuffs.” Social media platforms exist to foster communication between businesses and individuals. Posting a tweet is exactly the same as starting a conversation. If followers reply to a tweet and you don’t reciprocate, you’re essentially ignoring them. Although it may seem that the goal is to post as much and as often as you can— if you’re not listening to your followers— you’re not fostering a positive relationship and maintaining a positive web presence.
- Automate and schedule all of your posts. Scheduling posts is viewed as an ultimate time-saver, but scheduling posts too far in advance can lead to irrelevance. Also, automated responses can be viewed as announcements, or advertisements, which is a turnoff to followers. When scheduling posts, try not to schedule anything more than a week in advance to stay on top of what’s going on in your industry. Automated responses to new follows or responses to comments lacks personality and come across to followers as robotic. Take the time to respond individually, even if it takes a few days or a week, that extra personal response will have a greater reward in follower satisfaction!
- Get caught up in an internet hoax. Internet hoaxes swim around the internet at top speeds thanks to social media. Don’t let your online reputation be jeopardized by getting caught in a hoax trap. Before retweeting or sharing content always make sure it is coming from a reliable, credible source. Retweeting or sharing content from professional societies and associations is a safe practice for medical professionals.
- Posting for posting’s sake. If you’re just tweeting to tweet, or blogging to blog, you’re not showing your followers that you are providing them with valuable information. There is such a thing as a “slow news day,” so instead of posting something that isn’t of quality, just abstain from social media activity that day to preserve your online presence.
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