Social media is NOT new to today’s young ophthalmologists. You millennial generation eye doctors probably began using Facebook in college to stay in touch with old friends, began using Twitter to follow the lives of famous public figures and began blogging years ago to share photos and other updates with friends and family.
What is new is using this innate familiarity with social media to build a professional brand. Here are five online platforms to get you started and give your career a boost.
Recognized as the largest social media network in the world, Facebook has more than 1 billion users worldwide and more than 150 million users in the United States. It has become increasingly business friendly and allows you to easily separate your personal and professional personas.
Once you have established a practice-based Facebook page, consider identifying a social media–savvy employee to be the designated Facebook business manager. Facebook advertisements — an excellent way to grow your business presence — allow you to target users within a specific geographic area and age range while manipulating other demographics. You can easily track ads’ success via up-to-date Facebook analytics, which highlight page views and generated likes.
With more than 280 million active users, Twitter has become one of the most widely used social media platforms, and in recent years, it’s become increasingly used by physicians and other medical professionals.
Use Twitter to notify yourself of important medical and news updates by following the feeds of medical journals, news sources, local community businesses and other users who tweet content in which you are interested. And be sure to tweet information presented at professional meetings using official conference hashtags such as #AAO2014.
As most young ophthalmologists are aware, a blog is a website where short entries or blog posts are published. Blogging allows immediate publication of content, which is indexed by search engines and easily found by others interested in similar information.
Consider adding a blog section to your practice website and publishing frequently or submitting editorial blog posts to already established blogs, such as those sponsored by professional organizations, academic journals, universities, advocacy groups or online magazines.
LinkedIn and Doximity
With more than 332 million members, LinkedIn is the premier social media resource for professional networking and consistently ranks highly in Google searches. Doximity is a similar platform to LinkedIn but is designed just for medical professionals.
Using a resume-based format, consider using both LinkedIn and Doximity to highlight your training background and professional interests while making valuable connections with colleagues in other industries, expanding your referral network and further building your professional brand.
Unlike many of the more senior ophthalmologists currently in practice, today’s young ophthalmologists were essentially raised using social media and have a unique skillset that can benefit any academic center or private practice setting. Strategic use of these five platforms can therefore give your career a boost as you begin to develop your ophthalmology practice and build a professional brand.
Many thanks to Dr. James Chelnis for co-authoring this article and to the Young Ophthalmologist committee for encouragement of all things YO