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    How to choose the right social media platform for your practice

    Patricia RedsickerDermatologists and other physicians should choose their platforms wisely because different people hang out in different virtual places, according to Patricia Redsicker, social media manager for the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and a former social media consultant for dermatologists and others.

    READ: How to launch a successful social media campaign

    “You can’t really be having the same conversations on Facebook that you do on Twitter,” Redsicker says. “Sadly, I have seen many professionals blasting the same content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn [and] everywhere, as if the same audience hangs out equally on the same platforms.”

    Dermatologists, for example, might want to have two types of productive conversations on social media. One goal could be to draw new people to a dermatology practice website.

    “Facebook would be a great place to have those conversations. …especially if you’re a business-to-consumer type of business, Facebook is really where you need to be. So, content that you publish on your blog, you have to make sure it finds its way onto your Facebook page,” Redsicker says.

    If the dermatologist’s second goal is to virtually converse with others in the industry, including doctors, researchers and thought leaders, Twitter might be a more relevant destination for those conversations, according to Redsicker.

    There are also social media sites that some dermatologists might want to avoid, according to Redsicker. Dermatologists should be careful with using SnapChat, for example. The problem with physicians using SnapChat, according to Redsicker, is it has a bad reputation because teenagers and younger kids tend to use it for not-so-proper activities.

    “That’s why … you have to have a strategy upfront [of] not only where you’re going to be conducting your social media conversations, but what kinds of conversations you are going to have on each platform,” Redsicker says.

    RECOMMENDED: Why social media is important in dermatology 

    Another thing to keep in mind: Platforms change, according to Adam Mamelak, M.D., a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in Austin, Texas. Dermatologists should stay on top of those changes, so they can adjust their social media strategies.

    “Vine was very popular for a while. Vine is not as popular as it used to be. Foursquare was popular for a while. Foursquare is not as popular as it used to be. You have to change as the public changes,” Dr. Mamelak says.

    NEXT: A platform for every purpose

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.


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