While caveats apply, physicians are continuing to report success in using social media to connect with patients and promote their careers.
For example, the Surgical Weight Control Center of Las Vegas uses its Facebook page to keep patients motivated to stick with their diet and exercise plans, according to a recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. By posting content, such as photos of patients who have completed marathons or the "50 Best Workout Songs of the Year," the practice provides current and potential patients with ongoing support and resources.
But while Facebook tends to get the most attention, it's not the only social network catching on with physicians. A recent post from Software Advice explains how a presence on Google+ makes it easier for potential patients to find doctors in their region. This occurs because when people type a search term into Google, the most popular search engine, the top listings will be those that have been shared by others using Google+.
"Google+ also helps you stand out due to the social data that Google+ provides in search results, which imparts trust in your content and makes searchers more likely to click it," medical market analyst Katie Matlack wrote. "This can include a headshot of the author (you), a link to your Google+ profile, the number of people in your circles, and the number of people who have +1'd (liked) your content."
Finally, in a recent video posted on Physicians Practice, physician and social media expert Russell Faust recommends that physicians leverage LinkedIn to connect with colleagues. Describing the site as a "professional Facebook platform," Faust notes the "groups" feature on LinkedIn can be especially helpful for physicians looking to position themselves as experts in their areas of interest. In addition, he points out that it's estimated that 70 percent of physicians looking for jobs currently use social media sites, including LinkedIn, to make relevant connections.