This guide can serve as a resource for doctors aiming to harness the power of social media to its full potential. Below, physicians will find helpful tips, tools and further resources that will equip health care providers the knowledge and strategies necessary to better connect with patients.
Communication tools examples include: Blogs, image sharing, online videos, podcasts, public health media libraries
Tips for providing effective health messaging through discerning social media use
Identify the most effective social media platforms and tools to reach your audience.
Incorporate impactful tools
Utilize the most impactful social media tools for your message development and delivery.
Tailor content to meet the target audience’s needs. Patients must find value and meaning in your messages, ultimately propelling them into positive action.
Incorporate timely and relevant content that is accessible in various formats and contexts.
Partner with other health care professionals and organizations to increase the scope and reach of health communication channels.
Cite reliable sources
Include health messages developed by credible sources including federal and state agencies, organizations, and national, state and local health initiatives.
Network and collaborate
Connect with other professionals or organizations who can assist in evaluating broad dissemination and effectiveness of the messages.
When using social media, it is essential to maintain professionalism by demonstrating the following:
• Use of practical, simple steps to mitigate the misuse of social media.
• Avoid professional consequences by ensuring patient confidentiality and providing advice with caution.
• Respond appropriately and think before posting. This pause will facilitate clear and concise communication.
Hameed I, Oakley CT, Ahmed A, Naeem N, Robinson NB, Hameed NUF, Gaudino M. Analysis of Physician Use of Social Media. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jul 1;4(7):e2118213. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.18213. PMID: 34292338; PMCID: PMC8299311.
Martino, I. D., McLawhorn, A. S., Fearing, K. A., Sculco, P. K., & Gasparini, G. (2017). Social media for patients: Benefits and drawbacks. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2017 Mar;10(1):141-145. doi: 10.1007/s12178-017-9394-7. PMID: 28110391; PMCID: PMC5344865.