Social media for physicians: How to get started
Social media has transformed the way humankind communicates by providing unique opportunities to instantly connect with others across the globe.
Currently, about two-thirds of Americans receive news through social media, according to Pew Research Center.
While social media can be a useful tool for physicians, it can be daunting and many may not know where to begin.
In this series, Healio will guide physicians in how to get started on Twitter, how to use it and how to benefit the most from it.
Step 1: Create your account
- Navigate to www.twitter.com.
- Click on the blue “create account” button.
Tip: Keep in mind, every aspect of your profile should be a mirror image of who you are professionally. You are creating your own digital footprint.
Step 2: Choose a username
- Add your username/handle to the “name” section.
- Add your phone number or email address.
Tip: When creating your Twitter handle, make sure it’s searchable and memorable so that other users can find you easily. Adding “doctor,” “Dr” or “MD” to your username will allow other users to immediately identify you as a physician. For example, @DrYourName or @YourNameMD are simple and effective usernames. If you choose not to use your name in your Twitter handle, make sure your username is still relevant and highlights your area of interest or expertise.
Step 3: Add a profile image
- Upload a profile picture with the recommended dimension of 400 x 400 pixels.
Tip: It’s best to use a professional headshot or a close-up photo of yourself that doesn’t have any distractions in the background. Images should be consistent across social media profiles.
Step 4: Write your bio
- Fill out your bio description using 160 characters or less.
Tip: Your Twitter bio is usually the first thing people look at when determining whether to follow you. It’s your chance to make a good first impression. Clearly explain who you are, what you do, where you work and why other users may want to follow you. Including keywords related to your practice or specialty, such as “endocrinologist,” is important because it helps people with similar interests find you.
Step 5: Follow accounts
- Select topics of interest from the list or search for topics to discover suggested accounts to follow.
- Follow a few recommended Twitter users.
Tip: Choose “health news” to find accounts that provide information on the latest medical updates. For more advice on finding users to follow, click here.
Step 6: Start tweeting!
Tip: Not sure where to begin? Check out our article on the best practices for tweeting. – by Alaina Tedesco