Social Media for Doctors – On 30 Minutes a Day

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Yes, I know.  The title conjures up images of schmaltzy business self-help books with happy stock photo models adorning the cover.

But this idea doesn’t need a book, just a few hundred words.

I haven’t met a doctor who didn’t have concerns about the time commitment that social media potentially demands.  So I tell doctors that they need a social media budget.  Limit your properties and limit your time.  You, after all, have limited space to think about this stuff.

If you’re into marketing yourself, 30 minutes a day will give you market advantage.  If you are passionate about sharing information with your patients, a half-hour will do the trick.

So here are 5 ideas that won’t hog your human bandwidth. Pick a couple, use them and be happy.

Follow 50.  Pick 25, 50 or 100 really smart people on Twitter and follow them.  Peek at it a once or twice a day.  Be selective about what you listen to and share back in a way that’s meaningful.  Grow as your time allows.  Follow and unfollow ruthlessly to get the human signal you want.

Make a Cinchcast.  A lot of doctors have an easier time dictating than writing.  Cinch is a micropodcasting platform that allows you to record mini, under-5-minute recordings for public dissemination.  And they’ve got a great iPhone app.

Write a 250 word post.  You can maintain a very successful blog on 1-2 posts per week.  Pick one simple message for your colleagues or your patients and boil it down into a simple post just like this one.  What are you passionate about?  What do you want your patients to know?

Read 5 blogs.  Hand pick 5, or 3 or 10 of the best blogs on what it is that drives you.  Pull them into Google reader, Facebook or the RSS of your choice.  Read them, forget the rest and be happy.  Remember to comment on occasion.  This is how people will get to know you and this is how your expertise will add to the conversation.

Touch Facebook.  If you maintain a Facebook page for your practice, one solid post per day will carry you.  Think about what might bring real value to your patient population.  What’s the one link they need to read and why?  Just one good bit of really good information every day will earn you a reputation as a Trust Agent and build a following that will allow you to message in any way you see fit.

How would you leverage social media 30 minutes a day?

Graphic via Deziner Folio