I received an email notifying me that 33 charts has been chosen as a selected site by Sermo. While I haven’t exactly figured out what it means, I am thrilled. Not because I need a hug but because Sermo may have realized that there are doctors like me talking outside of their network. I always found it odd that the original social network for doctors was effectively absent from the dialog happening in the blogosphere and on Twitter. Perhaps there’s a new marketing sheriff in town.
Either way, here’s why a network like Sermo should be working public spaces:
There are lots of doctors here. When Sermo launched Twitter wasn’t on the map. But they’re here and doctors are having the social experience in public. We’re your customers. You should be behind every single one of us.
We’re talking about you. Even the tightest professional vertical can’t survive without multiple channels of outreach. Doctors and medcomm folks talk about Sermo. Whether it’s earned or not, you remain on the radar, front and center. And like any other business you need to listen, respond and be involved. As a social business this should be obvious.
Doctors need a place to talk. Sermo started ahead of the parade with the field of dreams belief that if you build it and they will come. But doctors weren’t ready to talk. But we’re here now and public dialog has evolved in the absence of any better place to collect. I think we’re seeing a unique window of opportunity for those who want to build the leading platform for doctors. Doctors are ready for community – many talking on Twitter would seize the opportunity to jump over to someplace like Sermo. Sermo’s well-positioned to capture this market, but not without a little disruption.
You’re mentioned at medical meetings (but less frequently than before). Interest and dialog about doctors and social has picked up dramatically. Every major medical meeting in America has in the works a panel (if not a keynote) on the subject of social media. As the biggest gorilla in the jungle, Sermo should be there. I would think about a publically facing physician evangelist. Think what Amber Naslund is to Radian6 or Scott Monty is to Ford Motor Company. The absence of IRL physician representation is a lost opportunity with the passing of each meeting.
Doctors needs leadership. The physician world is desperate for leadership and support surrounding their entre into social media. From our struggle to define digital professionalism to the training of our next generation of doctors, there’s a rare opportunity to create an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the medical community. Everything done without Sermo’s name and support is a lost opportunity.
You’ve got competition. While outreach will not make up for a product that doesn’t exactly meet a doctor’s needs, it will become increasingly important as real competition in this space heats up. Keep your eyes peeled and sleep with sleep with a sidearm. If you’re not careful the stealthy folks at Doximity might just take you down from behind.
Of course social outreach is a critical piece of your defense.
And while I’m flattered to be Sermo selected, don’t look for your badge on 33 charts. As you can see, I don’t do bells, lights and whistles.