Naming your social media profiles as a health professional is key. Here are a few angles to consider:
Use your name with MD or DO
When possible, set up your profiles around your name. Use MD after your name if what you are doing is in a professional context. This is how most people will search for you. Also, it ‘squats’ your name so that no one else can claim it. And remember that if you use MD, don’t use doctor, and visa versa.
- Here’s what to do if your Twitter name is taken.
If possible, name your profiles and accounts alike.
Concerning the issue of maiden, or hyphenated, names decide how you want to be represented going forward and try to be consistent in all of your profiles. Unfortunately, there’s no way for the Google search spiders to understand how to connect your old name to your new name. The best strategy is to consider what happens from here forward.
Keep blogs and podcasts names open-ended
Alternatively, when choosing a blog title and domain, choose something relatively broad and open-ended that will allow some latitude in what you cover. It is very likely that your interests, passions and angles will evolve and pivot. When I started this the blog associated with this site, it was all about doctors new to social media. I have expanded to cover doctors and technology. But given the odd nature of my site name, I didn’t have to change.
Don’t be mysterious or cute
While 33 charts has done a great job of creating curiosity and interest in my background, it isn’t obvious that I’m behind the site, and it’s also not obvious that it has anything to do with the weird and wonderful intersection of medicine and technology. Mysterious names can work really well or backfire. It’s worked for me but I don’t recommend it.
Where I went wrong
So to eat the dog food, my Twitter handle @doctor_v is not ideal but it has sort of stuck with me. Given the complex spelling of my name, I think it may represent a better option. Few people are able to properly spell my name and so I think you need to consider all these practical angles.
If you found this quick summary on social media profiles useful, check out The Public Physician. It’s an online resource for physicians and health professionals navigating life in a connected, always-on world.
Updated June 2019