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IN DOCTOR WE TRUST

According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, people look to answer two questions when they first meet you; Can I trust this person? and Can I respect this person? Psychologists refer to these traits as warmth and competence, respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.

We can extrapolate these qualities to how physicians represent themselves on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Think about it; would you go to a dermatologist who calls herself “@DrPimplePopper”? Does that nom de plume instill warmth or competence? Maybe not, but it does serve to get your attention, but not necessarily in a good way. The content this Southern California dermatologist posts is mostly about squeezing pus-filled zits rather than sharing clinical insights and patient success stories. Still, this strategy has paid off for Dr. Sandra Lee, as she has amassed 2.2M followers on Instagram. She has also parlayed her eponymous site – http://www.drpimplepopper.com/ – into a retail empire of branded acne products, extractors, t-shirts and mugs. Since Instagram is the number one social media platform for brands and companies to hunt for influencers, Dr. Lee is on to something.

If this seems too gross for your practice, there is a happy medium. Every doctor and practice needs to find his or her own sweet spot in the social landscape. Not everyone will be so bold as to create an endless stream of videos of Brazilian butt lifts, breast augmentation and bloody PRP injections. If you’re not proud of the content you put out there, switch gears. Once you post, tweet or comment, it is out there to be found, and you cannot really retract it or make it disappear.

Consider creating your own voice rather than trying to copy someone else’s. Transparency is a critical success factor on social media channels. Consumers seek out content that is genuine and rings true. If you are not comfortable with revealing some intimate aspects of your practice, they will sense it. In general, it is wiser to invest your time and effort in a long term strategy for success rather than a short term boost of fans and followers who are not really committed to your brand.

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