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Engaging patients with social media


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Presented at the 2011 ACAAI Annual Meeting

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Engaging patients with social media

  1. 1. Tao Le, MD, MHS Partner, Central Allergy & AsthmaChief and Clinical Associate Professor Section of Allergy & Immunology Department of Medicine University of Louisville
  2. 2. Learning Objective To discuss Web 2.0 and social media tools for patient communications and engagement To explain best practices and potential pitfalls of using social media.
  3. 3. Disclosures None
  4. 4. Slides available
  5. 5. Why Engage Patients Outside theOffice To promote your practice To build a patient community To provide care
  6. 6. Why Use Web 2.0 and SocialMedia? It’s where your patients are  Facebook = 800+ MM users, 1 trillion hits/month  Twitter = 200 MM users, 200 MM tweets/day  Patients < 30 – texting, twittering, friending It’s free or almost free It’s shows that you have a modern practice – sick, pure awesomeness, FTW!!!!
  7. 7. What is Web 2.0 and Social Media Web 2.0 = web applications that facilitate  Information sharing  Interoperability  User -centered design  Collaboration Web 2.0 = Social Media
  8. 8. Blogging Blog = short for “weblog” Basically a web diary or personal journal Most recent entries are at the top Top blogging platforms  WordPress --free  Blogger—free  Tumblr  TypePad
  9. 9. Anatomy of a blog 1. Advertising 2. Title 3. Date 4. Post title 5. Post text 6. Posting information 7. Comments 8. Previous posts 9. Archives
  10. 10. What Do I Blog About? What’s new about your practice  New staff and services  Flu shots  Practice involvement in the community Discussions of common allergy and asthma topics Interesting allergy and asthma news  Obama’s pet allergic kids  Food allergic kids getting bullied
  11. 11. Writing Tips Keep posts short and sweet Write casually but mind your grammar! Personality and humor is good
  12. 12. Blog Tips Link it to your practice site Rotate physicians and staff as bloggers Update content frequently – 2-5x week Maintain and editorial calendar Monitor comments For more advice, go to:  
  13. 13. Facebook Biggest social network >> Google+>>Myspace Platform for meeting friends and keeping them updated FB Pages (vs. Groups) – like a blog  Publicly available  URL:  Members become of a “fan” of your page  You can add posts, pictures, videos, discussions  Fans can post, “like” or comment on your posts
  14. 14. Facebook Tips Link to practice website Post same types of topics as in a blog, but briefer! EITHER monitor fan comments and posts OR turn off ability to do so Make frequent updates Run promotions to pump up your “like” numbers User to syndicate blog posts and tweets to your Facebook page
  15. 15. Facebook Vs. Blog Facebook  Blog  Connect with current  Display your expertise and potential patients  Develop depth of  Share content that is content to distinguish both relevant and your practice interesting  Bring readers up-to-date  Keep fans in the loop with latest allergy with upcoming events developments  Improve search engine rankings
  16. 16. Twitter Social network and “microblogging” service “Tweets” limited to 140 characters Tweets are seen by your “followers” You can follow others You can “retweet” other tweets to followers
  17. 17. Twitter Tips Tweet blog posts and links to interesting A/I articles Retweet ACAAI/AAAAI, other colleague tweets User Futuretweets to schedule tweets Use,, to shorten links
  18. 18. YouTube Video-sharing website 3+ billion views/day 48 hours loaded every minute Videos embeddable in other sites
  19. 19. YouTube Tips Keep the videos short Cover common allergy and asthma topics Consider off-camera interviewer style Consider using a local video production company Embed on website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc
  20. 20. Pitfall of Social MediaChallenge SolutionYou can’t take it back Policies to review content before postingPrivacy issues HIPAA/privacy policyThe professional and the personal blur Separate personal vs. professional accountsPatients/family may publicly air Respond immediately; take it offlinegrievancesDoes not happen overnight Prepare for a long term commitment? Return on investment Invest incrementally; reassess frequently
  21. 21. Conclusion Web 2.0/social media is where are patients are An effective means of creating a patient community Mostly free or low cost Requires a long term commitment and modest expectations Many tutorial/guides that can be Googled
  22. 22. Links of-Allergy-Asthma-and- Immunology/105466459483136 best-facebook-medical-practice-fan-pages/