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When Social Media May Be TMI

Attention Doctors: 

Carol Roth’s recent blog post “What My Gynecologist Can Teach Your Business about Social Media” has one of those headlines that make you stop and say: “HUH!?” We admit it: we wanted to read this post just based on the headline alone. Clever headline aside, Carol’s blog makes an important point that we have to applaud: “not every social-media strategy is going to be appropriate for every type of business.” Her GYN is a perfect example of this.

Carol explains that while she was waiting on hold with her gynecologist’s office, she was encouraged–by the ‘on hold’ message–to become a fan of (Facebook has now changed this to “Like”) her doctor on Facebook. Carol thought not.

LONG PAUSE……hmmmmm…good point, Carol.

We totally get it. For some women this is a relationship that they may not want to flaunt to their co-workers, their old high school friends, or their neighbors. For some, they may be perfectly okay with it. For Carol, this invitation was not only “TMI” for her Facebook friends, but it didn’t appear to bring any value to her whatsoever.

Why Patients May Not Want to “Like” You on Facebook

Carol, who is clearly a savvy health care consumer, goes so far to clarify that had she been encouraged to sign up for emails, health tips, on-line appointment reminders, alerts to interesting seminars and services her doctor might offer, then: YES! THESE are things she is interested in doing. “Liking” her gynie for all to see, is apparently not at the top of her social networking needs.

Like Carol, we’ve watched a lot of health care related entities flounder at social media. We recently came across some tweets that were being sent under one well known hospital’s name. The tweets were confusing. They used words that made them sound elitist. In fact, the information being tweeted was so obscure we had no idea what heck they were talking about in their tweets. THIS is no way to build a network around a hospital, and we wondered if this hospital’s marketing team even knew Twitter was being used like this under their brand.

Social media tools are great—if used appropriately. If you aren’t sure how to use social media, companies like GWT can help you figure out which tools will reach your target audience. 100’s of Facebook fans are only great IF you are engaging them and bringing your fans something of value.

Sending patients running in the other direction probably isn’t what Carol’s GYN had in mind. None the less it made for a great Blog post…which in and of itself is a great way to use social media! GO CAROL!!

Author Info

Jennifer Dunn