What if I told you there was a marketing tool that could garner you nationwide attention, increase your flow of new patients, and spotlight you for new career opportunities… and its free? While it sounds too good to be true, when leveraged to its full potential, social media offers an incredible opportunity to stand out as a professional. Whether you want to elevate your status as an audiologist in the community, become a nationally-recognized thought leader, or find new career opportunities, social media is an increasingly necessary piece of the puzzle.
The power of social media
Did you know that 72% of all adults in the United States currently use at least one social media platform? That includes 40% of adults age 65 and older.1 These days, you can liken the world of social media to being in one big room filled with your patients, potential patients, your peers, and hiring managers. What could you do to stand out? Maintaining a professional social media presence is an incredible opportunity to add value to your practice and demonstrate your potential as an audiology leader.
Something to keep in mind…
Notice I said “maintaining” a professional social media presence. Many people create a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook and then let it sit idle as friend requests are ignored and comments and messages sit unanswered. Success in social media means taking an active role beyond the creation phase by generating value-add content and engaging with others. While at first that may seem challenging, a successful social media strategy can take less than ten minutes of your day. That’s something that can be done while you sip your morning coffee. However, before we discuss how to be effective at social media, I will share the most important step: Make all personal accounts private.
Why go private?
To build an effective professional persona online you want to start with a blank canvas, and that means making all of your existing personal social media accounts private. Your potential patients and hiring managers do not want to see your vacation pictures, your impassioned opinions, or your personal information. Regardless of what your friends and family might think, these can set the stage for a negative first impression.
So go into your profile settings and make sure only you and friends can see what you post. Equally as important, make sure your profile photo is either tasteful or anonymous. The fewer personal details the better. In todays world, you have to assume everyone who might meet you in business will search for you online. This is your chance to set the tone of that first impression. Your friends and family probably won’t notice the change, but it will make a difference to those searching for you in a professional capacity. With your personal information set to private, we can begin creating your professional persona online.
Stay tuned for part two of this series, in which we will discuss the ways in which LinkedIn can be leveraged to help you stand out! Until then, for further reading on the topic of using social media in clinical practice, I recommend an article from Audiology Today (March/April).
To read a previous blog post by Chase Smith, we invite you to read, Dentists, Drills, & Decibels: Demystifying the danger.
Pew Research Center. (2019). Social Media Fact Sheet. Social Media Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/