Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or something else, here's a simple way to think of social media: It is word-of-mouth communication empowered by the Internet.
Previously, word-of-mouth spread mainly in person or over the telephone.
But now the Internet enables one person's voice to reverberate throughout a community or even around the globe. That's not to say everyone's message actually reaches a wide audience. Hardly. For those in heathcare, if you want your message to reach a desired audience, a good exercise is to think about exactly how that might happen. Here are a few possible scenarios:
Let's say your hospital or medical practice has collected email addresses from patients who agree to receive email announcements or newsletters from your office. You now have a subscriber list. An email then goes out, announcing a new internist on staff. Someone who receives this information forwards the annoucement to a neighbor who just moved into town and needs a physician. "Hearing" about you, the neighbor calls for an appointment.