Health Care Social Media – How to Engage Online Without Getting into Trouble (Part I)

David Harlow

Posted 1/03/11 on HealthBlawg

I have been asked recently to write up some of the core takeaways from the health care social media presentations I have been giving recently, so I am sharing a version of this narrative in two parts.  Check back soon for Part II

Introduction

“Why do you rob banks?”

“That’s where the money is.”

The legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked, gave this straightforward response explaining his motivation.  A similar motivation may be ascribed to the early adopters among health care providers who have established beachheads on various social media properties on line.  Why be active in on line social networks?  That’s where the people are: patients, caregivers, potential collaborators and referral sources, like many, many other people, are using social media more and more.  Facebook has become nearly ubiquitous, and its user base is growing not only among the younger set, but also among the older set, who are signing up so they can see pictures of their grandkids.  In today’s wired society, on line social networking is the new word of mouth.  Word-of-mouth referrals, personal recommendations, have always been prized; we have simply moved many of those conversations on line.

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