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    Using social media to improve the way you connect

    Social media becoming preferred choice of networking, patient relations


    The use of Facebook and Twitter has become integral to many practices.6 Most patients will spend significant time on social media, but websites and other hardcopy options to educate your patients still play an important role.

    Understanding and utilizing social media is essential to connecting with your patients’ communities.

    Social for the professional

    ODs and other healthcare professionals’ careers are constantly evolving. ODs practice in many different modalities:

    • Private practice

    • Academia

    • Ophthalmology practices

    • VA hospitals

    • Community health centers

    • Multidisciplinary centers

    • Corporate and other employed practices

    • Industry

    • Research

    • Government agencies

    Related: Handling patients who want you to adjust glasses purchased online

    In addition, interest in optometry’s role in medical missions, public service, clinical research, and professional associations continues to grow.

    Patients have loved seeing plaques, awards, and pictures in their ODs’ offices. Patients often find comfort in their OD being a respected member of the community. Social media allows us to enhance that connection. In my opinion, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the most important social media vehicles for an OD in practice today.

    Google’s search engine and ownership of YouTube make it a powerful source of information and video content.7 Patients often prefer to see short videos rather than reading long, difficult-to-understand articles. Twitter allows for patients to follow newsfeeds in shorter, easier-to-manage segments. Facebook continues to evolve and is often the first choice in all things, e.g. photos, videos, and newsfeeds. Instagram offers an easier way for users to share photos and short videos if the massive amount of content on Facebook is overwhelming.

    In 2017, successful use of social media lies in the use and integration of multiple platforms. Social and professional media provides ODs opportunities to have meaningful connections with patient communities.



    1. Peters L. Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. Elearningeuropa. March 2011. Available at: http://www.elearningeuropa.info/sites/default/files/asset/the%20shallows.pdf. Accessed 9/8/17.

    2. Usher WT. Australian health professionals’ social media (Web 2.0) adoption trends: early 21st century health care delivery and practice promotion. Aust J Prim Health. 2012;18(1):31-41.

    3. Carman C, Totten D. Social Media Recommendations. American Optometric Association. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/about-the-aoa/ethics-and-values/social-media-recomme.... Accessed 9/8/17.

    4. Honigman B. 9 ways to Market Your Medical or Dental Practice with LinkedIn. referral md. Available at: https://getreferralmd.com/2013/09/linkedin-marketing-doctors/. Accessed 9/8/17.

    5. Baron, NS. Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World. Oxford University Press. 2008. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/200772850_Always_On_Language_in.... Accessed 9/8/17.

    6. Eyecarepro. How Dr. Alan Glazier Uses Social Media to (very) Successfully Promote his Practice! Available at: https://www.eyecarepro.net/newsletter/how-dr-alan-glazier-uses-social-me.... Accessed 9/8/17.

    7. Mason S. The Importance of Using Video Content on Social Media. Multiview. Available at: https://www.multiview.com/resources/blog/importance-using-video-content-social-media/. Accessed 9/8/17.

    Read more from Dr. Wong here

    Thomas A. Wong, OD
    Dr. Wong is a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry and a member of the AOA Ethics committee and ASCO Ethics SIG. He is a past ...


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