How to Make Facebook Work for your Rheumatology Practice

Facebook continues to be a major means for connecting people all over the world, while also allowing businesses to communicate with customers. As a medical professional in today’s world, it’s important to utilize social media as a method to interact with your patients. However, before we jump into any unchartered territory, it is essential that we are prepared and educated.

Creating a Facebook page for your rheumatology practice can be a simple, yet effective tool for promoting services, distributing information and sharing concepts. Anyone with a Facebook account can create a page, but keep in mind that Facebook has more than a billion active users each day. It is essential that Facebook works for your practice, not against it, and that you build a presence that successfully engages your patients. So how can you do this if you are not social media savvy? Follow these tips and learn how to make Facebook work for your rheumatology practice.

Understand the benefits.

Facebook is virtually free. There is no charge to create an account and it’s easy to get started. It keeps you connected with your target audience and provides an interactive voice to the patient. Facebook also boosts your visibility, in the community and online. Be sure to keep all this in mind as you are navigating through this tool. While there may be some pitfalls along the way, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.

Create your page and brand it.

Creating your Facebook page will be the easy part. It is user friendly and essentially does most of the work for you. Branding will be a little more difficult. Ensure your contact information is accurate and current. Use high quality imagery and ensure your copy is professional and uniform throughout the page. Utilize your logo designs, taglines and promote your website.

Match the needs of your patients.

Regardless of what type of medical professional you are, it is important to accommodate the needs of your patients and share your specific expertise. Rheumatologists should share news, tips and advice like fitness tips for healthier joints, how to sleep better with arthritis or basic rheumatology information. Use Facebook and other social channels to connect with your audience and share your knowledge.

Keep privacy concerns in mind.

As a medical professional, privacy and legal concerns should be at the top of your list when using Facebook professionally. Not only are the HIPAA laws a concern, but according to Facebook, it’s illegal to even identify someone as a patient or reference anything related to their medical history. Discuss content that is not patient specific and stick to publishing tips, advice and industry news. Anything posted about your day to day as a medical professional could be used against you. While tips are a great way to engage with your Facebook community, do not offer clinical advice and always instruct patients to schedule a consultation appointment if they ask for more information.

Build your network.

Sharing content based on your expertise will build expectations with your audience. By posting content that’s valuable to your audience, you’ll be able to build upon existing patient relationships and help spur new connections.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life inside a rheumatology practice, taking on social media can seem overwhelming, but you can start with these few tips. The more you post, the more natural it will become, and you’ll gain confidence from engaging with your followers and watching your presence grow. We hope these ideas help you launch a successful Facebook page for your rheumatology practice, reach new patients and engage the ones you already have. Be sure to share any of your social media tips on our Facebook page!

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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