Why social media is important in dermatology

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, June 29, 2016

social media, dermatologyDermatology Times presents a year-long exploration of social media—the many ways that it impacts the field of dermatology as well as your medical practice. The series will provide strategies and tips for how you can use social to best effect: how to get started, which platforms to use, secrets for incorporating video, AMA guidelines, and more.
We begin with a description of what social media is and why it’s important, specific to the dermatologic field.
Adam Mamelak, M.D., a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in Austin Texas, says he participates in any social media site he can. Why? Because, he says, social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are where everyone he wants to reach spends time.  
“I went to a Mohs Collage meeting last May in Arizona and looked around a conference of probably 1,000 Mohs surgeons. I would say that over the course of this hour talk, 50 plus percent of them checked their Facebook page,” Dr. Mamelak says. “When you see this many people engaging in social media, you have to ask yourself … shouldn’t we be spending time on here, as well?”
Personal recommendations and referrals are evolving, thanks to social media, he says. 
“Now, instead of calling [friend or family], they just post it on Facebook and say, ‘Can anyone recommend a good dermatologist?’” Dr. Mamelak says. 
La Roche-Posay, a division of L’Oreal, uses social media to connect with potential customers and for brand awareness. It also uses social media to promote its SOS Save our Skin campaign, which it does in conjunction with the Women’s Dermatologic Society, according to Gene Colon, Esq., vice president medical and media relations for La Roche-Posay.  
“We find social media is a good venue for us to reach those people who … are shopping online, getting information online, communicating with their friends online. So, we think it’s imperative that we are part of that dialogue,” Colon says. 
Dermatologists might use social media, professionally, to communicate with colleagues and patients. Dr. Mamelak, for example, says he turns to social media to interact with patients, potential patients, colleagues (including referring doctors) and respected experts he wants to follow. 
Dermatologists who want to be part of those and other conversations need to be on social media and engaged with what’s going on, according to Naren Arulrajah, CEO of Ekwa.com, a marketing firm that works with more than 200 doctors, including a large percentage of dermatologists. 
After all, times are changing. Doctors are no longer isolated the way they once were, according to Mamelak. 
“Now patients have access and they want to find doctors’ information in other ways. I find engaging people by social media one of the best ways,” says Dr. Mamelak, who has been rated by Digital MD as one of the top social media users for skin cancer and skin cancer awareness in the U.S. 
Read More: Dermatology Times
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