Market Yourself Through Online Communities

November 8, 2011

Armed now with feedback from your peers, an understanding of your reputation, and a vision for strengthening that reputation, the next step is to embrace the multitude of online communities to market yourself or your practice.

Part 3 of a 3-part series

Armed now with feedback from your peers, an understanding of your reputation, and a vision for strengthening that reputation, the next step is to embrace the multitude of online communities to market yourself or your practice.

Regardless if you are a student, a seasoned professional or a practice owner, the best way to convey your reputation and find opportunities for success is to market yourself.

As an individual you may be interested in the following sites:

LinkedIn - Ensure you have a robust profile with strong key words highlighting your areas of expertise, membership to relevant groups, and contact information for recruiters or other professionals to reach out to you.
HealthGrades -Set up your free profile for patients to provide feedback
SlideShare - If your goal is to evolve into a speaker or clinical expert the free basic plan allows you to upload your presentations or videos.
WordPress - This free blogging site has a plethora of templates to choose from, and Google will catalog your topics when you input key words - another great avenue to market yourself and build your reputation.
• Industry groups such as RSNA and the American College of Radiology have Facebook pages that you can follow, post and comment.

Marketing your practice just to local hospitals or imaging centers is limits your growth, so why not promote the team and your cutting edge technology to other facilities with whom you’d like to partner? One way to do this is to have a very strong online presence with a Website and implementing some of the tools mentioned above to ensure the practice is found in Google search results.

Once you have a strategy in place with messaging and marketing I recommend having one person who controls that message and your online reputation. That individual can push relevant content that applies to your practice and promote the group as experts in certain areas.

For a practice the following sites are helpful:

LinkedIn - The practice can have a company page for building a community and highlighting areas of the areas of expertise, technology, and practice procedures.
Facebook - For either an individual or a practice, set up a Facebook page where colleagues and patients can follow new content.
Hootsuite - This site provides one place to post messages that are disseminated to the various social media channels. A free tracking system can also be implemented to see who forwards your content.
• Google +1 - Over time it is expected that Google will begin to give higher ranking to websites that have “likes” or recommendations. If you interact with patients, this is a good module to add to your site.

Before you begin your journey in building your reputation, your brand, and marketing yourself, you may want to be proactive and review the AMA guidelines on social media. Then dive in, create opportunities for yourself and enjoy your success.

Leslie Patton is founder and owner of Renaissance Ultrasound, provider of per diem clinical applications support, and more recently a social media and marketing consultant for healthcare professionals.