More than half of ECPs, including independent ODs, do not yet have a practice Facebook account, according to Jobson Optical Research’s November 2012 ECP Internet Usage & Practice Website Study, which reports that in 2012, 42.7 percent of ODs said they have a practice Facebook account. The good news is this number is up slightly from 2011, when 35.1 percent reported having a practice Facebook account. By contrast, 73.2 percent of ODs in 2012 say they have a personal Facebook account. Some 65.3 percent said they had a personal Facebook account in 2011.
There are three thoughts you should have when considering Facebook:
Do not permit HIPAA violations on either your practice or personal Facebook page.
You must manage properly the protected health information of your patients in every situation. If patients use Facebook to ask you specific questions about a problem they are having, you cannot answer the question on Facebook without violating their PHI. You also cannot use any patient story on Facebook without having a HIPAA Marketing Release form signed. The bottom line is to be very careful about what information you put or respond to on an open forum like Facebook.
Anything you put on Facebook can be used by Facebook Royalty-Free.
Here’s what Facebook says about what you post “…you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.” Knowing this, act accordingly.
You need a digital strategy for your practice which includes a digital marketing manager.
Facebook is just one part of your overall digital strategy for your practice. You should have a strategy that includes all of your digital media–Facebook, web site, e-mails, texts, etc. From a branding perspective, you need a consistent look across all media even though the messaging should be different based on the focus of each media type. To maximize the money you are going to spend and the results you want to get, you must have a digital strategy and a digital marketing manager. This position takes time and effort. Remember that this person doing this job is reflecting you and your practice to the rest of the world.
Your action plan for this week is to review the digital strategy for your practice. Are all the parts working as they should, efficiently and effectively? Don’t make the mistake of having a Facebook page just to have a Facebook page. Work smarter, not just harder.
Click HERE to purchase Jobson Optical Research’s November 2012 ECP Internet Usage & Practice Website Study.