Tips to Build Your Social Media Presence
Use a scheduling tool
Scheduling tools like HootSuite, Buffer or TweetDeck can be used to schedule posts in advance and after hours/on weekends and holidays. Consider dedicating a certain amount of time to social media each week, where you develop and schedule content for the week ahead. While you should always be conscious of current events, scheduling posts in advance will help ensure your page stays active.
Promote your page
Consider including links to your profile(s) on your website and in your email signature, so your contacts can easily find and follow your account.
Participate in online events
Whether a Twitter chat or a discussion on Facebook, participating in social media events will help you build credibility online and raise awareness of your account. Consider participating as time allows. Scheduling tools can also help.
Promote content from AAP pages or other pediatric practices
Sharing links or posts from AAP, other pediatricians, or pediatric practices can help fill content gaps and direct your followers to other reputable sources of health information. Access AAP's Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Responding To and Moderating Posts and Online Conversations
Monitoring and moderating online conversations helps ensure that your online community reflects your brand, voice and values. Social listening and moderating should be built into your daily routine.
If you receive a positive comment, general inquiry or a request for help, responding directly will demonstrate that you are listening and present.
Despite efforts to maintain a professional and positive voice through your messaging, followers may leave negative comments or reviews. If you choose to respond, remember that social media is inherently public and that your response will be visible to your entire community or anyone else who visits your page. When crafting a potential response, consider:
- whether responding will only further incite the individual. If this is the case, resolving the matter offline may be better.
- a general post that addresses the individual's concerns to your entire community, which may help combat any ripple effects.
- seeking feedback from colleagues to ensure you strike an appropriate tone.
Hiding inappropriate comments
You can consider hiding comments that violate social media etiquette. Below is a framework you can consider using to determine whether to hide a comment from your Facebook page.
- Comments that are off topic or intended to send the conversation in a nonproductive direction.
- Comments that attack individuals or organizations.
- Comments that contain offensive language.
- Multiple postings of the same comment on various threads.
- Comments that contain personal information about others, including information about patients.
- Posting with such frequency or repetitiveness as to discourage others from posting.
- Comments that put forth inaccurate information about child health, include links to unverified external content, exist for the purpose of selling a product or service, or give medical advice.
If you have a Facebook page, set up filters to automatically hide posts or comments that include negative key words or profanity.
To protect yourself from any action that your page may take, consider including commenting rules in the About section of your Facebook page. Commenting rules may include many of the points emphasized in the above social media etiquette framework, such as asking your followers to refrain from using profane or vulgar language or sharing patient information. As an example, here are the commenting rules that appear on AAP's Facebook profile:
Commenting Rules: To ensure that this page continues to be a place to find accurate messages and information about child health, the AAP asks that commenters observe rules of social media etiquette. The AAP reserves the right to review and remove any submitted content for any reason, at any time, at our sole discretion and without notice.
Keep in mind that patient information should not be discussed on social media.
If someone seeks medical advice online or reveals private information, consider replying and inviting them to call your office to discuss further.
Moderating on Twitter
The structure and real-time nature of Twitter does not allow for direct moderation of a conversation that may happen below your post. For example, although an individual may comment on a tweet, you are not able to remove it. Because it offers anonymity, Twitter also tends to attract more individuals who "troll," making negative comments or mentions common.
The best way to combat trolls on Twitter is to continue to post factual messages in a positive voice. If you repeatedly receive negative or threatening comments from a user, you can block the user or report their behavior to Twitter.
Sample Posts and Tweets
Visit this page for sample posts and tweets that you can copy and paste into your social media account.