mastodon for doctors

Mastodon for doctors: should you be an early adopter?

Mastodon is the new social media platform that gets a lot of attention since Elon Musk bought Twitter. Some look at it as an alternative, and our focus is the potential of Mastodon for doctors in private practice. Is it too soon to pay attention or is there an opportunity to grab some premium land here?

mastodon for doctors

Mastodon for doctors: why now is the right time

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

November 14, 2022

What is Mastodon?

mastodon platform

It’s not our place here to explain the Mastodon platform in detail – It’s a microblogging tool without centralised management.

If you have used Twitter, you know that microblogging means you post a few lines instead of a whole page. You engage in conversations, and you follow and get followers.

Because we know that a social media presence as a doctor can help you build authority, engage in conversations with referrers and grow a strong online profile, we thought it was at least worth our attention. Below, we explore how spending 15 minutes on the Mastodon platform today might give an amazing return on investment down the track.

The one reason to look into Mastodon now

digital real estate

Do you remember the first time you heard the word ‘URL’ or ‘internet domain’? Depending on your age, it may have been something that was around already…or it may have been this new concept people started talking about.

We all know that domains are now digital assets. They are like digital real estate, like a block of land you managed to purchase. Sometimes we pay thousands of dollars for a domain and we know it was first sold at $25.

What’s the relevance in the story of Mastodon for doctors?

Even if you want to sit back and leave Mastodon’s growth to other users, there is one thing you could do to get the digital real estate that your practice might need. In the video, we explore what to look for when you create your Mastodon account as a doctor.

The handle is one thing. Content is next.

how to use socials as a doctor

Let’s go over a simple blueprint for your social media strategy as a surgeon, a specialist, a counsellor or an allied health professional. How to use socials as a doctor?

The doctors with successful online campaigns create a strategy and a system for their use of social media. If you leave it to inspiration, the occasional impulse, your receptionist or the holiday period…your social media accounts will not generate referrals and leads.
A system consists of a strategic view on why you are publishing, the target audience, the value you put in various types of posts, the weekly or monthly time you spend creating those posts and the scheduling tool you use to get those posts out at the most convenient time.

Many doctors jump on social media thinking they just need to post stuff about work they have done. This is me doing surgery X. So grateful to receive this letter from a patient. Congratulations to Y and Z on the arrival of their baby. Those posts won’t harm but they often don’t contain a brand story. An element that highlights your unique vision of the specialty area you have chosen. A brand story can be built around your consultation style, the innovation and medical progress you are aiming for, patient comfort or the specific approach you stand for within your niche.

Social media is not an end goal. Surgeons often tell me how useless social media has been for them because they did not bring in extra patients. Social media content works at its best for doctors if it focuses on education, creating awareness or gently inviting the follower to take the next step. The next step after seeing a Facebook post is not booking that surgery. It could be as simple as clicking through to a website article that has an enquiry form.

Building a medical content strategy is best executed by experienced communications experts and here at Digital Practice, we use our experience in journalism, medical content production and business development to help you.

So once you secure that amazing Mastodon handle (and I invite you to check your YouTube handle while you are at it, because that is another feature that became available in 2022), take a moment to think about this checklist before you start publishing and sharing.

If you have more questions about how to use socials as a doctor, please book a 1:1 Strategy Session.

The AHPRA elephant in the room

AHPRA and social media

In recent years, the AHPRA Advertising Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals have become clearer and there has been a push to step away from the total ban of medical testimonials.

As long as you comply with the guidelines, which have been created to avoid misleading medical information, you can use social media tools: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Mastodon…There is absolutely no reason why you would refrain from being on social media, from a compliance perspective.

The perfect mix: socials and Google

social media or Google

Should you focus on social media or Google to attract more patients?

I often get that question and there’s no black-and-white answer.

Social media are a tool to raise or maintain awareness, to make your name pop up in echo chambers that are relevant to your niche.

Google Search is an entirely different beast! It impacts your visibility, at a very important specific moment in time.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Google Search works for you or it doesn’t, in the exact moment when a patient expresses a need for your work. Social media posts come and go in someone’s feed, and they may not be actively looking for your information at that point in time."

So even if you have decided to spend your weekend exploring Mastodon for doctors and healthcare, setting up your profile, always bear in mind that social media content is one leg. The other important leg to stand on as a doctor in private practice is your Google visibility. We know that local SEO for doctors is all about showing up when people in your catchment area are doing their research on Google or looking at specialist profiles.

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Questions about Mastodon?

using mastodon as a doctor

At this stage, there are more questions than answers about using Mastodon as a doctor. The good news is that we will answer your questions from a holistic perspective, looking at what could be useful about this new platform for your specific marketing situation. Don’t hesitate to book a 1:1 Strategy Session with me to discuss this in more detail.

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