If you want to increase your public profile to help advance your career and reputation, growing your social media presence can be a key driver toward this goal. Depending on the platform and your own interests and needs, you can focus on promoting your personal brand, your practice’s brand, or both.

In the Medscape course chapter “Social Media Is More Important Than You Think,” the most significant social media outlets for physicians are listed as follows:

  • Facebook: With 69% of US adults on Facebook and three quarters of them visiting the site daily, it’s one of the best ways to reach thousands of patients—current or potential.
  • LinkedIn: Useful for growing your practice, networking with other doctors, and finding jobs, LinkedIn is the one social media platform on this list focused primarily on professional, rather than personal, interests.
  • YouTube: Focused almost entirely on video content, YouTube allows doctors to post clips about themselves, their procedures, healthcare tips, and any other information that their expertise may bring value—and eyeballs—to.
  • Twitter: Twitter focuses on brief messages and fast interactions and is considered particularly useful for reporting on journal findings and presentations at medical conferences.

Of course, you don’t have to tackle social media on your own. For instance, SoMeDocs, also known as Doctors on Social Media, helps to showcase some of the world’s leading heath experts through profiles, landing pages, and social media. Through the SoMeDocs Twitter presence, for instance, they regularly highlight member profile pages and their activities.

Although establishing and maintaining a social media presence does require additional work and takes away time from other activities, the investment can be worth it, considering that Americans spent an average of more than 1,300 hours on social media last year. If you’re serious about marketing your personal brand or that of your practice’s, it’s clear that investing in social media should be a primary focus.