At her session, “Building Social Media Presence,” Savanna Perry, PA-C, with Evans Dermatology in Evans, Georgia, began her presentation by showing the growth of her own social media pages. In 2017, Perry had 7,000 followers on Instagram: By 2020, that number had grown to 30,000, and today, more than 50,000.
A social media presence is crucial for health care professionals today, and the numbers bear that out: There are currently more than 270 million active social media users in the United States, with Facebook, at 200 million, being the most popular platform and TikTok, being the most popular app. Social media involvement can be used for a number of reasons, Perry explained, from creating or joining support groups (Facebook); engaging in discussions (Twitter); education and promotion (Instagram); and creating videos to instruct and inform (YouTube).
Perry also cited a 2021 study done in Current Dermatology Reports, which noted, “Despite the risks associated with social media usage, dermatology can benefit from opportunities to connect and engage with audiences through these platforms. Dermatologists should be interesting to increase their presence on multiple social media apps to dispel and counteract misleading posts with evidence-based knowledge,” another insight into how social media can empower health care providers, by contesting myths and rumors about dermatological products and procedures that often whirl around the social media hemisphere
Additionally, Perry explained, using social media for email marketing is extremely effective: it can offer high engagement by going directly to users and allow you ownership over your messaging. “Building your personal brand through social media can be part of the building blocks for a new or established business, as well as a transition to another practice, and again, create complete ownership over information and education.”
In creating your social media pages, says Perry, remember the 3 tenets of the platforms: education, entertainment, and inspiration. With content in these areas, you can achieve growth on social media, by committing to:
Starting on social media is not difficult. Perry says there are 4 steps to remember: set your goals, start posting, stay consistent, and pivot when needed. There are a variety of tools available for scheduling (Facebook’s Creator Studio, Tailwind, Later); editing (Canva, Lightroom, Splice); and email marketing (ConvertKit, MailChimp, Kajabi).
“The potential is unlimited,” enthused Perry.
1. Perry S. Building Social Media Presence. Presented at: The Society for Dermatology Physician Assistants Annual Summer Meeting. June 16-19, 2022. Austin, Texas.