Social Media for the Practicing Allergist - Twitter summary from 2012 #AAAAI meeting

This summary was compiled from the tweets posted by the following allergists/immunologists who attended the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI): Dr. Melinda Rathkopf ‏@mrathkopf. The tweets were labeled #AAAAI. The text was edited and modified by me.

The talk was presented by Dr. Bajowala @allergistmommy.

Historically, AMA had a no advertising rule for medical practices until 1975. Medical marketing was typically frowned upon.

Medical marketing has come a long way - from traditional media (newspaper, phonebook) to Web 1.0 (read-only web content) and now, Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is more dynamic and interactive, including social media. Audience is much larger with Web 2.0.

60 million consumers discuss their healthcare online. 42% of US adults and 86% of young adults use social media.

An e-patient is a patient who uses the Internet to gather medical information and use electronic communication tools in coping.

Social Media consist of Internet and mobile based tools for sharing and discussing information. Is well suited to medicine.

Social media is about marketing, not selling. It increases your brand and product visibility. Social media is cost effective. It complements your other marketing activities.

The big 5 social media apps to start with are Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs (various types) and video (YouTube).

Tailor your tweets, think about your audience and the image you want to portray.

For a practice Twitter account, consider medical info, hours and schedule, appt openings, promotions, local medical news, etc. assesses impact of tweets and Twitter accounts, for example, in 50 tweets @allergistmommy reached over 15,000 unique people. In 50 tweets, @Allergy reached 30,000 people.

If you have a blog you can incorporate Twitter and Facebook into your blog.

Google+ is Google's social media app. It has a user base of more than 90 million accounts and growing. It allows you to create circles to limit who accesses specific info. Make sure you have a Google profile. Individuals can have one as can the practice.

Don't forget to use You Tube for free video sharing. You can create a You Tube channel for your office.

Mayo Clinic has an extensive You Tube channel with more than 1,500 videos. It is a good example of "best practice." Cleveland Clinic uses the same approach.

"Your website should be the sun around a which your social media planets orbit" (photo:!/mrathkopf/status/175979055143849984/photo/1).

Budget your social media time. Work smarter, not harder. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Post regularly to avoid stagnation. Sample schedule: Twitter and Facebook daily, blog weekly, and You Tube monthly.

Sources to gather news: general News outlets (CNN, NPR, Reuters, etc), medical news (Medscape, and your colleagues). Use a social media aggregator such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Seesmic.

Set up Google alerts for your practice and providers to "monitor your repuatation."

AMA has a specific policy about Professionalism in the Use of Social Media. It’s obvious, but don't use social media to treat or diagnose patients.

My suggestions for social media use by allergists are summarized here: Social media in medicine: How to be a Twitter rockstar and help your patients and your practice

12-Word Social Media Policy by Mayo Clinic: "Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry, Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete, Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal" (

Here is how to facilitate the Rise of the ePhysican who works hand in hand with the ePatient:

Allergists achieved highest use of social media by any specialty

During the 2012 AAAAI meeting, the allergists achieved the highest use of social media by any specialty. There are more than 100 allergists on Twitter and 30 of them posted simultaneously from the annual meeting, broadcasting thousands of tweets tagged with #AAAAI. The annual AAAAI meeting was attended by approximately 5,000 people. In comparison, the 30 allergists on Twitter reached 250,000 people (measured by on 03/04/2012).

This summary was compiled from some of the tweets posted by Dr. Melinda Rathkopf ‏@mrathkopf. I would strongly encourage you to post updates on Twitter from the CME conferences that you are planning to attend in the future. Here is how to do it: Twitter for Physicians: How to use Twitter to keep track of the latest news and scientific meetings, and share information with colleagues and patients.

Disclaimer: The text was edited, modified, and added to by me. This is one of a series of posts that will be published during the next few weeks.

Comments from Twitter:

Andrew Nickels ‏ @EthicalAllergy: Thanks for the great summary

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