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Should a designer tell his medical clients to jump into social media?

A meeting I had this morning with a web design client brings up an interesting question for my company, GushinDesigns, and for me also to ponder. 

Yelp

My client is pretty tech savvy on some fronts. He has a MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone after all and seems at ease using the technology. 

I’m redesigning his website for his business. He is an eye doctor and the site is for his medical practice which is in a standalone office nearby. 

The doctor, while technically knowledgeable, is not well versed in social media. He has been given advice that his website and his practice should be using social media to attract the younger affluent clients the office is seeking. He was advised to start using a Facebook business page, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp.

So far I have added these four social media icons to the design, but we have only gone forward with the Yelp account, which consisted of “claiming” his business and creating a free business Yelp account.

We discussed the other three today and have ruled out Foursquare as something that just was not relevant enough for a doctor’s office. There is a large staff in the office and someone will be relegated the duties of preparing Twitter and Facebook business page updates on a regular basis, as well as checking Yelp to see if there would be any responses needed for reviews. The doctor does not plan on being involved directly with the accounts.

That’s all fine and I will get it all set-up for the site. The thing I wonder is this: For this type of a business, how needed are these social media accounts, given that they will mostly be used as broadcast accounts to post info about the business and tidbits about the profession? I doubt any real interaction will take place and isn’t that what social media is all about in the first place? Also, what will happen if the one employee that lands this duty leaves the business? 

That’s on top of the other issue of whether it is wise for doctors to be using these tools in the first place. My wife, and business partner in GushinDesigns found this interesting article about this issue: Some doctors try to squelch online reviews (Washington Post).

 I’d appreciate it if any other web designers or social media people would chime in and give me an opinion on this subject.