From left: Panelists Quoc-Dien Trinh, Austin Chiang and Asaf Bitton

From left: Panelists Quoc-Dien Trinh, Austin Chiang and Asaf Bitton

Tips and ideas for crafting a social media presence abounded at last month’s event “Social Media as a Career Tool: A Beginner’s Guide.” BWH’s Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, assistant medical director at Brigham and Women’s Advanced Primary Care Associates, South Huntington; Austin Chiang, MD, Gastroenterology fellow; and Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, of Urological Surgery, spoke about how they use social media in their professional lives and offered tips to colleagues interested in using the platforms.

Based on the panel discussion, here are 10 top tips for researchers and physicians to know about social media:

  1. Top three tools: A great starting place for using social media professionally is signing up for LinkedIn, Doximity—a LinkedIn for doctors—and Twitter. These networks are effective for sharing career-focused news, establishing a social media presence in a certain field of expertise and shaping your online reputation.
  2. Brand yourself: Your social media presence should contribute to your personal brand and how you want to be perceived.
  3. Strengthen your network: By using social networks, specifically Twitter, the panelists have been able to connect with colleagues around the world, share career successes and stay up-to-date with research publications.
  4. Live tweet: Twitter is great to use during health care conferences because it allows researchers to connect with other participants and stay engaged by tweeting and re-tweeting news coming out of the events.
  5. Anything can go viral: Every Twitter user should be aware of speed and transparency, as any Twitter posts could go viral—for better or for worse—for any reason.
  6. Strategies for Twitter: Use a combination of original content, engaging with followers consistently, retweeting content that supports your personal brand and participating in broader conversations.
  7. Generate original content: This content can be related to your specific work or can be as simple as a quick thought after reading an article.
  8. Respect privacy: No information about patient cases, even if it’s not identifiable, should be posted on social media.
  9. Take it offline: If patients contact physicians via a social media site, physicians should either take the conversation offline with the patient or call the Communication & Public Affairs office at 617-525-6370 for advice. BWH’s social media policy can be found on org.
  10. Try it, you might like it: While using and navigating social media might seem intimidating, panelists encouraged colleagues to give one of the sites a try, explaining that social media is here to stay.

The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, Communication & Public Affairs, the Brigham Innovation Hub (iHub) and the Brigham Research Institute. Lesley Solomon, MBA, executive director of Brigham iHub, moderated the panel.

Check out tweets from the event at #BWHtweets.

Have another top tip? Share it in the comments feature below.

BWH researchers and clinicians interested in managing and maintaining personal social media channels can find guidelines and policies here. Pages on Facebook, Twitter, etc., that present as official pages of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, including use of name and logo, must be developed and/or approved by BWH Communication & Public Affairs. If you’d like to get started or have questions about social media, please e-mail