I had an opportunity recently to interview Dr. Grogan about her motivation for creating cardiac amyloidosis videos and her experience with them, including some unexpected benefits. Here’s what she had to say about the benefits:
- The reward of virtue. Doing good is…well… good! Dr. Grogan saw an opportunity to create a resource that would be helpful for patients with this rare disease. Because of social media tools and low-cost video production, it’s easier than ever to share helpful information globally.
- Improved quality of patient interactions. The videos Dr. Grogan created aren’t formal patient education videos, but they are educational. And when she sends them to patients before their visit (or has them shown before she arrives in the room for their appointment), she already has covered many of the basics. She can then answer any questions the patient may have, and also can go into more depth about the patient’s particular case. And of course the patients can use the videos to help their extended family members and friends better understand their condition.
- Referrals. This falls into the "doing well by doing good" category. Dr. Grogan sees patients whose first contact with her was via a YouTube video.
- Peer Esteem and Research Opportunities. A completely serendipitous outcome, as the global community of her fellow specialists have recognized her knowledge, leading to opportunities to collaborate.
That last benefit was one that Dr. Grogan had never expected or even imagined. And while she had hoped to realize time savings through these videos, what she found instead was that the quality of conversations were improved immensely.
So make the case for your social media engagement based on the benefits you can foresee, but know that you'll likely find benefits you weren't expecting.
Lee Aase is director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.