Allowing your readers to follow news and events of your medical practice is easy and automatic. Using RSS feeds and even social media is easily done and the process is completely automatic.
“Following” allows your readers to keep up to date without manually visiting your website. “Following” is automatic.
On the other hand, allowing your readers to follow your website is easy to do with RSS/Email and social media….if you are ready.
RSS and Email
These are the most common ways to follow a website.
RSS (really simple syndication) is a very easy, and anonymous, way to receive information about a new post on a website. Your readers subscribe by clicking on the RSS Icon . This is usually now located in the upper right portion of a webpage.
Every time new content is published, the new article is sent, via the RSS feed to your “reader”, also known as an “accumulator.” Your “reader” (for example, Google Reader) then collects all the RSS feeds from various sites and keeps them in one place!
Most websites (and your medical site should, too) also allow subscription or “opt in” via email. By rendering their email address, patients can receive updates via email. Simple.
Social Media Icons
Choose a social media platform easy for you to use and convenient for you.
By convenient, I mean easy for you to use and is something you’ll use often. If using a social media platform, such as FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn is a drudgery, then don’t choose this as an option to follow a site.
Stick with RSS and/or email instead.
Remember social media platforms are great ways to follow a website and should not be expected to replicate all the information found on that website. Social media simply draws attention to a website.
Social media platforms each appeal to its own demographic (for instance, YouTube and Pinterest may appeal to visual learners). Twitter users (microbloggers) enjoy short and direct messages.
What Can You Do?
As a reader, don’t stress over the plethora of social media available. Choose one or two offered by that website. Very few webmasters are able to keep more than a few platforms up to date anyway.
As a webmaster/owner/practice administrator, don’t stress that you even have to use social media. Make sure that you provide an “opt-in” and RSS. Only add social media when you are ready.
RSS feeds are generated automatically from your WordPress CMS (content management system). You may link the feed to either Feedburner.com (free) or aWeber.com to email your subscriber list.
When you are ready, consider adding social media. Choose one at a time. Remember;
- You do not have to participate in every SM platform (it’s impossible).
- Participating in too many can be a mistake (you fail to keep them current)
- Placing too many icons on your website may look impressive, but probably says you don’t know what you are doing!
To Your Growth And Success!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization