Pediatric practices with a social media presence have a lot more reach than they might realize. Engaging with families online is not only a great way to share information about your practice and be a voice in your unique community -- it’s also invaluable for parents searching for facts and reassurance about their child’s health. See how this PCC practice reaches their patients with social media, and how doing so makes a difference in the lives of kids in surprising ways.
Kids Plus Pediatrics’ Social Media Superpowers
Dr. Todd Wolynn and Chad Hermann, Communications Director at Kids’ Plus Pediatrics in Pittsburgh, PA have worked for over a decade together to increase the practice’s presence both online and offline. Dr. Wolynn is a popular public speaker, records musical TikToks between patients, and is an active social media voice for the safety and efficacy of pediatric vaccines. While the two may be social media superheroes, the success of their efforts is replicable by any practice.
After a startling anti-vaccination attack on Kids’ Plus Pediatrics’ social pages and website that threatened to undermine years of the physicians’ hard work and trusted reputations, Hermann and Dr. Wolynn launched Shots Heard Round the World, a nonprofit committed to protecting and defending pediatric practices from similar attacks. The nonprofit aims to do what many pediatricians would do in the face of misinformation in real life -- defend pediatric colleagues and point families to reliable information about vaccination so that they can make informed decisions with the help of their child’s physician.
Pediatric Social Network Heroes
In a 2021 feature in People magazine, Dr. Wolynn describes his work on social media, sometimes as “Vaxx-Man” and sometimes in other fun costumes, as just one more effort to encourage healthy habits for families -- not a superpower at all. “I want people to have accurate information about vaccines, and if singing and dancing helps get it out there, I'm thrilled.”
The exposure on social media not only shares health information with social media-friendly tweens and teens, but is uplifting anxious parents, too. Providing helpful information can help reassure parents and reinforce the trust needed for successful patient relationships. One Pittsburgh parent reported in the People article that she found Kids’ Plus Pediatrics’ updates about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines to be one of her most trusted sources.
What's Social Listening?
Whether your practice prefers writing Facebook posts or shooting Instagram photos, you don’t have to have the perfect TikTok dance moves to share important and helpful messages with families. Social listening can help you understand what patients and parents are concerned about, and manage your practice’s reputation by responding accordingly. Here are some ways to use your social media platform to share information:
- Share reliable information from trusted sources like the CDC or state/national AAP
- Share or repost videos and photos from fellow pediatricians
- Update your community on current events like flu clinics
- Engage your audience with videos, contests, photos, or games
- Share how your practice connects to the community, through events such as a local fundraiser, public sporting event, or holiday celebrations
Congratulations to Dr. Todd Wolynn and Chad Herman of Kids Plus Pediatrics for their People Magazine feature!
You don’t need a signal in the sky to be called to act for the good of kids’ healthcare -- all you need is a listening ear and maybe a smartphone camera. Building trust online is a pursuit that can help families get reliable health information and keep their most trusted healthcare allies accessible when the going gets tough.
If you keep your superhero suit hidden beneath a lab coat, we won’t let the secret out, but if you want more secrets of the social media trade, check out Dr. Wolynn’s webinar with PCC’s Chip Hart. The duo dive into social media, website design, and ways to stand out online to keep families connected and attract new patients to your practice. Learn from Dr. Wolynn and Chip's experience in fighting disinformation, engaging with millennial parents, and more!