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It’s unlikely that an urgent care operation could build a robust marketing presence without savvy use of social media. From basic Facebook pages to more sophisticated use of Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms, the only real limits are in the user’s field of vision. The same source of potentially rich rewards is also a minefield where one misstep can ruin the center’s reputation, however. The same goes for individuals within the operation, of course. Just clicking “like” on someone else’s post or tweet can be a high-risk proposition. The president of Thomas Jefferson University and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia is learning this the hard way right now. As reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, Mark Tykocinski, MD was critiqued by his institution after word got out that he “liked” numerous posts casting doubt on COVID-19 vaccines and others that referred to gender reassignment surgery as “child mutilation.” Tykocinski toldThe Philadelphia Inquirer that his intention was to bookmark the tweets for future reference and “to learn more about the subject matter or the particular viewpoint.” He said he did not equate liking them with an endorsement of their content and confessed a “lack of understanding” about the implications of doing so. Certainly in urgent care there are endless opportunities to both leverage social media for the benefit of patients and the operation and to draw torrents of criticism from the very people you want to attract to your UCC. A couple of articles in the JUCM archive, Seven Digital Marketing Tactics for Every Urgent Care Center and Don’t Post That! Protecting Patient Privacy in the Age of social media might be helpful as you and your team walk that thin line with your own social media efforts.

Social Media Is Rich in Marketing Opportunities—but Also Reputational Risk