New Media versus Social Media – What’s the Difference?

I would guess I view over 50 twitter profiles a week, looking for healthcare professionals posting quality tweets, linking to great content, who have built a decent follower/following ratio and, most of all, who are conversant, retweeting and showing part of their personality when tweeting healthcare.

When I find someone demonstrating positive use of social media, I award them by recognizing them as a #MedicalMonday healthcare twitizen of the week.  Each month I choose one of the 4 weekly winners to win a prize,  usually a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.  The purpose of the hash is to give props to healthcare professionals doing good things on twitter. It’s my way of giving back, learning better ways of using twitter and being social within social media.

I am constantly shocked at the number of healthcare professionals on twitter who describe themselves as “in to” social media or SM “experts” in their bio, but who aren’t really doing anything social with twitter.  These are people who post, and post again, and post and link to their blog or other content, and post again, without ever interacting. You can see this by scrolling down their twitter landing page and looking for “RT”‘s. If you see a tinyURL in every post, that is another sign they are pushing and not participating.  Their “push” marketing might be effective and they may have built a huge twitter following and be increasing their blog stats, but there’s absolutely nothing “social” about what they are doing.  They may be experts at “new media”, but might be shocked to learn that they aren’t involved in social media – at all.

On Wikipedia, “new media” is described as “a broad term that emerged in the later part of the 20th century to encompass the amalgamation of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written word, with the interactive power of computer and communications technology, computer-enabled consumer devices and most importantly the Internet.”   I see new media as the “hardware” that social media is built upon.  Participating in new media has tremendous benefits, but should be used as an exercise in preparing for the more effective and more modern social web.  For both new media and social media, content is king, but in new media you drive people to your content; social media involves driving people to your content, conversing with your connections about it, visiting theirs and commenting on it and giving them props for their efforts to your network.  It’s a world of sharing and giving and getting back.

For all the reasons you are involved in new media, social media is like new media on steroids – if you are enhancing your reputation by posting your content, wait until you friend people around it and then check out the buzz.  If you are in it for search optimization, wait until you see how many incoming links you get when you get involved in replying on other peoples blogs and promote your efforts there.

If you are engaged in new media and want a taste of healthcare twitizens practicing real social media (and I’m not talking about self professed “gurus” or “experts”, but everyday practitioners making a difference by being social), check out the #MedicalMonday hash and connect with me @EyeInfo and see what your colleagues are doing.

Dr. Alan Glazier

Dr. Alan Glazier is an optometrist practicing in Rockville Maryland.  He is the founder of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care a modern 4 doctor practice which uses social media as it’s sole means of marketing.  He has been interviewed by major news outlets for his use of social media in healthcare. Dr. Glazier is a professional blogger for sightnation.com and Click magazine.  He is a social media consultant to CooperVision, a major contact lens retailer.  He is on the editorial board of Optometric Management Magazine and is an author and frequent lecturer on social media and author of the first continuing education approved course in social media for optometry.   In 2010 he won an award for “Best Use of Twitter” from the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

t: @EyeInfo

w: youreyesite.com

e: aglazier@youreyesite.com

skype: aglazier

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