How to Excel on Social Media: Tips for Hospital Employers

How can Hospitals Excel on Social Media
Marketing Specialist

Potential and current patients are increasingly using websites and social media as a starting point for gathering information about providers and hospitals. In fact, according to Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group, 41 percent of consumers reported a hospital’s reputation on social media influenced which physician or hospital they chose for care.

As you review your social media strategy for the upcoming year, consider the following tips from today’s leading industry experts on how you can build an online presence that shines a positive light onto your hospital or healthcare organization.

Facebook

Our most successful channels in terms of reach, engagement, virality and conversions are Facebook and our brand blog. We use Facebook Insights and Google Insights to track data for both. –Alexandra Tursi, Social Media Strategist at The University of Vermont Medical Center

Facebook is the largest social media referral source for our blog and we continue to see strong organic reach for many of our posts. We also find Facebook to be where we see the most patient reviews and patient comments about our care and caregivers. –Cynthia Manley, Director of Content and Social Media Strategy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

LinkedIn

Mayo Clinic has used LinkedIn primarily to communicate to those working in healthcare—with over two million active doctors and nurses. We write posts designed to attract top candidates for jobs and promote the hospital’s culture and environment. They want a deeper level of engagement, not just broadcasting your job postings. –Brent Bultema, Director of Recruitment Strategies at Mayo Clinic

LinkedIn provides a platform to share with the world inspirational stories from employees about who we are and how each member of our team makes a difference in the lives of our patients. –Bobby Matthews II, Innovation and Transformation Architect at Mount Sinai

Twitter

Twitter is great for PR and media relations, but not for engagement. –Alexandra Tursi, Social Media Strategist at The University of Vermont Medical Center

LinkedIn is for recruiting; Facebook is for patient education and engagement; Twitter is for news headlines. –Wendy Wilson, Vice President of Media and Digital Content Strategy at Geisinger Health System

Instagram

Hospitals and clinics have realized that you don’t need to have visually appealing products to make Instagram work for you. They are using Instagram to tell their brand story and promote community engagement. –Ariana Munoz-Tayraco, Social Media Specialist at Klick Health

We love the engagement we’re receiving on our Instagram account. We get feedback from our physicians who tell us that their patients mention having seen them on our various platforms. –Ashley Dinielli, Social Media Manager at UCLA Health

Pinterest

Pinterest, a channel that we historically had not put much effort into, targets one of the primary targets in healthcare: women. We found that in rebranding our Pinterest page, updating daily, including the channel in our content discussions, we are receiving engagement and interest from followers we previously did not have. –Emily Stieber, MBA, Social Media Strategist at Henry Ford Health System

Pinterest and Instagram both have a strong female demographic. If you’re trying to promote a premium service/product to the healthcare decision maker in the household, you may want to target Pinterest’s high-income female audience with a strong infographic. In contrast, if the goal is to humanize your brand by creating personal experiences then a behind-the-scenes shot targeting Instagram’s younger, more diverse demographic may be your best bet. –Ariana Munoz-Tayraco, Social Media Specialist at Klick Health

SnapChat

In healthcare, programs that focus on the younger audience – an adolescent and young adult cancer program, for example – should be paying close attention to the upward trend of SnapChat. We all should be watching this trend as it will have implications for communication, engagement and customer service with our consumers in the future. –Cynthia Manley, Director of Content and Social Media Strategy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

SnapChat is probably where we’ll end up next. I know we’re late to the party and the users today are still a little young for our strategy, but the usage data is impressive and it seems like it’s here to stay for awhile. –Amanda Todorovich, Content Marketing Director at Cleveland Clinic

Live Video & Streaming

Video has proven to be a powerful way to connect with consumers about healthcare topics. It allows us to break down a topic into understandable terms and put a human face on our brand. Social media video and live streaming can be used as a valuable tool in increasing patients’ ability to access useful and important information. –Alexandra Tursi, Social Media Strategist at The University of Vermont Medical Center

The growth of video continues. Mark Zuckerberg recently said that in just a few years, the majority of content people consume online will be video, which will be a challenge for healthcare organizations. We have to prepare now by using tools like Blab, Facebook Live, and Periscope. –Ed Bennett, Director of Web and Digital Services at The University of Maryland Medical System

Whether you are looking to enhance your recruitment efforts or improve your healthcare organization’s patient experience, social media can be a highly effective tool. Has your organization had success with social media? We’d love to hear from you. 

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