Social media grows as force in healthcare
The healthcare industry is following in the footsteps of nonprofits, when it comes to putting social media to work for building community engagement and fostering better relationships.
Nonprofits understand the importance of building quality, lasting relationships for maintaining a base of supporters to embrace their many causes and fundraising campaigns.
"By utilizing social media to promote brand awareness, nonprofits have been able to build quality relationships by keeping followers engaged with frequent updates, and “late-breaking news”, distributed via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and more."
- Nonprofits embracing social media for fund raising - September 21, 2009
Recent articles suggest that the healthcare industry is also beginning to realize the upside potential for social media sites that can strengthen the connection within the community for existing healthcare centers, patients, and physicians, while attracting new followers / patients.
"At a recent forum in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 94 percent said they thought social media was necessary to increase consumer engagement."
"What's more, nearly 80 percent of those professionals said that their companies have Facebook pages and close to 60 percent said they had Twitter accounts."
"For other industries, those latter two numbers would seem low. But healthcare, it appears, may finally be starting to catch up."
- Social media's influence continues to grow in healthcare - March 28, 2012
- “Engage and educate” your community with timely information
- Share your opinion on healthcare policy
- Encourage your staff to participate in posting their helpful healthcare tips
- Do not blog about speciﬁc cases, or reveal any customer data
- Do not offer medical advice! (educate, don't diagnose)
- Become an online voice for your community – start conversations
- Find ways to connect / interact
- Share something of value
- Recommend other sites, articles, links, tools, tips
- Collaborate and encourage participation
- Build relationships – communicate
5 Keys to Social Media for Healthcare Professionals (And Everybody Else, Too)
- Know what you want to accomplish - Identify the most valuable knowledge you have, and develop a 90-day messaging plan around sharing that knowledge.
- Use a clear voice - build your social media presence using your image and your conversational voice. If you’re getting your staff involved, create your message plan with staff input – and make it clear on the social media sites you use that it’s a team effort.
- Look for shining examples - Who are the leaders in your specialty? You can learn from someone else’s success story: what social media sites they use.
- Plan the time - Using social media is a commitment. You’ve got to put it on your schedule.
- Listen twice as much as you talk - When you share on social media, you’re starting a conversation. Part of commitment of social media listening.
Some takeaways to remember
- “Engage and educate” – don’t diagnose
- Ask community members for input on local priorities via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.
- Embrace the collaborative spirit of social media and recognize this journey as away to build bridges and unite staff, volunteers, others
- Engage - your connections, patients, and customers frequently, support them, as well as industry leaders
- If you do only one thing on social media, make it a blog. Educate your community with timely information
- Leverage Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, whenever possible to share information that is useful to your followers, and to the followers you’d like to attract
- Be helpful to your community – share general, informative, interesting content. Safety, diet tips, checklists, tools, tips, etc.
- Demonstrate your value – share your success stories
Social Media Strategist, WordPress Web Designer, Twitter Specialist, Social Medial Trainer - Specializing in the 'power trio' -- Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Online writer for The Examiner - http://www.examiner.com/social-media-in-richmond/daulton-west-jr
Other Posts by Daulton West, Jr.
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