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5 Social Media Resolutions for Hospitals

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 9, 2013

Here are five resolutions all hospital marketers should make for the coming year.

1. Tell powerful patient stories
Perhaps the greatest value of social media is the ability to quickly and easily connect with patients. From there, it's up to the marketer to make this connection meaningful.

Often, the best way to accomplish this is by telling meaningful, powerful patient stories. Luckily for us, these stories already exist out there. We just have to find them.

To do this, track any keyword or hashtag that relates to your organization. A third party platform such as HootSuite can facilitate this. If you don't find much, start soliciting  patient stories.

From there, you can share them on Facebook, re-tweet them on Twitter, or write up a blog post, which you can then link to on Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, YouTube may be the best storytelling medium.

There are countless ways to share positive patient experiences through social media. And the more often you do it, the easier the process will become.

2. Do something innovative
Another benefit of social media campaigns versus traditional marketing campaigns is that you can afford to take more risks.

If a marketing campaign bombs, you've wasted money on print materials and advertising space. But, in most cases, if a social media campaign misses the mark you're only real cost is the time it took to execute it.

Besides, in social media taking a risk can pay off big.

Here are some ideas to get your gears turning: 

  • Live-tweet a surgery to highlight a service line
  • Experiment with fundraising through Facebook
  • Set up a weekly doc Q&A time on Twitter
  • Use social media to attract new physicians and staff
  • Ask a patient to live-tweet a “day in the life” at your organization

Get creative and see what sticks. As a bonus, local press love to cover innovative hospital social marketing efforts.

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2 comments on "5 Social Media Resolutions for Hospitals"


Ryan Squire (1/9/2013 at 5:15 PM)
Please review your article and advice that hospitals should have employees sign a form indicating that they will not share negative comments about the organization. There is a growing body of evidence that this practice is illegal and in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. Several decisions by courts and the National labor Relations Board have indicated that employers must have a policy and practice that protects employees' rights to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions; regardless of whether those discussions are negative. Here is a link to the NLRB report on social media: http://www.nlrb.gov/news/acting-general-counsel-releases-report-employer-social-media-policies

Stephen Moegling (1/9/2013 at 2:13 PM)
Excellent article and very inspirational. Though a small percentage of systems are using social media, fewer are using it effectively to contribute to the organization's business goals. One reason for this is the silo approach systems have taken with social [INVALID] branding over here, event marketing over there, and social does its thing in a kind of communications limbo. I posted a New Year's Resolutions blog for healthcare marketers that you may find relevant, especially Resolution #4: http://gojunto.com/healthcare-marketing-new-years-resolutions/