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Secret to Cleveland Clinic's Social Media Success: Content

   June 11, 2014

HLM: What is the cornerstone to Cleveland Clinic's social success?

Matsen: Sharing useful, helpful, and relevant information is the main driver of our success. Our Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic blog fuels our social media channels. The blog posts are conversational and meaningful to people all over the world—whether they will be a Cleveland Clinic patient or not—and that resonates extremely well on social media.

We typically don't post about our own organization very often. We focus on helping patients solve problems and make healthy decisions for themselves and their families—decisions at home, at the grocery store or pharmacy, in the doctor's office. We have built trust with our followers, and we take that seriously. All of our content is thoroughly reviewed and approved by clinical experts.

I would also say that leveraging data is also critical to our success. The team is constantly testing ideas and seeing what works. We utilize the insights we gather from many analytics tools to make decisions around every aspect of every post on every channel. We're always trying to better understand our audiences and maintain relevance.

HLM: Can you tell me about your process for content creation and how you then integrate that across social platforms?

Matsen: Our Health Hub blog is the foundation of our social media strategy. Cleveland Clinic has thousands of healthcare professionals who are leaders in their respective fields. They have tremendous evidence-based knowledge and experience.

Our job is to deliver that wealth of knowledge to people in a friendly and informative way. Facebook is our primary platform for doing that.

Our digital engagement team works with colleagues from all over the organization to generate ideas for the blog and to identify the best expert sources. We maintain a publishing calendar for Health Hub. Our social team is responsible for curating the Health Hub content and distributing it across the social channels in ways that will have maximum appeal to their respective audiences.

The posting schedule and techniques differ by channel, but the strategy is fundamentally the same: Use Health Hub content to make a positive difference in people's health.

In terms of Facebook, we post six times a day, which is more than most of our competitors, but we know our schedule works. We see it in the engagement numbers. And we do our best to strike a balance between wellness and prevention and clinical treatment information. We constantly look at the data to determine the best blog topics and combinations of words, images, videos, and graphics to create the most engaging posts on each social platform.

Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.

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