How to Create the Right Mix of Content to Share on your Hospital's Social Media

Posted on June 28, 2016

How to Create the Right Mix of Content to Share on Social MediaBy Chelsea Rank, Account Coordinator

In any social media strategy, content reigns as the most important influencer of audience engagement. In the healthcare marketing realm, the content your organization shares should reflect multiple different areas, without blatant self-promotion. I recently read the book Renegades Write the Rules, and thought the author, Amy Jo Martin, had some great points. In particular, she offered six different value buckets of content to use when leveraging social media to enhance your brand.

Educating posts teach your audience something new about the healthcare marketing industry:

  • Industry news
  • Industry legislation

Entertaining material includes lighter posts that spark interactivity with the audience:

  • Holiday posts
  • Contests

Inspiring content is encouraging or positive:

  • Community/charity events
  • Patient testimonials/patient stories

Exclusive posts show anything your audience doesn't have immediate access to in your company:

  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Virtual tours

Informative content includes branded information about your company:

  • Company awards
  • News releases

Reciprocation encompasses responding to your audience online:

  • Addressing comments
  • Answering questions

Your posts should reflect an equal balance between these categories.

A strategic principle of creating social media content is ensuring that posts are category-apportioned, meaning you are varying categories of content to create the right mix. Too few categories tell your audience that you offer little variety. Too many categories give off the impression that your organization's messaging is unfocused. Resources should be allocated across channels.

Develop a content mix review whether you're just getting started with social media to build your brand, you're already established on social media but are looking to improve your strategy, or you're just curious about the impact your content is making. I suggest keeping a log of previous posts and shares across your social media channels and grouping them into the six content categories. Take notice of any patterns that emerge. Also keep in mind the posts that generate the most audience interaction, and if any of these posts fall in the same content category.

Paying close attention to social media content will allow you to isolate effective strategies and shift your approach accordingly. You can then make decisions based on what produces results, rather than guessing what might work. Remembering the six content categories will allow you to create a rock-solid social media plan, revealing important patterns that lead to significant insight.

When it comes to digital marketing, social media is just one piece of the puzzle. If you are ready to improve your digital efforts and ensure all stategies are working together, download our e-book:
How to Focus Your Digital Strategy: 6 Steps to Creating a Patient Persona.

It will take you through how to:
-Create a patient persona specific to healthcare
-Find reliable research resources you can use to make data-driven decisions
-Do it on a budget

Download E-Book

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How Your Hospital Should Be Using Social Media

Posted on June 13, 2016

How Your Hospital Should Be Using Social Media

By Aaron Wagner, Account Executive

Whether you are a one-person show or part of a marketing team, there is always pressure from the senior executives and boards to "use social media." The tricky part is figuring out what social media channels to use and how to use each of them to benefit your hospital.

Believe it or not the answer isn't to use all of the social media channels or to post the same type of content on various channels. Identifying what you want to accomplish with each channel will help you stay on track with your hospital's social media goals and maximize your marketing efficiency.

Facebook. This is going to be your biggest audience and chance to make a great impact. Hospital's Facebook pages are becoming an extension of its website. Most facilities will post anything relevant to their Facebook page. Posts about events, new physicians, health articles, and updates about the hospital and the surrounding community are excellent subjects. It's a simple way to post content and updates quickly. Every hospital should have a Facebook page to better connect with its patients and the community.

Twitter. Hospitals shouldn't have a Twitter account unless they have a clear strategy and purpose for an account and can project a large enough following that warrants the time invested into the account. The best way for hospitals to utilize Twitter is to tease. With only 140 characters to make an impact, think of Twitter as an approach to get followers to your blog, website, or event page. Tease, "The 5 things you don't know about…" and have it link to the hospital blog. In the event of a crisis - depending on hospital size - Twitter might be useful to provide quick updates to the public.

Instagram. One of the most popular apps that continues to grow, but is there a reason a hospital should have one? Not necessarily. For smaller hospitals there's not a great need to have one. However, if you are part of a large hospital or system you should use Instagram as a way to connect with the community through photos. Photos should all be feel good - hospital events, fundraisers, volunteer work, staff etc. Perhaps create an Instagram cardboard cutout that people can take pictures with and use with a certain hashtag to encourage participation.

Snapchat. While it's the fastest growing app that continues to improve and evolve it's not a necessity. Snapchat could be a good resource for a larger hospital but would have to be done right for a smaller hospital to use it. Using Snapchat for events - run/walks, fundraisers, Foundation, etc. is a fun way to get those at the event to participate. Larger hospitals could have various doctors, therapists, and staff members "take over" the hospitals Snapchat for a "day in the life of" segments.

Pinterest. There are two main things that hospitals should use Pinterest for: food and exercise. Have your team of dieticians find healthy recipes to pin to the hospitals "Healthy Desserts" or "Healthy Breakfasts" boards. Encourage trainers and physical therapists to provide input on exercise ideas on how to lose weight, build strength, etc. and post those pins to the "Workout" or "Running" board.

The five apps above are great channels to connect with your patients and the community. If you decide to use more than one, make sure that you are "cross-apping." Share the Instagram photo to your Facebook page. Encourage your Facebook fans to follow you on Twitter. Post a blog recapping an event and tease it on your Instagram account. Or share a healthy recipe pin and link it to your website where you have other healthy recipes for visitors to check out.

Don't get overwhelmed! Unless you have a large social media team, start by mastering Facebook first. Then venture into Twitter, Instagram and the other apps. Consider forming a social media team of those who know how to use social media so you can venture into the various apps that make sense for your hospital. Social media can seem daunting, but the savvy marketer can master it with little trouble and start boosting a hospital's presence online.

When it comes to digital marketing, social media is just one piece of the puzzle. If you are ready to improve your digital efforts and ensure all stategies are working together, download our e-book:
How to Focus Your Digital Strategy: 6 Steps to Creating a Patient Persona.

It will take you through how to:
-Create a patient persona specific to healthcare
-Find reliable research resources you can use to make data-driven decisions
-Do it on a budget

Download E-Book

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