Smart takes: Hospital social media tips and tactics

Here’s a neat collection of Tweets offering hospitals some perspective on how to build a social media marketing campaign, with a dash of of our own ideas:

> RT @LindsayMBurke: Amazing list of Hospital Social Media Policies #RNChat #rnchat #hcsm #hcsmeu

AZ:  Here’s an exercise we recommend:  brainstorm a list of five to ten social media policies you’d like to put in place, then read these suggestions. Next, ask yourself what the differences mean.  Our take is that most facilities impose misguided, knee-jerk policies on employees, ones which bear no relationship to how much they trust them otherwise.

> Interesting RT @ERMSquirrel: “If we can trust our hospital staff with sharp instruments, we can trust them with social media.” #hcsm

AZ: Heck yeah, but most CEOs think information is *far* more dangerous. Truthfully, sometimes they’re right, but even so, the problem’s easy enought to address.

> @agsocialmedia A good blog: Hospital Social Media: Fluidity – gauge the engagement: Fluidity – gauge the engagement. Social media…

AZ:  Sounds a bit esoteric, but the bottom line is that you can’t beat any approach to death;  don’t forget to apply the “evaluate and reposition” stage to your communications efforts. And we’re not talking about PR, marketing and social media; we’re talking about the entire way you look about how you talk to *EVERYONE*.  (Rant to follow in future post.)

> @kevinmessina Social Media vs. Traditional Media for Hospital Marketing

AZ:  Always a good idea to look at whether you’ve dragging useless notions from the old media into the news.

@Focus on the social networks that are yielding you the most benefit. Don’t spread yourself too thin over 10 if you can do it with 5.

AZ:  Great, great point.  Many of our customers think communications efforts — including social media — involve shooting at broad targets with metaphoric paintballs. Well, if you do that all you have is a drippy wall that virtually no one sees.

> @nancysiniard Hospital Marketing: Social Media as Customer Service Tool

AZ:  By *all means* read this link above.  While other industries — think @comcastcares — are learning how to communicate with customers through Twitter and Facebook, most hospitals aren’t even doing a good job with incoming phone calls. Hey, use this  moment as a chance to take your entire customer service effort up a notch by a) talking to patients and the community and b) helping internal stakeholders communicate back and forth with customer services.

And finally…some brain food:

> @prsarahevans This isn’t Facebook, but def the coolest hospital social media I’ve seen.

> @appliedart Top 10 takeaways from the Iowa Hospital Association Social Media Conference held on June 10.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.