5 Ways Social Media Can Give Healthcare Brands a Human Face
Social media connects you to millions of potential customers, but to get the most out of it, you have to use the right content for the right slice of the social media audience. The best social media accounts are precisely targeted, updated frequently, and foster an ongoing dialogue with followers.
United Healthcare absolutely hit the nail on the head with their incredibly successful “We Dare You” campaign. They challenged people to implement small lifestyle changes and share their progress by uploading photos and updates to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Another social media standout in the healthcare industry is Baylor University Medical Center. They shared up-to-the minute tweets documenting heart transplant surgery, reaching out to people in a way that had never been done before. By sharing photos, videos, and updates from both the doctor and patient’s point of view, they captured the world’s attention and reinforced their standing as a leader in their medical field.
Many hospitals and healthcare professionals are building stronger relationship with the community and patients they serve through social media, and you can as well. Still unsure? Here are five ways you can use social media to grow your business and increase your sales.
Highlight your strengths and accomplishments
Tweet and post about your hospital’s accomplishments, showcasing ground-breaking surgeries, cutting-edge research, and the work of high-profile staff members. Show the world that there are exciting and intriguing things happening at your facility and encourage them to reach out.
Don’t feel limited by the 140-character limit on Twitter, either. The tweet doesn’t have to be the whole story; use it to drive traffic to other platforms. Tweets can be used to cross-promote a recent press release or blog post that appears on your website or to promote a bylined article authored by one of your senior leaders.
Use social media to connect with your patients
By embracing the power of social media to start a real conversation with people, you’ll find yourself building a level of trust between doctor, patient, and hospital you’ve never seen before. Using social media platforms to reach out to patients — to answer questions, to introduce new members of staff, or to point them in the direction of useful information, be it topical news or your own blog posts — is a powerful way to establish trust. When you consistently show that your main concern is the best interest of the people in your community, you come across as not only capable but also caring. This positive perception of your service, product, or facility is likely to result in more customers.
Educate and build your patient community
Using social platforms to distribute educational content — like blog posts, white papers, and e-books — is a great way to win trust in your organization’s expertise so that patients think of you first whenever they have a question or concern. It’s also a great way to update both the general public and people in the medical field about the status of research, clinical trials, and so forth. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can use social media to foster education, both for patients and for the community at large, as the Mayo Clinic does with its Twitter account by interacting with patients and tweeting out stories about a diverse array of medical issues. The Mayo Clinic has 1.27 million followers on Twitter, so that’s a lot of education going on.
Educated healthcare consumers can be a valuable asset to your healthcare facility because they tend to be more active in their care and experience more success in treatment. By engaging with patients through social media, you can show that you’re the kind of responsive, patient-focused healthcare organization that diligent patients want.
Along with other social networks, Twitter can be a wonderful tool for hospital fundraising campaigns. Not only can they connect you directly to potential donors, they also make sharing easy so donors can also become evangelists for your cause or campaign. Using #hashtags on Twitter can help foster a sense of community among givers and make tracking the spread of the campaign easier. Facebook groups are another way to create a donor community and a greater sense of connection with supporters.
The results that come along with this type of social media community-building can be substantial. One annual fundraising initiative, “Miracle Treat Day,” raises money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through a collaboration with Dairy Queen. Once DQ and Children’s Miracle Network began to promote the event heavily online, participation numbers exploded. To date, they have raised more than one hundred million dollars. Don’t be afraid to reach out and start that conversation.
Offer encouragement and inspire positive thinking
Daily words of encouragement can make a significant difference to people trying to lose weight, stick to a diet, or simply make healthier choices. By providing this type of support through social media, you can play a greater and more profound role in the daily lives of your clients, patients, or followers. Using these daily reminders in conjunction with more detailed or robust information found in e-books, blog posts, or trusted medical website can build an even stronger relationship between your organization and the people you help.
The key is keeping it interesting. There’s a lot of fitness inspiration out there, so yours needs to make people feel like it’s really helping them achieve their goals. If you don’t bring some kind of value to someone’s world, there’s no reason for them to care about your brand. When you regularly provide value to your readers, it will be returned to you in the form of new leads and followers.
Consistently crafting high-quality, fresh content for social media can establish your healthcare organization as a trusted authority in the field. Yes, you need to make every character count on Twitter, but don’t forget that Twitter isn’t the whole story. Social media is about offering a variety of content that is relevant and timely to keep users engaged and informed.
Prose Media is here to help you carefully craft your social media strategy. Sign up today for access to our free, no-obligation platform. We would love to see what you have in mind.