Using Social Media to Market Your Hospital

Social-Media-and-HIPAATweet, Facebook, and Blog

Social media: it seems to be everywhere lately. We don’t use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter on just a personal level anymore. We use it for our businesses, companies and organizations too. One field of work where you might not automatically think of social media is the health care industry, specifically, hospitals and their need for social media. The way a hospital is marketed for its audience is very important. Learning how to use social media resources to better your hospital’s reputation or image is a great business tactic.

Do: Forget the glam
Using social media to market a hospital is a great way to save on funds as well as get your message across. According to a study done by Mayo clinic, YouTube is a great resource for hospitals to reach their audience, and the best part about it: it’s completely free!

Do: Tweet!
Hire a social media professional to run your hospital’s Twitter page. Having someone who’s an expert in social media marketing will not only allow you to focus on other areas of improvement, but will also get you the best result possible from social media.

Do: Facebook.
Even more important than Twitter for a hospital is Facebook, simply because more of your audience is on it. With over 1.15 billion active users, this social network is sure to get your message across to the right people. Facebook also allows for you to share more of your message and present a much clearer brand that an outlet like Twitter. You can say a lot more on Facebook than you can in 140 characters on Twitter.

Do: Blog!
Having a blog that describes your hospital’s initiatives, facilities, goals and success stories is very important in the healthcare industry. It’s also a great way to share current events ands news for the hospital. Equally imperative is making sure that your blog links back to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. The more people who are seeing your resources, the more people understand your message.

Do: Have continuity
There needs to be a continued approach and feel throughout your social media channels. Have one clear message going across your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. This message can be everything from your goals, to your pages’ design and colors.

Don’t: Spread yourself too thin
If you only have the resource to work on one or two social medias, then do just that. It’s important not to outstretch yourself across multiple social media channels in a poor way. Focus on making your Facebook and blog the best it can be. When time and resources allow, expand to new social media channels, but only when you have your previous ones fully established.

Don’t: Go in blind
Make sure you have a meeting with your marketing team and your social media experts before you begin designing and implementing your social media strategies. Know exactly what your messages and key points are and what goals you hope to achieve from this.

Don’t: Forget to follow-up
Many companies falter on social media by not checking up on it. Once your channels are implemented and up and running, it can be easy to fall into a comfortable pattern and forget about them. Have monthly meetings to see the results of your efforts and to figure out your areas of strengths and weaknesses.

Make sure you’re posting on a regular basis. Social media accounts that post too often or not enough usually get ‘de-friended’ or ‘un-followed’ by their audience. Don’t inundate your audience, but also don’t overwhelm them. It’s important to find a happy medium when using social media.

About the Author: Michelle Rebecca is a blogger, health writer, and freelancer. She currently volunteers at a physical therapy rehab that specializes in aquatic therapy and pool treadmills. Follow her on Google+.