Today, healthcare organizations are understanding that social media plays a vital role in their marketing efforts, especially in regards to their quest to increase social engagement. According to a study conducted by the PwC Health Research Institute:
- 42% of consumers view health information through social media.
- 30% of consumers have supported a health-related cause or commented on others’ health experience via social media.
- 45% of consumers said information they found through social media would affect their decision to seek a second opinion.
- 76% of consumers expect healthcare organizations to respond to their request for an appointment or follow up 24 hours after their inquiry.
As consumers are becoming more and more tech-savvy, it is important that healthcare organizations use social media platforms correctly to amplify social engagement among their consumers. Here are five ways to ensure that social engagement is a healthy one.
Create Trustworthy Content: Be sure that the content created is 100% accurate and speaks to specific audiences. A great example of a healthcare organization getting content creation correct is the Mayo Clinic. When checking out their Twitter account, their stream is full of valuable insights offered from different vantage points, such as the sharing of blogs, live-streaming Q&As with actual doctors on a specific condition via Periscope, and healthy lifestyle tips. By providing such engaging content through their Twitter account, the Mayo Clinic establishes itself as an authoritative figure in the healthcare market, which, in turn, gets patients engaged with them through these social channels.
Create Segmented Channels: While it may seem logical to have just one Twitter account for your healthcare organization, if there are many services offered, why not create a Twitter account for each one of them? While the audience may be smaller, it allows the opportunity to provide content specific to that group’s interest, such as pediatrics, cancer services, and maternity. These types of segmented channels will provide you with a genuinely engaged and interested audience to create relevant content for.
Create Virtual Weekly Meetings: One of the things that hospitals offer are support groups in which people with the same ailment or those looking for similar-minded individuals can talk and discuss issues they might be having. However, healthcare organizations can take this type of support outside their walls and into the digital world. Social platforms such as Facebook and Google Hangouts provide avenues in which patients can log into a private and closed to the public group in which they can talk amongst themselves with those who understand.
Monitor & Answer: One thing healthcare organizations must do is listen to the conversations taking place via social media and be sure to acknowledge them, whether good or bad. In a study by BMJ Quality & Safety, they found that there were 400,000 public tweets that were directed at 2,400 healthcare organizations between 2012 and 2013. Some of the common complaints delivered via social media include waiting too long for appointments and parking ills. By listening to what is being said about your healthcare organization, your are not only engaging with your audience, but also gathering information to address problems, and therefore, provide a better patient experience overall.
Disclosure: As a healthcare professional, be cognizant of patient privacy as governed by the HIPPAA Privacy Rule. Be sure that all content being produced in the hopes of generating consumer engagement does not contain any identifying information about a patient. A the saying goes, if you wouldn’t say it in the hospital hallway, do not say it on Twitter or any other social media platform.
By providing your audience with trustworthy content through segmented channels, listening and answering them, all while remembering their federally-protected right to privacy, you will be able to engage them socially, establishing your brand as an authoritative voice in the healthcare industry. For more information on how to get your healthcare organization on this type of level, please call On Target at 866-998-6886, or contact us online.
Thank you for reading,