By Nicole Ervast, Business Development Associate
If you are involved in the social media marketing for your hospital, and you are unsure of what to post or what types of content your audience is looking for, this blog post is for you. There are many large hospitals and health systems that are marketing successfully on social media–if you are looking for some great examples, check out Intermountain Healthcare, Kaleida Health and Cleveland Clinic (I’ve linked to their Twitter pages, but they are all active on Facebook and Instagram as well). But your hospital may not be as well-equipped with a pro marketing department, so I’ve listed some of my own observations on what types of content resonate.
1. Nutrition, Fitness and General Health
It’s likely that one of your hospital’s main goals is to prevent readmissions, so that it doesn’t get burdened with nasty financial penalties. One of the best (and most cost-effective) ways to prevent readmissions and promote healthy living is by educating. Take a look at any of the hospital profiles linked above, and you will see that they all do this through social media. It can be as simple as one sentence with a statistic. For example:
Sip on this ☕
8.23.16@American_Heart issues 1st scientific statement outlining specific sugar limits for kids. pic.twitter.com/2hQfCcHfzc
— Cleveland Clinic (@ClevelandClinic) August 23, 2016
Depending on the size of your hospital, it is equipped with several health experts at any given time, be them nurses, physicians or mid-levels. Use them! They can easily give you the information you need. Ask a doc or two to provide you with bite-size tidbits of health, nutrition and fitness advice on a regular basis, and you’ve already got a solid posting schedule.
2. Updates on Current Health Issues
Ebola. Zika. Even the flu. People will appreciate free and timely information on these threats to their health. Stay up to date on where these diseases are, where they are traveling, and who is at risk. This doesn’t have to be limited to trendy infections–heart disease, different cancers, and diabetes are also widespread. People want to know how to avoid these detriments to their health, and what to do if they suspect they may have one of the above. If they see your hospital as a reliable resource for information, they will also see your hospital as a reliable resource for healthcare.
3. Events at Your Hospital
Many hospitals hold free events and information sessions for different health issues, ranging from pregnancy to diabetes to all different types of cancer. Chances are your hospital has events like these, and you should definitely promote them on social media. It’ll show that your hospital is active in the community and cares about the people who live there.
If you read my last blog post, you know that the most effective thing you can do on social media is to be human. Kaleida Health does a great job of this by taking photography submissions from doctors who travel all over the world. They post beautiful photos like this one on Instagram all the time.
Since some of their affiliated hospitals have been around a long time, they also have a nice collection of old photos of the hospital and staff, as well as the city of Buffalo, which they post regularly. This helps to keep their audience’s interest, because users never know what to expect. They might get a tip on healthy living in their feed in the morning, and then an intriguing photo of a historic landmark in the afternoon. The audience never gets bored (and as a member of Kaleida’s social audience, I speak from experience).
I encourage you to try posting on all of these topics, and see what resonates. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make your hospital more human online.