Building your hospital’s social brand awareness: The dos and don’ts
Figure out the best way to connect with your audience.
It's likely that a vast majority of your employees are already using social media.
So…why not use social media to promote your brand?
Encourage your employees to talk about your community hospital and its related issues through social platforms, but be sure to follow some important
Assess who uses what
First, determine what social media outlets are being used:
Ways to take action
Target the particularly active social media participants to lead initiatives:
Write a blog post
related to your community hospital. The topics could range from an explanation of a common procedure to a description of the new hospital
wing—anything goes! Your patients will feel more connected to your hospital by having the inside scoop.
Create a LinkedIn group
to bring unity and act as a resource. Employees will be professionally linked to one another, making it easy for patients to skim their profiles
and view their qualifications.
Post on Twitter or Facebook
about hospital events and happenings or related medical topics. Encourage interaction from the fellow hospital employees as well as patients.
The only way for your community hospital's voice to be heard through social media is if you promote your efforts.
Feature an employee's blog post on your community hospital's web page.
"Retweet" and repost employee's comments and notes on Twitter and Facebook.
Participate in status updates on LinkedIn, and encourage employees to include a link to the hospital's website on their profiles.
Create a social media policy
to set standards for your employees. For a comprehensive list of good practices,
check out this article.
Be careful to refrain from making offensive remarks about competitor hospitals. Be politically correct. You don't want obscenities and insults to
be associated with your community hospital!
Always identify yourself!
Employees should not pose as patients in order to boost your hospital's image. They should always identify their affiliation with the hospital.
This will keep discussions open and honest.
your employees' social media activity. They are representing your hospital! Designate some "social media police" to ensure employees are protecting
your hospital's interest. And be sure they aren't doing any of the following.
Don't violate privacy:
In a hospital setting, a lot of specific details about medical cases and issues are confidential. Be sure your employees follow HIPAA and other medical standards when engaging in
Don't engage in conflicts of interest:
Prohibit employees from identifying or referencing business partners or clients without permission. This could result in serious legal
No "astroturfing"—don't disguise your efforts! This goes along with always openly identifying your affiliation with the hospital. Warn your employees against having
hidden personal agendas as they engage the community through social media.
Stacy Carter is partner and creative director at ABZ Design Group. You can read the
ABZ Design Group blog here.
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