3 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Use Social Media

3 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Use Social Media

3 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Use Social Media

Jan 27

3 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Use Social Media

There has traditionally been fear by healthcare organizations to use social media. They are afraid it will result in violations of HIPAA and other privacy regulations. However, there are many legitimate uses of social media that respect patient privacy and help patients, as well as the public at large. Let’s look at three ways healthcare organizations can use social media.

Education

Social media is a low cost method of informing people of critical symptoms of common conditions like strokes, heart disease and diabetes. Educating the public about changing school vaccination rules followed by information on where to get low cost vaccines helps parents. Let people know about flu outbreaks and more exotic diseases like West Nile as well as when it is appropriate to visit the doctor or Emergency Room. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS was a successful case study on educational content going viral, but even a few thousand views is success when it is focused on your community.

Educational content that no one else provides is an excellent way to engage your audience and build your brand. For example, you can find many videos and presentations on how to handle stress, but you’ll find far less information on how to handle a colicky baby as a new parent or teenagers dealing with their first migraine. Talking about the rise of surgical robots and what they can do while discussing the new cutting edge one installed in your hospital is a win-win.

Marketing

Social media outreach improves your healthcare organization’s search engine rankings. You don’t have to send a barrage of Tweets and maintain a constantly updated stream of Facebook posts. Instead, create social media accounts for your organization with the same naming convention, key search terms and user handle. Then share the same information across all of these platforms whether an infographic on the symptoms of a heart attack for women, the birth of triplets at your hospital or positive reviews of your organization by others. You can mix it up by sharing profiles on your best medical professionals and interviews about “life behind the scenes”.

Don’t neglect the visual impact of your team in branded medical scrubs or T-shirts with the facility’s name on it talking about your new pediatric MRI machine or the charity drive your group is supporting.

Discussing the value of an accredited online MHA degree in the healthcare employment marketplace attracts the attention of those considering earning the degree and can be used to market your business as a place of employment. Or talk about educational benefits your healthcare organization offers like paying for continuing education credits or reimbursing college courses like an online MHA program, likewise using it as a lead in for why someone looking for a job should work for you.

News Sharing

Healthcare organizations should use social media to get the word out about events the public should know about like free health screenings held at a specific location, blood drives and the opening of new clinics. A good social media campaign costs a fraction of the price of radio and TV advertising campaigns. Don’t forget to use the same hash tags and brand key terms for your news articles as your social media outreach to maximize the impact on your SEO.

You can use “news” functions to keep the public informed and happy at the same time. For example, your customers will appreciate posts about how to stay healthy during cold and flu seasons and the longer hours your clinic will be open to accommodate the greater demand. Recognize a nurse who has graduated to a nurse practitioner and let people know that you have many NPs on staff who are equal in ability to medical doctors for treating most disorders. Give a shout out when an employee completes the master of healthcare administration in strategy and innovation program and then talk about the value it adds to your organization.

Summary

There are many ways healthcare organizations can use social media to educate the public. Healthcare organizations can simultaneously share news about the organization in a low cost way and market themselves unobtrusively to potential patients and future employees. Coordinating social media accounts with the same hashtags, brand names and account names improves your company or non-profit’s status with search engines, as well.

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