Snaps, Tweets And Shares OH MY! How To Choose The Right Social Media Platforms For Your Organization.

It’s no secret. Healthcare organizations with an active social media strategy are gaining a lot more exposure than those without. The benefits are endless; a way to communicate with current and potential patients, a chance for your community to get an inside look at the lives of your doctors, the list goes on and on. But what social media platforms are REALLY the best for your organization?

Be awesome, never sub-par. It’s important to note that the answer is never all of the above, because most people and organizations don’t have the bandwidth or resources to be stellar on each and every platform… unless you have super powers. Organizations with the best social strategy decide what content will suit their ideal audience, then choose platforms that will offer the best potential reach. Here are some suggestions:

SNAPCHAT: To connect with young patients. Not exactly the most traditional means of marketing, but very effective. If you’re targeting young generations, consider exploring Snapchat, whose majority of active users are millennials and Gen Zs. Generation Z happens to be the target demographic for children’s hospitals. There are many that have already embraced this app (A few being Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago) that allows users to send photos and videos which disappear after a few seconds. Physicians or nurses could take over the Snapchat feed for a day, or content may feature a fundraising event or attempt to raise awareness for a certain disease.

TWITTER: To update your followers in real-time. Twitter is the perfect option for organizations that are ready to reach out and start a conversation with other users in real-time. If you have breaking news, updates, or questions for patients and visitors, Twitter is the best avenue to reach people quickly. It’s also ideal in times of crisis, allowing you to provide minute-by-minute information to your followers. We use Twitter on a regular basis to provide company updates, new blog posts, and snippets of our day to day life in the office. 

YOUTUBE: To create a captivating visual story. If you have a compelling visual story to tell, YouTube is an incredibly powerful tool. With millions of users ranging all ages, potential reach is endless, but it comes with a caveat. No one will watch a boring video. Your content must be fresh and captivating in the first 5 seconds. ZDoggMD creates satirical medical rap parodies to bring awareness to various healthcare hot topics and issues including EHRs, readmission rates, and administration woes. His most popular video has over 2 million views – talk about raising awareness! Intermountain Healthcare uses YouTube to share cancer survivor stories, health advice from patients that have survived heart attacks and diseases, and much more in an attempt to bring awareness to the lives that are changed through Intermountain, and more importantly, to give people hope. 

FACEBOOK: To grow an online community. One of the most popular and widely used social platforms by healthcare organizations and patients. Facebook is about building relationships and giving the outside world a peek into what’s behind the company name. It allows you to build a reputation – what do employees accomplish from day to day and in their spare time? What impact is your organization having on your patients? Facebook is where you tell that story. It’s another great platform for talking in real-time to current and potential patients. For a deeper level of transparency, enable the ability for Facebook users to leave reviews on your page. This gives new patients a real and honest look into who you are as an organization. We use Facebook to interact on a daily basis with many of our clients and partners. 

LINKEDIN: To brush shoulders with industry leaders. LinkedIn is incredibly helpful if you’re interested in networking and building your brand as an industry leader. There are over 5 million healthcare practitioners, executives, channel followers, and opinion leaders on LinkedIn; it’s not a number to scoff at. It’s a great way to share ideas and develop referral-based relationships. Join industry-specific groups that allow you to interact with other professionals like you by participating in forum discussions. It’s one way to build trust around your organization and seek out referrals by getting to know other healthcare professionals in your network.

Choose platforms strategically, post engaging content regularly, interact with your followers, and be true to who you are as an organization. Only then will you build a strong online reputation, differentiate yourself from others in your industry, and create a powerful channel to attract new patients. 

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