What now?

So what does all of this mean? We have talked a lot about different social media site usage and how to connect them with different healthcare organizations but is there a general, overall rule of thumb to follow? Does each individual social media site have to be focused around those four or five specific principles we talked about in previous blogs? Of course it doesn’t! One of the greatest things about creating your healthcare organization’s content is the freedom you have to be creative, personal, and inviting. Here are five key principles to keep in mind when posting your healthcare organization’s content.

  1. Understand who

The very first step in reaching out is to know whom you want to reach. Once you know who your target audience is, then you can better know how to reach them. Are youdownloadr readers going to be young, old, men, women, or parents? Are they only looking for more
information, special recipes, or stories to brighten their day? You can tailor your content to be specific towards readers. Do not write towards everyone because each message should be directs towards a specific audience. Check out The American Cancer Society for some great examples.

  1. Short sweet and to the point

Do not overwhelm your readers by posting and overwhelming amount of content. Keep your messages to the pdownload (10)oint. Make bullet points or number important information, bold important words or short phrases, and hyperlink words so that the readers can find more information on the topic if they need to. Give examples so that your readers can mentally picture what you are trying to describe. Make your content simple but easy to understand. The Alzheimer’s Association does a great job keeping their site concise and to the point with many visuals, videos, and an organized website.

  1. Timing is everything

I mentioned it before but cannot stress it enough, timing is important. Whdownload (11)ether you are sharing content on Facebook, posting a blog, or updating a website, it is important to post it at the right times. Mid-afternoon and after dinner are high-traffic times on social media and therefore prime times to post new content. If content is posted too early or too late, it
gets buried and lost under the static from other posts. Post several times throughout the day. Keep your readers intrigued and wanting to come back for more information. Check out Sunny Brook’s Instagram page for a good example of post timing.

  1. Respond!

An advantage of having social media is the ability we have to respond to messages and comments from readers. If they have any questions, helpful comments, or concerns they can responimages (19)d to a post in only a few seconds. The important thing for us to do is to reply in
an appropriate amount of time. By responding to readers, we not only provide a helpful source that they can rely on but it also builds a personal relationship. Have a set time limit for replying such as 24 hours or a maximum of 48 hours. This way, readers know they can rely on a response and will come back to your site with any other questions they need. Health Digest is a great source for anyone with questions. They encourage their readers to comment below their posts and respond within a reasonable amount of time.

  1. Show why they need you

The final and most important part is to show your readers why they need you. Show them what’s in it for them and give them reasons to keep coming back. Answer tdownload (7)heir questions, give important information they can’t find anywhere else. Make your information clean and clear with plenty of visuals and bullet points so that they can easily pick out the most
important information. Let your readers know you value them. Men’s Health does a great job of this on their website because they incorporate so much information into one place. They provide healthy recipes, fitness tips, and all different types of health articles.

If anything…

If you take anything away from what I’ve written about over the past few months, I would hope that you would keep these final five steps in the back of your memory. Pull them out while writing, share them with a friend, or apply them to any work environment. By keeping these key concepts in mind, you will not fail.images (20)

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You Need This

If you have not yet heard of Instagram, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. The popularity of this new social network site has skyrocketed almost overnight reaching 100 million users. Instagram is a great source for anyone who iimages (17)s tired of sappy statuses, dull tweets, and social media rants. Instagram is an online photo and video-sharing social network platform that allows its users to share their content publicly or privately with their friends. Instagram provides filters for users to apply to their pictures as well as sharing through other social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and Flickr. Instagram is a great source for ‘picture people’ like myself and wanna-be photographers to express themselves in a visual way. How can a healthcare system use a site that is strictly photos, you may ask? Simple. Here are a few creative ways for healthcare systems to use Instagram, or pictures at all, for their benefit…

  1. Engage

The first rule of using Instagram for a healthcare system is to engage with your followers. Show them you are there and can provide an ear to listen. One idea of engagement could be to creaInstagram-Contestte a picture contest to promote your office or business. It could be a personal story of how a doctor or nurse touched or helped a patient. The picture could be of them and the doctor/nurse together. Pick the best picture or story and post in on your Instagram. That way, you b
oth recognize your followers and promote your business at the same time. Check out Boston Children’s Instagram for inspiring stories and patient engagement.

  1. Sneak peak

Who doesn’t like sneak peaks? A cool way promote healthcare on Instagram is to post pictures of a short sneak peak. This could be to show a new building being built, a Starbucks coming soon to the hospital, an upcoming event, or a new product. People feel special if they feel like they are “in the know”. This also makes your Instagram valuable if it is a place where people can get breaking information first-hand.

  1. Backstage pass

Another way to make people feel special and excited about your business is to give them a behind the scenes view of something they do not normalimages (18)ly get to see. Show them the inside of an empty OR, a doctor scrubbing in before a surgery, or even a doctor’s lounge. People are interested in things they can’t see. Their curiosity will bring them right to your page and keep them coming back. Check out Shriners Hospitals for some great behind the scenes pictures.

  1. Display a product or service

Displaying a product or service not only increases the viewers’ knowledge of the organization but it also benefits the healthcare organization by showcasing the pros of what they have to offer. Take a picture of a service dog making his or her hospital rounds. Show a patient doing physical therapy with all the bright obstacles and machines in the therapy room. You could even show the cafeteria or fast-food restaurant located inside the hospital. Every piece of information shown is increasing viewers’ knowledge about the organization. Bon Secours Hampton Roads does a great job of this. They show their involvement in the community, the services the provide and how they use them in their area.

Instagram has and continues to rapidly become more and more popular. I encourage everyone to put both themselves and their organizations up on this social media platform. In order to be successful you have to go with the times. Instagram is an easy and fun way to stay up-to-date. Have fun with it!