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.
- 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 your 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.
- Short sweet and to the point
Do not overwhelm your readers by posting and overwhelming amount of content. Keep your messages to the point. 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.
- Timing is everything
I mentioned it before but cannot stress it enough, timing is important. Whether 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.
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 respond 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.
- 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 their 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 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.