Connecting to your Community with Social Media

Social media is both wildly broad and wildly personal.

Studies show that most people in the nation are strongly influenced by social media when making decisions about their health. Your healthcare facility’s social media presence is your opportunity to have a voice in the conversation. It’s also one of the most direct ways to speak to your community about your services.

Develop an active presence

Social media requires consistent and frequent attention. Fortunately, each individual action is not all that costly. Good social media posts can and should be short and simple. With a good strategy and regular attention, a little effort can go a long way.

A good strategy is to delegate responsibilities to a member of the staff who has an interest in social media and is comfortable using it. Having a designated person to monitor and update your social media accounts will help ensure consistency and unity of voice. Inconsistent or confusing social media use can hurt your reputation and drive people away.

Deliver quality content

Social media provides an opportunity to share information about topical issues such as vaccinations, accident prevention, healthy living and much more. This is not just a valuable public service. It is also a way to build trust and establish your hospital or clinic as an authority on common health issues in your community. As anyone in the industry can tell you, trust is a seriously valuable asset!

Think about topics that your community needs to know about, such as flu shots, healthy eating, safety issues and other ways to take control of their health. Gather content in advance so you can post consistently several times a week.

Speak directly to your community

Press releases and advertisements are great tools for engaging your community but getting them published is quite a process with a good deal of waiting involved.

Social media, on the other hand, is instant communication. You can reach hundreds(or even thousands) of people in your region right away simply by publishing to your social media account. With a good social media presence, you get to control the conversation and speak directly about your events, services, and providers.

What’s happening? Keep your community updated

Right now, this means keeping your community up to date with reliable information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in the local area. It not only shows concern for your community’s health, but it shows your staff are informed and actively working to protect everyone.

Don’t forget to promote events, promotions, and other news about your healthcare facility on your social media accounts. Think of it as your own personal news outlet. Social media is a great way to get people excited about things that are coming up in the community. Keep a list of upcoming events or promotions so you can time posts to promote them.

A picture is worth at least 1000 words

Studies show that people are more likely to pay attention to a post if it is accompanied by an image. Go beyond a simple text message. Use graphics, photos, and videos to generate interest and excitement. Having a good eye for an image that sparks imagination and interest is a key skill here.

Sharing photos from events and from the hospital are also great ways to get people’s attention. People go on social media because they want content that feels personal. When hospitals are able to share images that show the human faces of their facilities, they have the opportunity to make a great impression with their audience.

If improving your social media presence is on your to-do list, contact SRJ Marketing Communications! As an early adopter of social media, SRJ Marketing Communications has the experience needed to help rural hospitals develop effective social media strategies that reach further and encourage engagement. To learn more about how your hospital or clinic can benefit, call SRJ at 1-800-441-7401 for a free consultation.