13 Social Media Best Practices for Healthcare Brands

See on Scoop.itPresident & Creator of Chronic-Intractable Pain and You Sites

It’s safe to say that social media is here to stay. Facebook recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and there’s no end in sight. Countless other interactive platforms are sprouting up on a regular basis, making it nearly impossible to determine where your time should be spent developing content and connecting with healthcare consumers. The American Marketing Association’s Marketing News journal even refers to social media as “old-school.” Social engagement has transitioned from being a shiny, new object to a customer service and healthcare marketing necessity. Many brands — particularly in healthcare — find social media to be intriguing, yet illusive. Valuable, but not quite sure how to successfully utilize the social networking websites. And how exactly do you measure success anyway? Algorithms are constantly changing. New Apps are developed at lightning speed.  The rules of engagement are being rewritten every year. It goes without saying that your brand should be utilizing this invaluable space to build relationships with your community, solidify your position as a thought leader, and reinforce what your organization stands for. We all know that no one wants to think of a hospital when they don’t have to. That’s why it’s critical to have a page that people want to engage with, and find useful, valuable information along the way. So when the need eventually arises and a follower of your hospital page is deciding where to look for a provider, that person has a pre-determined positive connection with your brand. With that said, we won’t try to convince you why the opportunity is a no brainer, we’ll simply tell you how to use it most effectively. Here are 13 Best Practices for Healthcare Brands on Social Media: 1. A common rule of thumb that’s now universal among brand marketers is the “rule of thirds.” This rule states that tweets, posts, and status updates should fall into one of three categories and be spread more or less evenly between each. Additionally, keep a balanced level of sharing – 1-2 posts per day is plenty, no more, no less. 1/3 of posts should be about you or your brand 1/3 of posts should be about your industry, with content from an outside source 1/3 of your posts should be personal interactions “When you shift away from solicitation as a primary focus of social media usage, you can begin to build an authentic community around your brand.” Steven Shattuck, writing at HubSpot.com 2. Photos. Use them.  A lot. Time and time again analytics show that people are most engaged with images. Put time and effort into header images that are eye catching. 3. Don’t ignore complaints, and definitely do not delete them — unless the comment is extremely offensive (e.g. racist). Be transparent, be…

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