The added value of Social Media in hospitals

Social Media platforms

Hospitals are facing more and more challenges with the pandemic and the changes our society faces today when it comes to healthcare. Reaching out to more patients thus requires strong social media marketing strategies.

To increase their visibility on the web and stand out from the competition, hospitals have to ask themselves:

  • How visible is our institution and our benefits for patients?
  • How can we stand out from our competitors?

Why is Social Media important for clinics and healthcare organizations?

The Healthcare industry is fast evolving and increasingly competitive. Setting a solid social media marketing strategy can help you attract the attention of potential patients towards your hospital or secure a long-term relationship with your existing patients.

In addition, a well-thought social Media Strategy is reassuring and it can play a determinant role at giving a positive image of your brand. It is also useful to highlight the values and the services of your hospital. For instance, sharing real stories, testimonials and insights about the hospital’s daily life can contribute to showing transparency. Your digital users can more easily relate to the stories shared and thus build a strong relation with your hospital.

When it comes to medical journals and conference, they are a great source of information for healthcare professionals. Social media can help extend the outreach of the information shared or the details of the events.

What are the challenges healthcare clinics face when using social media?

Managing social media can be burdensome for healthcare providers, given the sensitive nature of the sector, which makes it one of the most regulated industries, especially when it comes to the use of digital.

  • Patient Data Privacy

Healthcare professionals are extremely cautious about sharing information online for fear that patient privacy will be compromised. To avoid this, all healthcare providers should adhere to HIPAA compliance, which is a set of regulatory rules regarding the confidentiality, security and integrity of confidential health information.

  • Social Media Management

Healthcare professionals use social media to promote their services and provide better care to their patients. But managing social media is not easy. To take advantage of it, healthcare providers must keep their followers engaged, provide useful information and answer patients’ questions. All of this takes time, strategy and commitment. For these reasons, many healthcare providers use all-in-one marketing platforms like Adrack, which can automate social media campaigns, saving them time and resources.

  • Concerns about professionalism

One of the main risks of using social media in healthcare is the possibility of posting content that could damage the reputation of providers, students, and the healthcare institution as a whole. Physicians are concerned that people may lose respect for them if they share inaccurate information or judge them if they share their personal opinion on certain topics. Many healthcare providers are also concerned that people will perceive them negatively through photos, comments, likes and other activities on social media. Making sure they only provide relevant and appropriate information is the best way to avoid such problems and controversies.

Which Social Media platforms should you use for your healthcare clinic?

Regardless of the size and specialty of your medical practice, social media is crucial for reaching out to your target audience. Social networks provide numerous opportunities for hospitals and the healthcare Industry to build valuable relationships with your patients. Eminence has listed the top Social Media trends that will have a significant impact on the healthcare market in the upcoming year.

  • YouTube Marketing for Clinics

YouTube is a video sharing network that streams billions of videos every day. It’s a great tool to increase the awareness of your healthcare business. You can create your clinic’s own video network to share important messages and educational content in creative and engaging ways. For example, instead of sending wordy information about preventive measures for a common type of disease, post a short YouTube video explaining the information. It’s much easier for your patients to watch a video than to read a big packet of information.

Doctors and private practitioners who are not afraid to show their face in their YouTube videos or live streams can see their credibility and trustworthiness greatly increase.

  • Facebook Marketing for Clinics

Facebook has the largest user base of any current social media platform. It also serves as a reference point for your patients and potential patients to easily find out what’s going on in your clinic.

You can use Facebook to update your audience about your events in a timely manner. For example, use Facebook to remind patients about seasonal health issues and changes to your hours of operation.

The implementation of a Social Media Strategy for a hospital is an extensive work. Eminence recommends you to start with a well-founded audit. Therewith you get an insight where your hospital is positioned within the competitors and in which areas a need of action is required.

  • Instagram marketing for the clinic

It’s clear that the largest number of Instagram users are young. Therefore, the content you feature on Instagram should aim to target and engage this specific groups who appreciate the authenticity, personality, and creativity of your content.

Instagram is the perfect visual platform to showcase your clinic, your culture, and your daily work life. This social media can help you attract potential patients who are in awe of the value of your clinic.

  • LinkedIn Marketing for the Clinic

LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. It provides a way to build strong social networks and conduct in-depth discussion and analysis. You may not connect with new patients, but you can build your reputation as a professional clinic.

You can also join the conversation on topics that interest you. Answering questions related to your field gives you credibility that will help you gain the respect of other health care professionals and even patients.

Dos and Don’ts on social media for healthcare clinics

What should you do:

  • Keep your information accurate and factual – Always use reliable sources for any information, statistics, or facts you use and cite sources where applicable.
  • Keep your audience in mind – Create content your readers will find relevant, helpful, and valuable.
  • Keep it consistent – Update your content regularly. The more consistent you are, the more likely your audience will look forward to your content.
  • Establish a communication protocol – Offer your employees the necessary trainings and establish a communication protocol to stay compliant and professional.

What shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t over-promote: Keep self-promotion to a minimum. Use your content to educate your patients so they can make more informed decisions.
  • Don’t use too much humor: While humor can certainly be an engaging part of your brand, only use it strategically when discussing healthcare topics, especially when they may be sensitive to your readers.
  • Don’t violate regulations and guidelines when using social media: Make sure everyone in your practice is aware of the regulatory environment and what they can and can’t do regarding your clinic’s social media presence. For example, remember not to mention patients’ names or post photos without clear guidelines and consent.
  • Don’t bore your audience with one form of content: Social media is meant to be engaging and informative. Use a variety of suitable media forms such as videos, stories, infographics and images for different platforms and content. A variety of interesting forms of content is key to connecting and engaging with your patients online.
  • Bonus Don’t: Don’t post/share political or sensitive topics, this is probably the biggest taboo to avoid on social media. It can potentially damage your clinic’s reputation permanently.

Social Media at the hospital Hirslanden [Case Study]

The hospital Hirslanden is an excellent example for the implementation of a successful Social Media Strategy. Since 2013 this clinic has been actively integrating Facebook, Twitter & Co. in their communication.

For Hirslanden it is very important to know what their stakeholders think of their hospitals, services and offers. The well-being and the needs of their patients are high priority for them. Hirslanden is actively listening to the online dialogue, in particular when it is about the company itself or current medical topics. In addition, they are actively participating in discussions with their online community.

Hirslanden is present on the following Social Media Channels:

  • Facebook: On Facebook, the hospital tries to focus on highlighting three website pages in their posts. On the “Hirslanden Corporate” site you find current news and interesting articles concerning the private clinic group Hirslanden and their other clinics. The “Hirslanden Baby” site provides for expectant parents useful tips about pregnancy, birth, and baby. On the “Hirslanden Jobs” site you will find interesting insights and valuable information on the subject of working at Hirslanden as well as further education.
  • Twitter: @Hirslandenyou receive news and information about the group Hirslanden and their clinics. Job-seekers can twitter to this address and will get new job offers and helpful information about working at Hirslanden.
  • Xing: On the corporate profile you will find information about the private group Hirslanden and their clinics. The focus is on the content about the topic “working at Hirslanden”. The offer includes job descriptions and videos, interviews with the employees, and information about further education. You will find as well open job positions.
  • LinkedIn: On the corporate profile you will find news and information about the group Hirslanden and their clinics. The focus is also here on the subject, “working at Hirslanden”. You will find details about events, expositions, job-videos, interviews with the employees and information about further education. On this platform you will also find interesting job offers.
  • YouTube: On the YouTube Chanel you can find several videos about jobs and various healthcare and medical topics.
  • Blog: The Hirslanden Blog is like an online corporate diary. It is divided in the following sections; “Medical Science”, “Hirslanden Baby”, “Human Resources”, “Corporate” and “Nutrition, Health and Sports”. The articles talk about medical science, tips for your health and a balanced nutrition and in-depth look behind the scenes of Hirslanden.

The implementation of a Social Media Strategy for a hospital needs to be well prepared ahead and followed-up. Eminence recommends you to start with a well-founded audit. Therewith you get an insight where your hospital is positioned within the competitors and in which areas a need of action is required. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help.