When we created Hive Strategies we had a healthy discussion about whether or not to host a Facebook page.
Part of our team insisted that we needed one. “How can we claim to be leaders in social media without having our own Facebook page?” they asked. It was a good question that indicated a persuasive argument. But there were other more compelling questions: “Why do we need a Facebook page? How would it support our overall marketing strategy?”
The point here is simple: You should never launch a social media platform just to launch a platform. Only adopt a social media platform if it fits your overall marketing strategy. After all, would you buy space on a billboard just to say you were using a billboard?
Here are some of the key questions we asked ourselves when making this decision:
- Who are we trying to reach in our marketing efforts?
- Where do they spend time online?
- Compared to other marketing strategies, is maintaining a Facebook page a good use of our time and energy?
- If we did launch a Facebook page, do we have the staff to maintain the page and do it right?
- Does Facebook offer unique opportunities to engage with our target market?
- What messages would we share through a Facebook page that are not already available to our prospects through our other efforts?
Do these questions sound familiar to you? Remove the word “Facebook” and replace it with any other marketing or social media channel and the exercise works as well. What is your overall marketing strategy? Who are you trying to reach? What financial and human resources do you have? What is the best way to reach your market? These are the essential questions to ask before you jump on any bandwagon.
We concluded that other social media and digital channels – blogging, Twitter, e-newsletters, position papers and e-books – were more useful to our prospects and a better use of our time and energy than managing a Facebook page.
For your hospital, however, Facebook can be an excellent platform, particularly to promote your birthing center, cancer center, or pediatric services. Patients in those areas are hungry for trusted information and anxious to connect with an empathetic, understanding community. Our guide to How to Engage Patients in a Facebook Community is a good place to start.
How we help
Hive Strategies helps hospitals engage patients through social media. We don’t manage social media. Instead, we help hospitals develop an effective social media strategy and mentor them through the implementation process. Read about our services. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.