3 Powerful Ways to Revitalize Your Hospital’s Social Media

If you’re like most of the 800+ US hospitals engaged in social media, you’re managing Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. But what are you doing with them?

Most of you are using these accounts for patient outreach, to share medical information, and to distribute news. How can you revitalize your social media efforts? Here are three ideas:

Go beyond the ordinary.

Integrate social media into your marketing strategy in a new, eye-catching way. For instance, last summer, Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, hosted what it called the first-ever “Sleep up.” The event consisted of an all-night live stream following a patient undergoing sleep disorder testing and a Twitter Q&A session with physician sleep specialists. It attracted 10,000 visitors.

Freshen your content.

Take a close look at your tweets and posts. Are they dry, boring, blah? Or do they capture the imagination? In this world of information overload you have to provide real value to keep people’s attention. Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design and author of “Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences,” says great presentations should illuminate, persuade, generate concensus and spark action.

Not every tweet or post is going to spark action, nor necessarily should it, but if you set a high standard, your quality will improve. Constantly ask the question, “Does what I am posting or tweeting really matter to our patients?”

Speak English.

Please, please, please drop all the acronyms and hospital talk. And do away with the stilted, PR style of writing. Write your posts and tweets as though you were speaking to a friend, your mother or brother. Your patients will certainly understand you better and you’ll build a stronger rapport.

So take a few minutes. Step back and take an honest look at how you’re doing. By taking some time to focus on these three simple steps you can add critical energy — and interest — to your 2011 social media efforts.

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