3 High Touch Ideas to Inspire Your Hospital Social Media

flickr: purpleslog

John Naisbitt, Nana Naisbitt and Douglas Phillips wrote High Tech High Touch: Technology and Our Accelerated Search for Meaning a decade ago.

Today our social media efforts seem to be obsessed with high tech. We’re constantly talking about which platforms, what metrics and the “how to” of social media. High touch is getting short shrift, and that’s just not right.

Remember, people, that social media is all about building communities, and that just isn’t going to happen unless we understand the emotional needs of our community and connect with them on that level. Technology is just a tool.

Here are three high touch ideas from Brian Solis, Oprah and Philo of Alexandria to inspire you.

Find the emotional touch points

Brian Solis is the author of Engage! and a digital analyst, sociologist and futurist. I tweeted once that I wish I could spend just an hour in Brian’s brain. He fascinates me.

In an interview with Exhibitor Online, Solis explains:

The social-media landscape is essentially personal. Look at what people are sharing and responding to on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. If you looked at a word cloud based on what people are posting, you would find that the most often used words always have something to do with emotion. That’s because social media is emotional, and it’s all about the individual…

As a marketer, you have to spend time learning the emotional touch points of your audience.

Do you know the emotional touch points of your patients? How can you properly incorporate emotion in your posts, tweets and messages?

Validate your community

I wrote about Oprah’s final show in a recent blogpost.  Her message that “you have a calling” really resonated with me. But there was another message, a high touch one, that stuck with me as well. Here is what she said:

I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common. They all wanted validation. Every single person you ever will meet shares that common desire. They want to know:

Do you see me?
Do you hear me?
Does what I say mean anything to you?

Understanding that one principle, that everybody wants to be heard, has allowed me to hold the microphone for you all, for all these years… Validate (people). I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.

How are you validating the members of your online community? Are you listening to the good, the bad and the ugly? How does your response show that you care – that it actually means something to you?

Be kind

Abraham Harrison is a social media marketing firm. In a blogpost titled “Ten Essential Rules for Engaging Customers via Social Media,” rule number 10 is:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”: this is a quote from the philosopher Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD). When folks online snap, are mean, short or even angry, we know it is never really at us. Everyone’s busy and has a first life and we just wander into somebody else’s messes. Our only job is to be as helpful, responsive, nice, generous, patient, and friendly as humanly possible.

There is a great paradox in social media. Make it personal, but don’t take it personal. When you find the right touch points and connect with people on an emotional level, you’re not always going to get the response you would like. Just remember, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. When you can validate that, you’re on the road to high touch social media.

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. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.

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