Farewell: 5 Social Media Lessons I’ve Learned as Social Media Mentor

Kelly Merrick

Well, folks, this is my final blog post on behalf of Hive Strategies. I’ve taken a new job and am moving to Portland, Oregon, with my husband Josh.

I have really enjoyed my position as Social Media Mentor for Hive Strategies, especially being able to help our clients navigate through the social media world.

I have also learned a lot through the blogs I have written and read, and thought that it would be an appropriate time to share some of the most important things I’ve learned about social media.

These lessons are not in any particular order, and they certainly don’t capture everything I’ve learned, but they are important enough that I wanted to share them with you.

Lesson #1: Have passion for what you do

Chances are that you chose your profession because of an interest or passion you have for medicine, and for helping people. And your participation in social media should be the same.

Be passionate about your patients, the information you are giving them and let that show through. Get excited about what you can do to help your patients.

Lesson #2: Communicate

The beauty of social media is that it’s a two-way communication tool. So take advantage of that. Engage your patients with topics that relate to their lives and what they think, feel and need.

Don’t just create a blog and write posts just for the sake of having a blog. Your patients want to be communicated with, so take advantage of your audience.

Lesson #3: Don’t get discouraged

Starting a social media account, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or a blog is not a strategy that will prove to be an overnight success. It takes time to build followers and create community.

So don’t be discouraged when your blog doesn’t generate comments, or your Facebook page only has 10 fans after a week. Keep your strategy in mind and keep pushing ahead and your patients will notice.

Lesson #4: Be genuine

There’s nothing I hate more than feeling insignificant while seeking services at a hospital. Patients want to be paid attention to and treated like human beings that matter.

So make sure you are genuine in your approach to your social media followers. Respond to negative comments in a polite way that acknowledges their concerns. Interact with them like you would a friend or family member. Use examples from your own life experiences to show your followers who you are and to personalize your efforts.

Lesson #5: Have a plan

This last lesson is probably the most important because without a plan, your social media efforts will never reach their full potential. It also includes many mini lessons.

Decide what goals you have for your accounts, how you will reach them and identify how you will know when you’ve reached them.

Set aside a certain amount of time each day or week that you will devote to your efforts so they don’t overwhelm you and cause you to give up.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to deviate from your original plan. If something isn’t working, try something else. Don’t be afraid to try something out of the box.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your support and for being a great audience over these last 10 months! If you are interested in following my personal Twitter account, you can do so by following @kellychrystal.

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.

1 reply
  1. Dan Hinmon, Principal
    Dan Hinmon, Principal says:

    Excellent points, Kelly! Thank you for the terrific contribution you have made to Hive this past year. We wish you the very best in your new position!


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