The 5 Love Languages Can Add Heart to Your Hospital’s Social Media Efforts

flickr: marc falardeau

I had a little trouble at home last week.

I was running late for an event, and in my rush to get out the door I forgot to kiss my wife goodbye.

If you’re saying, “uh-oh,” you know exactly how my wife felt about this. If you’re saying, “what’s the big deal?” you know how I felt about it before I married my wife. 

My wife is a generous, loving, gracious woman. She’ll do anything for anyone. But I have learned that there are three things that definitely help her feel cared about—and cared for–each day:

  • A kiss before we leave the house.
  • A quick phone call to connect during the day.
  • Time at the end of the day to catch up about the events of our lives.

This is important to her (and to me) because, as Gary Chapman explains so well in his book, The Five Love Languages, these little things help her feel loved and cared about.

Isn’t there an application here to social media?

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogging are only tools. The power of social media is to use those tools to build communities, and, in the case of hospitals, to build communities of patients who feel loyal and comfortable choosing your hospital for care. An esssential part of that effort is making sure that members of our communities feel cared about – and cared for.

Just as people have different styles of learning, they have different emotional needs and different ways of feeling cared for. Here are Chapman’s five love languages, and some simple ways to apply them to social media. With a little thought, you’ll be able to come up with many more.

Words of affirmation

Use compliments, encouragement, and kind words in your blog and Facebook posts and your tweets.

Quality time

Invite your community to get together in a face-to-face activity that’s something they would enjoy, not just a hospital promotion.

Receiving gifts

Is there an opportunity (without violating law) to give the members of your community a gift that they would value?

Acts of service

When you generously reach out beyond your own world to provide a service for someone else it changes the entire relationship.

Physical touch

The application to marriage is obvious, but I have to admit that I’m struggling to find a good social media application. Occasional stress-reducing in-chair massages in the hospital? Maybe you can help me with this one.

How well are you meeting the emotional needs in your communities? What have you done at your hospital to build stronger communities through speaking the right language?

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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.

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