Hospital 497: How to Avoid a Code Blue Facebook Page

flickr: bennylin0724

For a powerful social media lesson in Facebook page management, hospitals need look no further than Hospital 497 on UbiCare’s Facebook Engagement Quotient (EQ).

UbiCare is a company that provides communication solutions for healthcare. Their website tracks and ranks activity on more than 1,000 hospital and healthcare-related Facebook pages. They name the top 10% of all hospitals on their list, but they mercifully identify the other 900 hospitals only by number.

One hospital’s Facebook activity

During the week of August 28 through September 3, Hospital 497 – an Oklahoma health system with 505 beds — had the following statistics:

  • Fans: 697
  • Hospital Posts: 0
  • Likes: 0
  • Comments: 0
  • Fan Posts: 0
  • Estimated Clicks: 0

How does a Facebook page with 697 fans have absolutely no activity in one week?

Some of you have not yet started a Facebook page for your hospital. Others are in healthcare systems where you regularly receive requests from departments or divisions to start a new Facebook page (for example, Intermountain Healthcare has more than 50 Facebook pages, with new requests submitted regularly).

Ask these questions to avoid a similar fate

Before you start a Facebook page that ends in cardiac arrest, answer the following questions in a written document.

  • Why do you want a Facebook page?
  • What marketing objective will a Facebook page accomplish?
  • Who will provide content for your Facebook page?
  • Who will provide content for your Facebook page when that person is sick, on vacation, or out of the office?
  • Who will monitor your Facebook page at least 3 times each day?
  • Who will monitor your Facebook page at least 3 times each day when that person is sick, on vacation, or out of the office?
  • What is your strategy to develop fans for your Facebook page?
  • When and how will you implement that strategy?
  • What is your strategy to engage those fans in your Facebook page?
  • Write down your first 50 Facebook posts. If you were a hospital patient, which of those posts would inspire you to “like” or “comment”?
  • What is your comment policy for your Facebook page?
  • How will you respond to negative comments on your Facebook page?
  • What will you do when you are tired or bored or frustrated or simply too busy to pay attention to your Facebook page?

Facebook is an excellent social media platform

With 750 million users and growing, Facebook continues to be an excellent way to engage with hospital patients, their families and other community members. Hospitals that do that right have great success.

But starting a Facebook page, recruiting a pile of fans, and then abandoning them is not a good way to build a solid reputation and good will in your community.

Do yourself a favor. Plan ahead to make sure you don’t make the mistake of becoming Hospital 497. (If you are Hospital 497, it’s time to resuscitate. Stat.)


Download our Free E-Book

Visit our What We Think page to download our free e-book: How to Engage Patients in a Facebook Community.

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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