Year End Social Media Reflection: Visualize Who You Are

In many traditions, the end of the calendar year is a time to reflect and assess goals. Often we create new goals (New Year’s resolutions or strategic objectives) based on what we have or have not accomplished.

As you consider 2012 objectives for your hospital’s social media efforts, take a close look at your content.

Earlier this month, I followed a brief series of posts by Paul Levy who shared his readers’ Wordles – visual representations of text-based documents. The series began when one of his readers shared a Wordle she created from the mission statements from seven leading US academic medical centers.

Wordle: a free, online tool to create visual text maps

Wordle is a (free, online) tool to create a visual text map. It gives more prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.  Although it’s not a perfect scientific tool, creating a Wordle from a text document is one way to quickly assess repeated key concepts and get a sense of what is being conveyed as most important. The end result is a compilation of scaled words that the readers can scan to get a sense of those key messages.

I’ve used Wordle as a teaching tool. I’ve required my students to create a Wordle from transcripts from focus groups or interviews with members of their target market as one way to help them understand the concerns/interest of their target market and recognize the language the target market is using.

After reading Paul Levy’s blog, I decided to create a Wordle to see what messages our Hive Strategies website is conveying.

What does the graphic tell us?

The good news is that our Wordle reflects what we say we do–“help hospitals engage patients through social media.”

As you can see from the graphic, the most prominent words are: social media, help and hospitals. The next tier includes: health and schema, followed closely by strategy, effective and patients. The fourth tier includes: healthcare and decision-makers.

I was glad the words help and patients figured in one of our top tiers, but I was wondering if there should be more direct mention of decision-makers since hospitals have been slow to adopt social media. I was also disappointed that the words community, nurture, engage, education and conversations weren’t more prominent – as these are the strengths of social media tools.

A conversation about what we could we do better

Hive’s Wordle is a good conversation starter within our team. It’s a useful strategy tool as we ask ourselves…are we emphasizing what our clients want to learn about? Are we covering the topics most important to the marketing staffs of hospitals and clinics?

I encourage you to consider creating a Wordle from your hospital’s website or blog (you can paste in your URL). You might also want to take your patients’ survey comments and create a Wordle, then compare the two.  Are the prominent words on the patient Wordle also prominent words on your hospital’s Wordle?

Wordle is a fresh, easy and fun way to compare what your hospital aspires to be to what is actually being reflected about it through the words you share online. It’s a good way to start a conversation with those decision-makers, too!


How we help

Hive Strategies helps health systems create HIPAA-compliant online communities for better health, lower costs and greater loyalty.

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