Hospitals: Four Steps To Manage Your Social Media in 10 Hours a Week

If you have been half-heartedly dabbling in social media for your hospital or clinic, I have some important news for you: It’s time to get in or get out.

I understand that your day is already packed with too much to do, and that you’ve been trying to squeeze in social media wherever it will fit. But a sloppy approach to social media doesn’t help anybody. You’re never going to build the vibrant community you want, and it just feels crummy to know you’re doing sub-par work.

Ask yourself two questions

So slow down a minute and ask yourself two questions.

  • Is social media really essential – a way to grow a community of engaged patients and their families who care about your hospital and services and help them navigate the confusing world of health care?
  • Or is social media just a time-drain on a checklist that you go through because somebody said you ought to have a Facebook page?

If you honestly choose option B, then stop doing it and put your energies into something more productive. If you believe in option A, but you just haven’t figured out how to make it work in your day, I can help.

Here are four steps to manage your social media in 10 hours a week.

Step 1: Plan and post once a week (2 hours)

Block out two hours each week to plan your social media content for the following week and schedule your key posts and tweets, perhaps even shoot a short video. Make sure your content is aligned with your current marketing objectives. Friday can be a great day as you’re thinking about your upcoming week. But pick a day that works for you, and stick with it.

Step 2: Coordinate once a week (30 minutes)

If you are part of a marketing team, use part of your weekly team meeting – as much as 30 minutes but you may need less — to address your social media strategy, gather ideas from others, or ask for help.

Step 3: Listen and post daily (45 minutes Monday through Friday)

This is a good way to start your day, but could be done any time in the morning. Start by checking your listening tools — Google alerts, Radian6, Sysomos, or whatever program you have in place. Then review and respond to posts, tweets and comments on your blogs, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or other platforms. This is the time to add any timely new daily posts to your scheduled posts. You can use part of this time to catch up on breaking health news.

Step 4: Check-in and reply (15 minutes, 3 times a day)

Take 15 minutes to check in on your social media three times a day and make the appropriate responses. When you schedule your regular check-ins you have the added benefit of not being constantly interrupted by checking your platforms too frequently. One of these check-ins should be in the evening. Your patients don’t just engage from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. And stay on top of things over the weekend by checking and replying at least once on Saturday and Sunday.

The payoff

That’s ten hours a week. Download our Social Media in 10 Hours a Week graphic, pin it to your wall (or your Pinterest pinboard) and stick with it. You’ll have some real success growing your community, and you’ll feel good while you’re doing it!

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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