Seven Core Values at the Heart of
Successful Social Media
In the new media world, your patients are searching for trusted sources and helpful online communities to join. Here are the Hive Core Values — seven core values that should be at the heart of all your social media efforts. When you integrate these core values, you build genuine, lasting relationships and develop a community that patients want to be a part of.
Listen to understand.
When you really listen to patients — not just to gather statistics or to craft a new marketing slogan, but to truly understand their joys, concerns, apprehensions, fears and gratitude — you build a strong foundation.
Have a conversation.
None of us likes being talked down to, or told what to do. And yet, that’s what we’ve been doing in marketing and advertising for generations. Now it’s time to implement new ways to engage our patients in conversations. When we do that, we give patients a voice, provide ways for them to express their concerns, air complaints and ask questions.
Inform and educate.
Many of our patients are doing their own research, making their own diagnoses, asking lots of questions and looking for second opinions. There’s lots of misinformation out there on the web. The more we can inform and educate, the more our patients will engage with us, have conversations and, if we do it right, trust us.
There’s only so much time in a day and, if you’re not selective, social media will consume it all. Have a clear plan and carve out a specific time each day to implement it. You may need to stop doing some traditional marketing activities in order to add social media. This is that important. Focus on the essentials.
Generosity is the gift of providing something unexpected to someone without expecting anything in return. When someone is generous to us, it changes the relationship. Build unexpected, generous offers or events into your social media efforts without any thought of the return and watch your relationships grow.
Let go of marketing language that sounds like it came out of a robot or a PR news release. Imagine you are talking to your mother or your friend. How would you say it? Tell the truth. Mean what you say.
Trust your community.
In a hospital marketing world that spends a lot of effort limiting risk and controlling messages, this is the toughest of all. This may require baby steps, but if you’re going to successfully implement social media, you’ve got to learn to trust your audience and your patients. We know you’ve talked to dozens (or hundreds!) of irrational and unreasonable people over the years. But put in perspective, the great majority of your patients are reasonable, rational people who appreciate being treated like reasonable and rational people. Give them a chance.
What’s the payoff?
When you integrate these core values, you’ll build genuine, caring, real relationships with your patients and their families. It will make a difference to them, and it will strengthen the your reputation. If your care is as good or better than your competitor’s, when they have a choice, patients will come to the place where they feel most connected – to you.
How we help.
Hive Strategies gives webinars, presentations and workshops to help hospitals and physicians use social media to better engage with patients and thrive during health care reform. Read about our services. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.