- Posted by Richard Iurilli
- On January 25, 2016
- Social media
Hospitals have realized that when it comes to interacting with patients and prospective patients online, social media can’t be beat.
Virtually every hospital in the United States has some sort of social presence these days. One study found that 94 percent of hospitals have Facebook pages, while the Mayo Clinic shows that around 64 percent have Twitter accounts. That makes social media a much more competitive space than it was a few years ago—hospitals need to optimize the ways they use social platforms to maximize engagement.
To help, we looked at some of the hospitals with the biggest Facebook and Twitter followings to see what they’re doing right and found seven examples we’d click “like” on.
Healthcare marketing is all about stories, and social media is no exception. Stories stand out in crowded news feeds and get shared, like this photo St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital shared of a young cancer patient making a new friend that got a thousand shares and more than 12,000 likes in six hours.
A common theme on the best hospital Facebook pages is video storytelling—like this cancer survivor story from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Giving patients a platform
A powerful way to get your message across on social media is to let patients do the talking. With four words and a blank line, MD Anderson Cancer Center racked up nearly 100 shares, 500 likes, and more than 800 comments from cancer survivors sharing inspirational words with one another.
Plenty of cancer patients write about their experiences, but Roswell Park Cancer Institute gives this survivor a chance to share her take on New Year’s resolutions with a wider audience.
Every hospital has something that makes it special or unique. Rush University Medical Center distinguishes itself with a diverse medical staff that includes a large number of veterans and people with disabilities. The medical center’s ADA Stories video series introduces its Facebook fans to doctors and medical students who have overcome incredible odds to get where they are and serve as inspiration to patients and their loved ones.
Recognizing exceptional service
Patient testimonials are powerful factors in healthcare decisions, and they aren’t just about doctors and nurses. Houston Methodist’s We Noticed You photo series pairs photos of hospital staff with words from patients describing how they went above and beyond to make a hospital stay a more pleasant experience. The comments and shares on each post emphasize just how much other patients appreciate this compassionate care.
Stepping it up
It’s not just about Facebook and Twitter—hospitals are starting to take advantage of growing platforms to reach new audiences. When a Penn Medicine electrophysiologist delivered a symposium presentation about atrial fibrillation, he ditched the usual PowerPoint presentation in favor of a Periscope stream of a live procedure being performed by his team as he was speaking.
Are you looking to step up your own hospital social media program? Download our free ebook, 13 Imperatives for Hospital Marketers from 13 Top Experts, for more ideas.