- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 13, 2015
- Social media
These days, maintaining your hospital’s social media presence can be a daunting task.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn—they’re all vying for your time, and each one is a useful marketing tool in its own way. So many social networks give you as many opportunities to promote your hospital’s content, but there’s a lot to keep track of if you don’t have a full-time social media person on your team.
One of the most common questions hospital marketers have about social media—much like blogging—is just how often they should post on each social network. Every network has its own best practices, so it’s important to have an individualized plan for each one.
Google this question and you’ll find all sorts of handy infographics like this one with suggested sharing schedules, but the only way to know for sure which one will work best for your own particular audience is to try each of them and keep a close eye on your analytics. The benchmarks they provide, based on the average engagement of a huge number of users, are a useful jumping-off point that you can then tailor to fit your own social media program.
If you don’t have time to focus your efforts on testing each social network (and again, you probably don’t unless you have a dedicated social media staff member), here are some more things to keep in mind as you create or adjust your social sharing plan:
Don’t be afraid to tweet content more than once
If you follow a lot of people on Twitter, you know how quickly links can get buried on your timeline. On my own twitter account, I’ve had to segment accounts into lists just to keep track of everything, including one must-see list that I catch up on every time I look at Twitter so I don’t miss anything important.
It’s easy to see, then, why tweeting a link to your latest blog post once might not be the traffic-driver you’d hoped it would be, especially if it goes up at the same time as a breaking news story or during a peak time. There’s nothing wrong with tweeting content more than once—in fact, some of the leading social media experts recommend it. The folks at Buffer have a great guide to promoting content on a schedule, expanding your reach each time as more followers see and share your content.
Don’t limit yourself on Instagram and Pinterest
And because Instagram tends to favor younger users while Pinterest’s primary user base is older, these two social networks can help you penetrate two key demographical groups for your hospital. It’s important to not bite off more than what you can chew, but if your team can handle frequent updates on both Instagram and Pinterest, there’s no reason not to take advantage of them.