5 Common Social Media Mistakes Healthcare Organizations Make

By: Caroline Amantea  | 04/05/2017

WebMD is the most accessed online resource for health information. But those who want to avoid the occasional panic-inducing search result (Headache? You have approximately 3 months to live.) turn to social media.

Now, more than ever, patients are seeking reliable health information on social media. Learn how to do it right by considering these 5 common social media mistakes healthcare organizations make, and how you can avoid them.

  1. Not having a social media presence at all

Patients have begun turning to social media for quick, reliable health information. If your healthcare system isn’t currently using social media, you ought to start. Otherwise, you’ll miss interacting with millions of users who are currently seeking, and could likely benefit from, your information.

  1. Choosing the wrong channel

In a digital world full of free, easy-to-use social media networks, it’s easy to get excited. Before jumping in with both feet and creating a profile on every social network, think to yourself, “Is this where my audience is seeking information?” For example, Pinterest is an awesome network for idea-sharing, but is this where users are going to seek health information? Probably not.

  1. Using a “corporate” tone

As with many industries, there are terms and phrases used internally that won’t always translate with your audience. When posting on social media, be sure to keep in mind the tone in which users look for information. Social media is built around networking and participating in a conversation. Communicate with your audience in a way that makes sense to them.

  1. Not interacting with your audience

The information you share on social media will likely be followed up with questions. Be prepared to answer them clearly and in a timely manner. Otherwise, your audience may turn to other sources for answers. Sometimes, questions can be answered in the interface. For questions that require more personal information, you’re better off asking the user to contact you directly via email or phone.

  1. Not setting goals

Failing to set goals, or setting unrealistic goals, will make it hard for you to measure social media success. Promote informative white papers, share case studies, or encourage users to subscribe to your monthly eNewsletter. Keeping your audience informed with original content builds brand loyalty and, in turn, will keep users coming back for more. 

As always, when using social media in healthcare, remember to put your audience first. Stay relevant by posting the latest medical news, keep your audience informed by sharing information on interesting company updates, and do so in a consistent manner. Sharing relevant information to the right audience is the key to a well-oiled social media machine.

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