Over the past few months, I’ve developed a set of talking points about social media. Here’s what I share with different folks at my hospital:
The 30-second elevator pitch – suitable for anyone:
Social Media is a conversation. Millions of people use these sites to connect, create trusted circles and talk to each other. Sometimes they talk about us – our hospital, our staff and their experiences here. We have to be in the room – the social media site, if we want to be invited into the conversation.
To the Marketing folks:
You can use Social Media in three ways – 1. It’s another way to promote our services and let interested patients find us. 2. You can also use it to monitor and protect our brand reputation. 3. It’s also a great tool to follow what folks say about our competition. And oh yes, our competition is starting to use it to promote their services. Do you want to be left behind?
To the Customer Service team:
It’s an easy, asynchronous way to let our customers contact us when they need help. It’s simple, cheap and a way to catch problems quickly – then resolve them before they get out of control.
To the Public Relations office:
The traditional media (TV, Radio, Print) is monitoring social media looking for breaking stories. They use Twitter, Facebook and other sites – many times connecting directly with our employees, asking questions and bypassing traditional news releases. Participating in social media is one way to monitor this activity, and promote the messages you consider important.
To the Community Outreach folks:
You invest energy working with the local community around our hospital. Social networks are a extension of our local, physical communities – many of the folks who live near us use these sites. In addition, with these tools, the definition of community extends beyond physical boundaries.
To the Patient Education / Support teams:
Our patients and many others are on these sites are looking for trusted medical information. We can be that trusted source – and yes, we can do it without violating privacy and HIPAA rules.
You get the idea. Social Media is a technology, and just like the telephone or computer, its a tool, not an endpoint. Its uses are only limited by our creativity and imagination.
What do you say?