Social media is a powerful tool that can help companies accomplish their mission when used correctly. There are reportedly 2,32 billion active Facebook users, 1 billion active monthly Instagram users, 326 million active monthly Twitter users, over 590 million LinkedIn users, and 1 billion hours of videos watched daily on YouTube. Such platforms provide users with access to a wide audience, and these resources can be used by medical professionals to enhance the profession. If you are overseeing or playing a role in influencing the social media presence of a state branch or special interest group, here are some simple tips to consider.
Create a smart strategy for social media.
Most medical professional associations, councils, special interest groups, and specialist organizations are pursuing best practices in creating a social media committee to delegate roles–who publishes the content, who reviews the content, etc. It’s a good place to start if your team doesn’t have a committee! Maintaining an active social media presence is a lot of work, and ensuring that your company has committed enough resources (time is the most valuable resource!) is phase No. 1.
After the committee has been set up, the next move is to develop a strategy for social media that identifies business goals and target audience. This will help you determine the most active platforms. For example, if one business goal is to enable medical professionals to check out a tool on the website of your company, you should use Facebook over Instagram–Instagram has not proved successful in sending website referral traffic, but Facebook has the greatest success of all social networks in doing so.
Make sure that the social media accounts of your company are easy for people to identify if you use multiple channels – handles across channels must fit and be as simple as possible.
Develop a strategy for content.
There are many strategies that you can use to implement your content strategy, but the law of third parties is a commonly used formula: a third dedication, a third curated content, and a third your own content. Using the third-party rule helps make sure you share a blend of content that is not only useful and engaging, but also helps you achieve your business goals.
Engagements are your audience’s experiences with your content (commenting, enjoying, sharing / retweeting, etc.). By asking a question, creating an article, running a contest, or posting a photo, you can promote interaction with your audience. Curated content is news from trusted sources that you share with your audience, internal but important to the industry. And what you’re going to use to support your organization/cause/ profession is your own stuff.
Commit to core influencers.
Social media has made communication with influencers including government officials easy for us. Several local government affiliates have been using social media as a tool to promote health care.
Nonetheless, for the benefit of elected officials, a lot of organizations and individuals are struggling. The ease of access renders a heavily trafficked platform for social media authorities. If you expect a response, you’ll need to find a way to get heard.
A good start is to examine the social media accounts of the official to see what they have been reacting to in the past. And note–a two-way street is collaboration! Build a solid base by sharing, retweeting, and thanking or otherwise recognizing your representatives when they take action that your organization appreciates (remember to include their handle!).
Prime your personal accounts for social media.
As a healthcare community leader, your personal accounts can also have the ability to be a powerful tool in supporting the profession. Similar to the social media strategy of a company, you’re going to want to determine which voice/tone to express. On the personal accounts you have.
It doesn’t happen overnight to establish an online presence. Creating your audience and finding your groove takes time.
After a while, step back and evaluate what succeeded and what didn’t. Has your last rise been? If not, could you try techniques like a drive in a newsletter for membership? Which content made the most commitments? What material did the least produce? The best thing about social media is the constantly changing world. Along the way, you can make changes to your plan–being flexible is half the fight.