Social media tips for healthcare organizations

Modern lives are going digital, and healthcare is no exception. Social networks have become an important health resource, and not just for millenials. Nearly 90 percent of older adults have used social media to seek and share health information.

In this post,  We provide some tips on how to keep your social channels compliant and secure.

1- Educate and share valuable content

People need a reason to follow and engage with you online. Valuable content that educates and informs is a great reason.

The information needs to be credible, of course. And true. But you can get creative and entertaining if that makes sense for your brand.

Make sure the tone you use is appropriate for your brand personality. 

Effective use of social media in healthcare requires a strong voice. Think your healthcare product or organization is too boring? Think again.

2- Listen for relevant conversations

people say it’s important for a doctor to respond to negative online reviews. That’s a good reason to use social listening effectively. Otherwise, you may not know when people leave negative posts about you on social networks. And if you don’t know about the negative posts, you can’t respond.

Of course, social listening is about much more than addressing negative posts. It also allows you to track conversations relevant to your field.

Those conversations can help you understand how people feel about you. You can also learn how they feel about the competition. You might even identify new ideas that help guide your marketing communication strategy.

Here are some key terms to listen for on social channels:

  • Your organization or practice name and handles
  • Your product name(s), including common misspellings
  • Your competitors’ brand names, product names, and handles
  • Industry buzzwords:The Healthcare Hashtag Project is a great place to start.
  • Your slogan and those of your competitors
  • Names of key people in your organization (your CEO, spokesperson, etc.)
  • Names of key people in your competitors’ organizations
  • Campaign names or keywords
  • Your branded hashtags and those of your competitors

3- Remain compliant
Healthcare social media accounts are subject to some pretty strict rules and regulations. HIPAA compliance is a big one, but you also need to make sure you follow FDA rules about advertising.

Of course, you don’t want lawyers writing all your social media posts. But you might want lawyers (or other compliance experts) to review posts before they go live. This is especially true for major announcements or posts that are particularly sensitive.

Your organization needs a social media strategy, a social media style guide, and social media guidelines. These can help make sure everyone understands the social strategy. They also make it clear how the strategy aligns with the relevant rules and regulations. Include clear, HIPAA-compliant guidelines for handling patient information in social posts.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the comments users leave on your social media posts and profiles, too. These can also create compliance concerns.

It’s always good practice to respond to and engage with social comments. After all, no one likes talking into a void. Your followers will be more likely to engage with your content if they get a response from someone on your team.

When compliance is involved, you may need to take extra steps. For example, you should remove comments that raise privacy concerns. Also watch out for inappropriate claims.

4- Stay secure
It’s important to put security guidelines in place for your social media channels. You need to be able to revoke access for anyone who leaves the organization.

The simple truth is that patients now use social media. They use it to look for information, find support, and make healthcare decisions. Combining social media and healthcare can be challenging, it’s true.

But the use of social media in healthcare also presents incredible new opportunities. Social media is a great platform to share important health information. It’s also a key place to gather real-time research and insights. Most important, social media is away to support patients.

Effectively communicate with the public, improve patient experience, and ensure compliance with health care industry regulations by managing your social media presence.