Four important Facebook tips for hospital marketers

Hospital marketers face challenges unique to their profession.  Marketing often entails informing the public of staff accomplishments, explaining new physician services, or simply building awareness within the community.  Successful hospital marketers integrate both digital strategies and direct contact within their locale.  Such hospitals may also need to focus on hosting events and building direct relationships with their patients.
At our Florida marketing agency, we typically advise hospital marketers to treat their Facebook pages as extensions of their community marketing.  While marketing should always be about the people, hospital marketers should be particularly inclined to build relationships in order to maintain lasting physician-patient relationships.  [quote] Hospital marketers must also account for the needs and desires of the physicians they service, whom we often see pushing marketers toward more publicity-related roles. [/quote]

Facebook can be an excellent tool to help facilitate these relationships.  Below are some tips for hospital marketers to use to help get the most out of Facebook marketing.

Keep It Positive:  Facebook is designed to foster a positive environment, which is allegedly why there’s a “like” feature but not a “dislike” feature.  Posting good news about patient recoveries, information about recent awards and news about new procedures help keep your patients and followers engaged and excited about your work within the community.

Post a Photo:  What’s cuter than posting a birth announcement featuring an adorable sleeping infant?  Just make sure you have the adequate permissions before posting anything that might infringe on individuals’ privacy.

Create an Infographic:  Want to try to explain a new service in detail?  Use an infographic to relay important information about how the service will provide benefits to patients.  Make sure that any data that you use in your infographic is verified and footnoted, and you’ll not only secure your team leaders within your community, but will also solidify your expert knowledge of patient services.

Involve Your Employees: Facebook marketing doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to providing information about day-to-day hospital operations.  Instead, humanize your brand with information about the staff, including everyone from surgeons to administrative staff to the marketers themselves.  Reaching out to your staff in this way may also encourage sharing behavior on your staff’s pages – plus, who doesn’t like to be recognized for their contributions?

As hospital marketers know, there are important legal restrictions in terms of hospital marketing.  Legal counsel often requires legal waivers and consent forms from anyone whose identifying information they may post online.  Hospital marketers should hold themselves to the highest standard of integrity in this capacity, as hospitals have extensive access to highly sensitive confidential materials.  Any new Facebook marketing initiative should undergo legal review in order to prevent the possibility of legal complications.

That said, there are still plenty of fun ways for hospitals to use Facebook.  For more ideas as to how hospital marketers can use social media to help create innovative marketing campaigns, reach out to our Florida advertising agency to help you create an intelligent, interactive Facebook campaign.

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