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If you're on Twitter, you've probably heard of chats--they're live discussions on certain topics using a specified hashtag. It's a great, easy way for people to get together for discussions and share information.
This year, we started monthly tweet chats with two of our hospitals. For brands, it's a meaningful way to showcase priority services within the hospital and position our clinicians as experts in their respective fields.
The first chat is for The Miriam Hospital (@MiriamHospital), which specializes in weight management programs, behavioral medicine and research, and bariatric surgery. Weight management is a popular topic on Twitter so we developed #WeightTipWednesday. Every week we provide weight management tips and share relevant articles or recipes.
I've been on Twitter for almost five years now. It has become my go-to source for everything: research, breaking news, trends, healthcare marketing information and meeting wonderful people.
Over the years, I've used the list function in Twitter to easily organize the people I follow so I can quickly browse through categories like news outlets, journalists or healthcare marketing folks.
This post highlights some of those on my list because if you are in healthcare social media you should be following them too. Now believe me when I say this list is not all-inclusive. I know there are many folks who deserve to be included, but there's just not enough space in a blog post to single out all the amazing minds sharing healthcare marketing information.
Years ago, when someone was unhappy about a product or service, the response was typically to call a customer service department or write a letter to the editor. Of course they also complained to family and friends--and that word-of-mouth bad advertising went a long way.
Today, social media gives people a powerful voice to share their thoughts, good or bad, about any topic under the sun, and be heard like never before. One person behind a keyboard or with a smartphone in his or her hand has the potential to be heard by millions of people around the world.
So with that potential reach, it's no wonder that when someone is disgruntled, they head to their favorite social media networks to post a complaint, a photo or a video showing bad service or poor judgment (think Domino's pizza) by employees. It's the place to go to complain, unless, of course, you're in the business of social media. Then you might think twice about it as I recently did.
Don't let anyone kid you. Doing social media for a hospital is a lot of work. Some books and articles say it takes an hour a day; well, that's just not true--at least in my opinion.
In my role, I manage social media for a health system that includes five hospitals and a women's medicine practice. It's a job I absolutely love, but I won't tell you it's easy.
Through six Facebook, six Twitter, five Google+, three Pinterest pages and a YouTube channel, you can imagine the amount of time spent managing and monitoring. It is a full-time job. The disappointing part of that is there isn't always time to focus on some things that would be great to do in the social media world.
Like the rest of the world, I was in utter amazement as the story of the Boston bombings played out, and it's something I can't stop thinking about. I can't imagine what the victims and their families have been living through since it happened and all the recovery time still ahead of them.
In the aftermath, I can sit back and think more clearly from a professional point of view. The first thing that comes to mind is what those media folks were experiencing at the Boston hospitals. I totally understand. They were inundated with media trucks, media calls, reporters wanting answers to a myriad of questions, assignment desks calling for constant updates on patients, requests for interviews, and the list goes on and on.
Then of course there's the need to keep the public informed, and that's when each hospital's social media efforts came into play.
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