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Back in 2011, I wrote a Hospital Impact post about why doctors should be careful when using social media. I'm not changing my stance on the issue, but I recognize that social media, and clinicians' use of it, has come a long way in a short amount of time. If it was accepted before, it's expected now!
So what prescription should doctors write for themselves when it comes to using social media? The answer is pretty simple. Use it, and remember what it's for!
Recently, the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline issued guidelines for doctors on how to use social media appropriately. I'm glad they did this for two reasons--First, it lets doctors know that it's OK to post out there in the big social sphere, and they won't lose their license by doing so. Second, it gives them the dos and don'ts of what to do.
Sometimes we do a job for so long that we lose perspective. We think "been there, done that." But with a new year just beginning, it's a great time to take a fresh look.
I recently had the opportunity to interview a candidate to fill an open position on our media relations team in replace of a colleague who recently left. I developed four questions I thought would give me a good sense of her work style and skills and where her passion lies. Getting a better feel for that would help me determine if she was a good fit for our team.
The interview went really well, and the questions did exactly what I hoped. They led us to a much deeper discussion of how things have changed in the world of public relations, marketing, and inevitably, social media.
As I spoke with her, though, I realized our discussion was actually making me reexamine how we do things. As a result, I came up with two essential actions hospitals should consider when launching their own marketing plans and social media efforts in the new year.
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.
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