With 185 hospitals using one form of social media or another, I’d say healthcare has clearly gotten the message. But I worry a bit about some of what I’m seeing out there. Let’s just say there’s evidence aplenty that while many have dipped their toes in the waters of social media, few have a real plan in place.
So here are five signs that being in social media doesn’t necessarily mean you have a strategy for it (I’ve seen examples of all of these within the last week or so):
- All your Tweets are news release announcements, or personal musings about what you are doing at work that particular day. Sure, include those, but if that’s all you are doing in Twitter, you are missing the point.
- After six months you have 17 fans on your hospital’s Facebook page, and 16 of them are employees. Having the page is nice, but where is the strategy to drive traffic? And if 17 is all you have, is the page itself well thought out?
- You have a YouTube account, but all that’s there are your TV commercials. See #1 above.
- You have a blog for your chief medical officer, but the last post is from June of last year. What message are you really sending to your target audience?
- Your internal IS department blocks most social media sites from employees. The argument is that they don’t want employees “playing around” on sites like those. Guess what? At some point the same argument was made about email. And before that, it was made about the phone. Does anybody really worry that employees are “playing around” on the phone? If so, I thought that’s what managers were for.
If you see yourself reflected in any of these, maybe it’s time to stop, take a breath, and make sure you have a real strategy and plan in place. Don’t get me wrong: Just being familiar with the tools is worth some time and effort. But if you want to make that effort really pay off, you need a strategic approach.
If you see other examples, I’d love to see them!