If I were a social media or content manager for a healthcare organization, I would focus on patient comeback stories, “firsts," baby pictures, nurse awards and national connections. Healthcare market research shows these topics to be the most attention-grabbing in social media. After reading “The Best Social Media from America’s Top Hospitals,” which reviews the best social media posts from 53 top U.S. hospitals, we decided to examine what's most popular in CVR’s healthcare clients’ social channels...which led us to these four trends that we recommend incorporating into your social presence.
1. Amazing Comeback Stories and Survivors. If a patient, employee or anyone within your organization has overcome an illness, especially under unbelievable odds or circumstances, talk about it. In line with the research, we’ve seen this popularity ring true in “Stories That Move Us,” a series we collaborate on with Central Indiana Orthopedics (CIO).
For instance, Bill (71 years old from Anderson, IN) suffered for years from extreme sciatic pain. Another orthopedic group told him the pain could not be fixed. But after CIO’s Dr. Tekula performed a spinal fusion, Bill now enjoys walks with his wife and playtime with his grandkids pain free! Bill’s story and other “Stories That Move Us” serve as CIO’s strongest and most shared content on their social media channels.
2. Firsts. Whether it’s a patient’s first unobstructed breath after surgery, a patient’s first meeting with a life-saving Good Samaritan, a field’s “first-of-its-kind” treatment or your organization’s first Facebook Live event, social media users want to hear about it. Make it a point to meet with the medical staff regularly and uncover any “firsts” that a patient, employee or the organization is experiencing.
3. New Babies and Kids. Newborns and pediatric stories can’t be beat! From the first-born-baby-of-the-year picture to the doctor who wears a stuffed animal in his shirt pocket to entertain his young patients, social media users love seeing the youthful spirit.
While our partner Fairbanks Treatment and Recovery Center is focused on helping adults recover from substance abuse, they also created Indiana’s only tuition-free recovery high school, Hope Academy. Seeing students smiling again, celebrating their successes over a pizza party or speaking at the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse brings many heart-filled likes. Showcasing these students in conjunction with reaching milestones or tackling new challenges is a win-win for healthcare social media.
4. Best of the Best. Any nurse, doctor, medical equipment or department receiving awards or setting new standards is worthy of finding and talking about in your social media channels. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, which honors the “super-human” work nurses do for patients and their families every day is a good example. In managing social media for one of Indiana’s largest hospitals, any Facebook or Instagram posts showcasing their DAISY Award recipient receive an influx of “congratulations,” “she’s the best” and various other complimentary posts.
Incorporating these four themes into social media channels has definitely proven successful for these 53 hospitals. Moreover, it gives a chance to respond to audience’s comments and make a personal connection. While links to hospital websites were least popular in the main social media post, the Convince & Convert report found that click-through rates to hospitals’ webpages increased significantly when posted as a response to an individual comment. Incorporate these four must-post content ideas to not only give audiences content they like, but also to open the door to more personalized care.