4 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media in Healthcare

Social media is a great tool for marketers to leverage for their clients, especially in the healthcare industry where social media platforms are changing the ways of patient interaction. A Pew Internet and American Life Project study found that 72 percent of internet users say they look for health information online.


Even healthcare leaders are starting to pay attention, most notably with the website symplur, which is dedicated to social media in healthcare. Symplur provides a plethora of information for those looking to engage with their audience through social media and a sure sign that social media in healthcare is here to stay. The question then becomes, how should marketers handle their social media accounts? Here are four do’s and don’ts of healthcare social media to keep in mind for 2014:

Don’t continue a sensitive conversation publicly

If a sensitive tweet or comment is directed at your account, take the necessary steps to deal with the issue privately. Carefully handle the situation and then take the conversation offline quickly. Once you have handled the issue you can then follow up again to let other followers you have addressed the issue.

Do leverage social media in time of crisis

This is where crisis communications 101 comes in handy. People are turning to social media platforms more than ever to receive updates on breaking news. Joining social conversations about controversial company news can be a great way to help you control the conversation before it gets out of hand. Responding and addressing concerns of followers shows you care about the public’s reaction, instead of remaining silent at a time when others are looking to you for answers.  It also helps to develop a social media crisis communications plan beforehand, so you can jump into action right away.

Don’t only post content

Social media is social for a reason, so engaging with your followers is huge. A Pricewaterhouse Coopers study found that 41 percent of people share their experiences socially. Instead of missing out on connecting with your audience, use social media as an opportunity to engage and form relationships through thoughtful discussions. If a follower feels that an account is paying attention to what’s being said about them, they’re much more likely to reach out.

Do develop transparency

Healthcare companies are often criticized as money-minded corporations with little to no regard for who their services or products affect. Turn this around and optimize your online reputation by starting an open dialogue with your followers. They’ll begin to rely on you for knowledge marketing and thought leadership as you continue to provide relevant, honest information.

What great examples of social media use have you seen from the healthcare industry?

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