What your social media content and visuals are saying should be consistent with your hospital’s brand messaging. However, how you deliver those messages should reflect the different personalities within each social media medium. Additionally, social media channels are meant to be two-way communication vehicles, so your messaging should be more conversational and informal. You’re not just pushing out your message like in traditional media vehicles. You want to encourage participation and feedback. You never want, for example, your Facebook page to be filled with just posts featuring your hospital’s icon, repeating the same messages you have on your website or a billboard. Instead, you want to create a dialog between you and your followers with as many followers as possible being part of the conversation. To do that, you want to entice response through your posts. Ask questions, run polls, and share stories that reflect your brand and connect with followers. This will encourage people to comment on your posts, share your information and tell their own stories.
Another great way to extend your brand and get a little bit more personal with your social media followers is to get your individual team members to post comments. For example, you can get a physician to post about a recent study or respond to a patient’s post. Empower nurses and other staff to be a part of the dialog, even if you have to assign people dates and times to post something interesting. While this kind of interaction can be time-consuming, it will build on your established brand and messaging in a very powerful way. It also gives patients and other people a reason to follow you on social media channels. You want to offer them timely and relevant information, but you also want to give them something that your traditional media channels can’t offer them. Whether it’s little nuggets of information that they only get through these channels, or a direct link to individual team members, social media is channels offer a far deeper level of engagement. Treat it as a crucial extension of your brand messaging rather than a different one.