(FOUR-MINUTE READ) If you work in healthcare and you’re left in charge of the social media or writing your company blog, which one of these is your natural response?
- Yay! New week or month. Time to craft my ideas, create the content and get cracking!
- *Sigh* Another week or month gone. Time yet again to think what I can create and put out there. I’ll just grab a brew first.
- Sh*t! I really should think about what we’re doing with the Twitter account but Sharon’s off sick and I’ve got 2,376 other jobs to do first. I’ll just grab a brew first.
Let’s be honest. It’s probably a combination of those things. And that’s because being creative, coming up with content you want to share that speaks to your patients and clients is tough. Even for humble marketers like us.
Social media awareness days are just one of the tactics used by commercial businesses and many healthcare organisations now as a way to talk about what you do. From healthcare-specific ‘World Mental Health Day’ and ‘Stop Snoring Week’ to our personal wacky favourite ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’ – there’s something for everyone.
They’re on trend, they often get people talking and for many organisations, they’re a relatively easy thing to piggy-back on.
But that doesn’t mean you should.
Like many things online, you’re conscious about just putting stuff out there for the sake of it and you’re worried you’ll attract more trouble than it’s worth. That might be the reason that Sharon’s off sick by the way. We’re sure it’s not.
So to guide you through the dizzying highs and lows of jumping on the social media awareness days band-waggon as a healthcare organisation, here’s our three top tips for doing them right and a little bonus Bourbon biscuit-like treat if you make it to the end:
Start by dropping the ‘hard sell’ mindset
Don’t sell. Just be human. Too many organisations think engaging with people on social media means delivering a sales pitch. However, this is far too impersonal, forward and uninteresting to most people. You’re on social media where people need to be spoken to like people not entities. Even if you’re running the company Facebook page, it still needs a tone of voice and a personality that people know you for.
Getting on the back of a relevant social media awareness day allows you to be human and raises awareness of a certain issue that you can then use to encourage people to engage with you. Concentrate on getting a conversation going around the topic so patients can get to know you, and you them.
Only get on board with awareness events that are valuable to your audience
Don’t force it. If the social media awareness day has absolutely diddly-squat to do with your organisation, give it a miss.
Whilst we completely advocate being creative so that you can show your organisation’s human side – for example a dentist giving a nod to National Cupcake Day because Karen brought in some incredible, edible delights shaped like molars with a secondary, more important message around sugar and oral health – always go back to your original goal.
Will it make you appear approachable?
Will it provide something valuable to your audience?
Will it give people a chance to engage with you?
Counter misinformation in an upbeat and humorous way
Never underestimate power of humour for anything. Finding ways to be humorous and light-hearted is important, even when you’re talking about things that are quite serious in nature. Being able to do that will make your content more relatable and more appealing to an audience on social media.
One good way to do this from a health angle is to counter misinformation and debunk myths relating to the issue you want to address.
We spotted this one in the Facebook NHS Comms group recently around smear tests from NHS Medway CCG – it definitely got folks talking.
(Definitely speaking from experience, this is exactly what goes through your thoughts when that curtain goes back for the big reveal! What if they judge my comfy, granny pants…I digress…)
Consider Your Retweets Carefully
It’s easy for us as a marketing consultancy to sit here and say try something your competitors haven’t. When you’re a busy healthcare organisation sorting social media in-between patient appointments, it’s easy just to retweet what everyone else is doing.
We’ve all done it. Sometimes you genuinely don’t have time. We get it.
But don’t you think 95% of your competitors and everyone else will be retweeting the same thing? Great support for the national campaigns but nobody is really going to be paying attention to who shared the info once your audience has seen it for the 8th time in that hour.
If you have a social media awareness day in mind that you know your organisation can have fun with and showcase your team specifically for the awesome lifesavers and services they offer, don’t you think it’s worth throwing a bit more time at it for creativity? You won’t know if it works until you’ve done it. None of us do.
So here’s our challenge to you. Commit to doing one social media awareness day well each month for say three months. Go on. Put them in the diary now so you can plan for them.
Test them, analyse them and go back to the drawing board for more ideas if not.
In the meantime, observe what types of social media awareness days content works and gets people talking.
Look at people’s retweets and shares on social media. Then don’t just simply retweet.
Think how you can use the same mechanics but for something you really want to say and that’s related to your service alone.
Okay – where do I start with social media awareness days?
Raising awareness about your organisation through jumping on the back of social media awareness days can be great for your brand, as well as helpful to your audience. But at the same time, it can be fun and social. So why not give it a try?
You could start by researching awareness days online. There are various free and paid calendars available to find events that might be relevant to your business.
Or you could save yourself a heap of time and just download a free one we prepared earlier. It’s only got days on that we think could be useful & good fun for healthcare businesses from April 2019 onwards.