The Power of Positive for Hospital Marketers

Encouraging positive dialog about your brand on social media

Social media usage by gender is just about neck and neck. Men slightly over-index on LinkedIn, but the opposite is true on Facebook and Instagram. The stats are just about even on Twitter. But there are distinct differences in social media use by gender, and these represent a big opportunity for hospital marketers.

Research published by Facebook noted that women are more likely to share personal topics, while men tend to focus on current events. Another study analyzed vocabulary across millions of Facebook posts and concluded that women’s posts tend to center around friends and family and to use friendlier, more compassionate language.

Couple those findings with these statistics:

My point: Women are engaged in an ongoing healthcare dialog on social media that’s influencing healthcare decisions. What can you do to extend the impact of positive experiences women share about your brand? How can you encourage more brand connections on social media? Here are a few thoughts.

  • Begin with the end in mind. If you’re successful in generating positive social buzz for your hospital, what strategic priorities do you want that buzz to reinforce? In what ways can you measure your success? Answering these questions will help you focus on the activity that will be most meaningful and measurable.
  • When in doubt, always chose storytelling. Not all content is equal. Be sure to monitor and analyze impressions by content category (e.g., campaign, event, organizational) so you’re posting and boosting content your fans and followers gravitate to. Regardless of content type, employ a storytelling Posts that feature authentic personal stories elicit more personal comments. It’s these emotional connections that build relationships and preference for your brand.
  • Be conversational. Recently, I noticed a comment on a hospital system’s post about a treatment. The comment was from a woman who experienced the treatment in a different city. She noted treatment side effects and told readers to ask about potential risks. Unfortunately, the hospital’s response read like it was written by an attorney. It was a missed opportunity for the brand to contribute to and extend the dialog in a more meaningful way. They could’ve responded like this: “We’re sorry that happened. We agree that talking to your doctor about risks and benefits is always good. Maybe there’s a way to balance those side effects. Call our physician group if you’d like to schedule time to discuss.” With this response, they might’ve gained a new patient and been more on brand.
Kathy Selker
I’m Kathy Selker. My work as CEO of Northlich, a Cincinnati-based healthcare marketing agency, has taught me a great deal about how hospitals and health systems can best connect with women to make the most positive impact in their lives.

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