How can your healthcare IT company be a savvy adopter of social media best practices? Here are three ideas:
1. Be an Insider
One of the greatest challenges of using social media is the clamor of voices competing for attention; nothing new there. In order to reach providers, your social content must speak to their daily needs and interests. Most providers are looking for quick access to current and highly-credible news and insights in their industry. Kevin Pho, MD has over 80,000 Twitter followers because he offers first-hand accounts of his use of health I.T. and weighs in on broader technology/health care issues and policies. Pho has a trusted identity. Put a face like his on your brand and people will listen.
HIT can be a complicated and time-consuming aspect of physicians’ and administrators’ jobs. Make customer support representatives and technicians available through social channels. Make it known that you’re there for them in real-time: “Got a question about a product or EHR implementation? Tweet us!” Integrating social media channels with customer support can increase your interaction with providers and help you better understand their needs.
2. Extend your reach at conferences
Utilizing social media before, during, and after HIMSS 2014 and other healthcare conferences can increase your brand awareness and recognition with fellow attendees. Conference-goers are there because they want to question, connect, converse and learn. Start a hashtag to bring the conversation online, and track and preserve it for those who weren’t able to attend. Make sure your chosen hashtag and social media accounts are visible on all conference materials and swag you distribute, and have speakers invite people to live tweet thoughts and questions during your session.
Set your social media goals and craft messages ahead of time. Then be sure to monitor your accounts in real time, responding to everyone who engages your brand. The momentum you build with health IT customers during the conference can lead to phone calls, meetings, product inquiries, articles and more.
3. Build industry connections in your most relevant communities
NextWaveHealth launched only months ago, but they’ve already debuted Smart Social Media (SSM 2.0). This customizable social media platform invites “hospitals to share insights with each other on health ITcurrent events.” SSM 2.0 will allow Next Wave to build communities around ICD-10 and EHR implementations. It can also build communities specific to doctors, CIOs — and healthcare IT PR pros.
The brilliance of this application is that now the company doesn’t have to go in search of these segmented audiences across 10 separate platforms. As they invest in these online communities and give users ownership of the content and conversations they are building trust with prospective consumers.
If you can’t build your own platform, you can still focus your social media outreach to existing online communities where your demographic is already engaged. Linkedin has many groups dedicated to different healthcare niches, as does Google+. There are also multiple social networks built exclusively for physicians. Do a little digging to uncover where your target market is actively listening, then become a valuable contributor.
Social Media is Only as Relevant as You Make It
Social media will become increasingly relevant to healthcare IT professionals as long as they use it to assist and genuinely connect with their audience. If you want doctors and administrators to take an interest, deliver valuable content, pertinent conversations, and responsive service through the platforms that serve them best.