Following the number of great insights from day one of #MayoInOz Healthcare and Social Media Summit 2015 yesterday, I was delighted to learn just as much on day two.

A summary of the top 5 takeaways from the second day of #MayoInOz:

1. Social Media is too important to leave to one person

It’s impossible to expect somebody who fulfills a full time job to carry out the additional roles of a social media manager. Simon Trilsbach from Hootsuite highlighted the importance of social media responsibilities being too important to leave to an intern. Today, social media is imperative to an organisations sales department, human resources, marketing, customer care and even an organisation’s CEO. It’s about creating meaningful relationships. You want someone you truly trust who understands your company values and ethics who can uphold them across a range of social platforms. Give someone the responsibility to actively listen and understand the sentiment of what people are saying about your organisation. Social media should sit alongside your other marketing tools and complement them. It is too important to leave to one person, let alone the intern.

2. Find your brand voice through storytelling

The key for getting social media to work for your brand is knowing your brand voice. Marketing and Digital Strategy Manager, Epworth HealthCare, Kristina Garla, suggested that organisations should identify their character archetype to help find and balance their brand voice. Each archetype will differ depending on the social media platform you occupy. Your brand shouldn’t talk at people. A great way to get around seeming patronising as a brand is to adopt the storyteller approach. Be brave with your brand voice and take on different voices, as the archetype approach allows.

 

3. Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media communities

The afternoon sessions by Jen Morris, Russell McGowan, and Deborah Warrington-Love, demonstrated the strength of emotive online communities. The influence of like-minded people sharing their patient journeys, questions, and concerns can hold immense force. A big part of intersecting patient-doctor life lies in reciprocal didactic communication. There needs to be open dialogue between the patients and practitioners, with a willingness to improve consumer control. Heathcare organisations have the responsibility to look and find these communities where patients are sharing their journeys on various platforms including crowd sourcing research forums and online groups. The strength of social media campaigns was highlighted through the story of Deborah Warrington-Love’s son James. Rare Cancers Australia syndicated the story of James Warrington-Love on social media, resulting in national news coverage and fundraising for the family. Whether healthcare organisations like it or not, patient conversations and campaigns are happening in online spaces. They should not be ignored, and where possible, encouraged to collaborate.

4. In order to regulate, we must educate

It’s important for healthcare organisations and clinicians to realise that medical advertising guidelines extend to social media. How and why AHPRA regulate social media for practitioners in the digital space in Australia must be understood. Healthcare organisations need to be aware of the possible breaches they could be making by leaving a positive review up or possibly even a LinkedIn endorsement. A large part of AHPRA policies and guidelines, including the Codes of conduct for each national board, Social media policy, and Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, mean nothing without a thorough understanding. Education must always be a part of policy regulation. A policy is redundant without the knowledge that a) it exists and b) an understanding of its ins and outs. The use of video and other forms of content to communicate these policies to staff can be pivotal (see the Ramsay Health Care Social Media Policy below). Organisations need to familiarise themselves with their relevant guides.

5. Old truths still ring true

Human connection is just as important today as it was centuries ago, particularly when thinking about growing an audience online. Yes, technology changes. But the timeless principles of communication do not. Digital Media Strategist, Stanford Medicine X ePatient scholar, Marie Ennis-O’Connor, used the principles of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, and applied them to social media community management today:

  • give honest and sincere appreciation (acknowledge every user who reaches out to you online)
  • arouse in the other person an eager want (ask why people would want to read your content and use the power of storytelling)
  • become genuinely interested in other people
  • smile
  • use a person’s name
  • be a good listener (use monitoring tools such as Google Trends and Buzzsumo to listen to patients and influencers)
  • talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  • sincerely make the other person feel important (share quotes, create lists using Listly, and @ mention people)
  • the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  • if you’re wrong, admit it quickly
  • always begin in a friendly way
  • dramatise your ideas (go beyond infographics with gifographics or engaging video)

 

Thank-you to all who spoke, participated, and helped with the #MayoInOz Healthcare and Social Media Summit 2015.

Be sure to follow @KamberCo on Twitter for more updates on our latest projects, muses, and #PlatformFive updates.

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