As System Manager of Social Media at CommonSpirit Health, Julie Rose spearheads social strategy across the system’s 140+ hospitals and 700 total care centers in 21 states.
In this conversation for our Healthcare Insight for Marketers podcast, you’ll learn how the CommonSpirit Health purpose is reflected on social platforms, what tools she uses to plan digital marketing strategy, methods used to publish and track content, and how to use the “golden window” to drive engagement.
Building a personal brand is important for healthcare marketers.
We’ve seen personal and professional lines blurred now more than ever, and working in healthcare, you’re a little bit limited about how creative you can be. I try to express creativity in my personal life through blogging, vlogging and fun creative formats like Instagram Reels and Stories.
I find it’s important to always experiment, learn and stretch yourself in all areas.
Healthcare organizations have to “walk the walk” on social media.
With multiple logos and identities across CommonSpirit Health, what unifies us is our registered tagline Hello humankindness. It’s a beautiful overarching message and those words come to life through our staff in the halls of our facilities.
Our response strategy is one way we can truly demonstrate that Hello humankindness brand promise on our social channels—and that’s true for positive comments as well as negative comments. We can’t control the messages that come in, but we can control how we react to it and what others see. We try to demonstrate that the Hello humankindness attitude we exhibit on social is representative of the care that you would receive at one of our facilities.
Instead of chasing every channel, invest in the channels where you already have an audience.
Across CommonSpirit Health, we have 5,000+ accounts with 1.5M followers. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, so instead of trying to be everywhere, we’re exploring new formats on the channels where we already have an audience.
For example, Facebook is our bread and butter and we have a Facebook location page for every single one of our locations. That’s important for the user experience, as our followers want to map to a specific location or leave a review at the right place.
We’re also exploring newer Instagram formats like Stories, IGTV and Reels as they’re being prioritized in the News Feed.
Google My Business offers untapped potential for healthcare organizations.
A priority channel for us is Google My Business. Along with making sure that our listings are optimized and that we’re being responsive to reviews, we’ve started exploring some of the new Google My Business post types. If you’re not familiar, these are message types you can send out as your Google My Business page that show up in the third pane of search engine results page (SERP). They take up more real estate on the search page to strengthen what you have there. We’ve just started working those messages in, and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact they make on our rankings and traffic.
Data should drive social media decisions.
To determine how often to post, you have to look at the data to understand the lifespan of social channels. For example, when you post something on Instagram you’ve got a window of about 24 hours and then engagement starts to decrease. If you publish something else six hours later, then you’ve just cannibalized that first post. On the other hand, YouTube is totally different in that you won’t get a ton of engagement right away but it’s going to pick up steam over time. The key is looking at the data and tracking when you get the most engagement on a post.
Watch for the golden window of engagement.
My biggest piece of social media advice is to shift your thinking from how it was back in the day, when you would post something and then move on to the next part of your job. The magic happens after you post as you can see what the dialogue is around that content. That’s your golden opportunity to jump in and engage.
For example, one of our hospitals followed the “How it started, How it’s going” trend and posted a nostalgic, black and white picture of its first tiny building juxtaposed with the megacenter of today. The image got tons of commentary, and as a brand that’s the opportunity to jump in and contribute to the conversation. When the brand gets involved, you delight the people that comment and send a message that we see you, we hear you, and we’re validating your opinion.
Of course, this approach takes time and you have to be creative and customize your responses like you would when talking to someone in person. However, it’s worth the investment when you consider the rich conversation that’s going to occur as a result.
After implementing this approach and increasing our response rate by 50% year over year, we found that engagement breeds engagement. The more you’re there as a brand listening to your people, the more engagement you’ll get as a result. It goes back to human psychology: We want to be heard, we want to be noticed for our contributions.
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