Social Media Training for Employees – The TriHealth Example

Editor's Note: The goal of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network is to provide a forum for those interested in pursuing beneficial social media practices in health care and a place to share and develop best practices. In this post two of our members from TriHealth, Jess Lewis and Jenn Shafer, share a training guide they've developed for TriHealth employees and potential ambassadors.

Empowering our Employees

We all know that social media plays a huge role in marketing our healthcare organizations. But what if your audience is two million people, and your social media team is a one-man show? How can you localize content to those audiences, and encourage team members to be ambassadors in the community?

First, let’s make sure all our employees are properly trained on how to best utilize social media, and educate them on what they can do, and what they can’t do.

Creation of Training

In the beginning, we were sure there had to be training already in existence that would fit our needs and that we could use to model our own training specific to TriHealth. However, as we started to scour the internet looking for this magical tool, we couldn’t quite find what we were looking for. The Social Media Basics for Healthcare module created by Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite was a good start, but we needed to create something more specific to our front-line team members. [Editor's Note: The Social for Healthcare Certificate is available at no charge to Premium and Corporate members of MCSMN.]

We knew this training had to have specific examples to demonstrate what our team members could and could not share on their personal social media pages about TriHealth. We wanted our team members to know we fully support freedom of expression, but we also wanted to protect them from posting inappropriate and potentially harmful content.

With example scenarios as our backbone, we started the training with basic HR and legal guidelines. Topics covered include:

  • Why social media is important
  • Some important things to think about when using social media
  • When to use caution while posting
  • How to use your role as a team member to be an advocate and ambassador for TriHealth
  • Basic social media best practices
  • How to perform service recovery when needed

Within each of these topics, there are questions involving potential real-life scenarios with multiple-choice options. The scenarios and interactive learning set-up made this course a well-received educational tool based on early feedback.

See an excerpt from the course below. Please keep in mind that not all aspects of the course are included – for example, we left out some TriHealth-specific things, as well as some videos, etc.

TriHealth’s Journey

Though our social media strategy is sophisticated in many areas, social media sites are still restricted within our TriHealth network, making it difficult to fully integrate social media into an engagement opportunity for our team members.

This training was created in part to eventually allow social media sites to be open to all our team members within the firewall. This training is currently a mandatory course in our e-learning system.

Before this training, TriHealth did allow certain team members to have access to social media for job-related purposes. Physician practices and service line institutes are permitted to create their own Facebook pages with the guidance of our Marketing and Communications department if there is enough content and an audience need. This allows our various locations and specialized services to meet their audiences where they are and tailor the content to their audiences’ needs and wants.

For those practices and institutes that create their own pages, we are more involved in their training because they will be creating consistent content that should align with our brand standards. We meet with the team members who will be running those pages and go over some social media marketing basics and best practices. We also leave a guidelines packet with them that covers photo consents, HIPAA compliance, etc. The main corporate social media accounts must be an administrator on all TriHealth-related accounts.

Moving Forward

As we continue to build and develop a more robust social media strategy and execution, a formal ambassador program is our next step. Our plan is to further engage our already-active followers and provide them centralized content and drafted messaging to make it as easy as possible for them to share our stories. However, we still want our ambassadors to make this content their own.

Thanks to this training, we feel even more confident that our team members will be excellent advocates for our TriHealth Way of Leading, Serving and Delivering Care, and we hope they feel empowered to advocate for TriHealth to their friends and family online.

Our Overview of Social Media Use at TriHealth online course recently launched and is currently being taken by all TriHealth team members. If you’re interested in following up on our journey or you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us!

What do you think? What sorts of things should healthcare organizations think about as more and more of their employees use social media to advocate for their organization?

Choose a message to share 
Via @MayoClinic: Social media training for employees – the TriHealth example: #MCSMN #TriHealth #MayoClinic
What do you do if your audience is two million people, and your social media team is a one-man show? Get the answer here from @MayoClinic: #TriHealth #MCSMN #MayoClinic
How can you localize social media content to specific audiences, and encourage team members to be ambassadors in the community? Get the answer here from @MayoClinic: #MayoClinic


Please login or register to post a reply.