Editor's Note: This post by Jessica Levco originally appeared on Ragan's Healthcare Communication News and previews a pre-conference workshop from the 5th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit in October, which is part of Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic.
At our fifth annual Health Care Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., you can find out how during our panel, “Hottest trends—Instagram, Infographics, and Vine.”
You’ll hear from hospital communicators from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Arnold Palmer Medical Center, and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Ben Dillon, vice president at Geonetric, will moderate the panel.
Below, they share what they’ve learned:
Michael Schmidt, Arnold Palmer Medical Center: This year, your hospital decided to take pictures of a pediatric surgery and post them on Instagram. Why Instagram?
One of the most consistent things we hear from families at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is that they wish they had been more prepared before their child's surgery. Many parents have said that they received and understood the medical explanations from the surgeon about what their child would experience during surgery, but they wanted to know more. We decided to document a pediatric heart surgery by taking a picture every five to 10 minutes, explaining what was happening step by step.
Instagram was the perfect fit, because it enabled me and a member of my team to take pictures on an iPhone and simultaneously post to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and our blog, Illuminate. The artistic filters on Instagram also played a role in making many of the more graphic pictures easier to look at.
Around 250,000 people saw the pictures on Facebook alone, and we had around 2,500 people watching, in real time, on our blog throughout the surgery. The family of the girl who had heart surgery was amazed by the live updates and felt much more at ease during the surgery than they had during previous procedures.
This is definitely where the future of patient communication is heading, and it's exciting.
Kimberly Shrack, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital: How did your organization get started on Vine? What have been the most popular Vines and how often do you create them?
We were shooting an educational video on pressure ulcers. Tons of staff, patients, and volunteers were involved, and we wanted to offer a sneak peek of what was to come. Vine was perfect for this. Through those short videos, we were able to build some hype around this resource. Beyond just going backstage, you also have a great opportunity to humanize your brand.
Our most popular Vine was a demo on helmet safety conducted by the son of two of our therapists at a Brain Safety Fair where we were volunteering. It involved an egg, Styrofoam, and a big mess. The message, spliced into four segments showing what happens to your head with and without a helmet, was very clear.
Because of the Vine format, we were able to share it directly with bicycling organizations and brands. This video was the spark for a long Twitter conversation with Schwinn Bicycles, which resulted in a whole new audience—and a hefty number of new followers.
We create them when it’s appropriate; there’s no set number, no quota. When Vine can help tell our story, we bring it in. When it can’t, we don’t. We definitely focus more on quality than quantity.
Adelina Espat, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center: What is the secret for creating an infographic that people will actually read and enjoy looking at? What have been some of your most popular infographics?
Keep it simple; that’s the secret. Don’t overwhelm your readers with too many visuals, numbers, and words. Choose a topic that’s important to your audience, and create a story using attractive pictures and compelling numbers that anyone can understand at a glance.
An infographic is successful if it sparks a viral number of social shares, generates a huge spike in website visits, or inspires other sites to repost or create a follow-up story.
Here are two examples:
- Earlier in the year, Ragan’s Health Care Communications News site shared our healthy snacking infographic. That post alone has attracted more than 1,000 pins to Pinterest.
- In June 2013, we sent out a news release for our Healthy BBQ infographic to coincide with the July Fourth holiday. It inspired follow-up stories on TIME Healthland and Men’s Health.
See this page for details on all of the events in Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic (including links to Social Media Health Network member discounts), or go directly to the Ragan site to register for the Summit.