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.
Which team at your hospital “owns” social media?
This is a question that Vanderbilt University Medical Center wrestled with. At our fifth annual Health Care Social Media Summit
at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., you’ll learn how the communications team divvied up the tasks and figured out who does what on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and its blog.Cynthia Floyd Manley, director of strategic marketing, and Jessica Turner, program manager, share what they’ll cover during their session, “Across (fr)enemy lines: Build an integrated social media team.”
What do you hope people will learn from this session?
Cynthia Floyd Manley: We'll talk about the reasons why an integrated approach to social media and communications is essential for today's media climate. We'll help folks understand some barriers to integration and share ways that Vanderbilt has made progress overcoming those. We also hope to learn from attendees how they've approached these challenges.
If you've got a large staff handling all your social media accounts, how do you keep it going smoothly—to make sure someone isn't working too much/not enough?
Cynthia Floyd Manley: The key is having a set of a processes and tools combined, with flexibility. At Vanderbilt, we have borrowed from my old newsroom experience. We have assigned beats and daily huddles—much like a news outlet has daily story meetings. A rotating on-call schedule allows us to balance out the evening and weekend monitoring and community management. We’re also lucky to work in a setting that values, hires for, and fosters collegiality and collaboration, so supporting team members is second nature.
Why is it so important for hospital communicators to work together instead of just “doing their own thing”?
Jessica Turner: Working in "social media silos" is never effective. It confuses the public and muddies the messaging. Working together ensures consistent, integrated communications in social media.
What makes a good social media team for a hospital?
Jessica Turner: A good social media team is flexible, engaged and kind—both to one another and to the community. We try to always look at things from the patient/family perspective and respond in a timely fashion. A social media team should always be on call—just like other hospital staffers.
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.