Discussions

Separate social media channels by service line or department

Posted by Paige Thomason @tahoeforest, Tue, Jun 11 3:31pm

Hi there!

Wondering if anyone has experience with departments (such as Foundation) or service lines such as Cancer Center having their own local social media channels? Pros and cons?

Seems like the case can be made that this dilutes from the global channel, but I have a request in front of me and wondering if any of you folks have opinions on this idea.

Thanks!

@tahoeforest – we currently have separate Facebook Pages for our Neurological Institute, Cardiovascular Institute and Children's Hospital, but each of those also have their own independent branding and multiple clinics throughout the system. We have not created any for a single department or provider at a specific facility.

To offset some of the dilution of audience, we share posts back and forth with the primary brand account to increase post visibility. We have discussed whether it made sense for Foundation or Careers to have their own channels for their more specific needs, but neither of those have come to fruition at this time.

Caveat – the only platform on which we do this, though, is Facebook. Every other platform is our brand channel and our Innovation channel (which typically has a different audience). We recently made a consistent effort to merge our channels on each other platform, including Twitter and YouTube, since we did not feel we had the audience or resourcing to support additional channels in a way that would justify the extra effort.

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@andrewmcglothlen

@tahoeforest – we currently have separate Facebook Pages for our Neurological Institute, Cardiovascular Institute and Children's Hospital, but each of those also have their own independent branding and multiple clinics throughout the system. We have not created any for a single department or provider at a specific facility.

To offset some of the dilution of audience, we share posts back and forth with the primary brand account to increase post visibility. We have discussed whether it made sense for Foundation or Careers to have their own channels for their more specific needs, but neither of those have come to fruition at this time.

Caveat – the only platform on which we do this, though, is Facebook. Every other platform is our brand channel and our Innovation channel (which typically has a different audience). We recently made a consistent effort to merge our channels on each other platform, including Twitter and YouTube, since we did not feel we had the audience or resourcing to support additional channels in a way that would justify the extra effort.

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This is extremely helpful, Andrew. Thank you!

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We used to have multiple Facebook pages before I was hired as the social media specialist. Today we have one main page and have absorbed or "adopted" all of the child pages under one umbrella, save 4. Our Cancer Center, Trauma Unit, Foundation and our medically-integrated fitness center all have separate Facebook pages. I have admin rights on all of them but our Cancer and Trauma leaders do most of the posting on their pages. i handle Foundation posts but their team does as well. The fitness center is administered by our marketing team and the company that runs the center for us.
All of our other social media sites (twitter, instagram, LinkedIn) are corporate sites.
Most of the PR team and a few of the Marketing team members have admin or editing rights. In addition, some of our HR team has admin rights on LinkedIn for posting career opportunity stuff.
We are a small enough organization that we haven't had a whole lot of after hours things to deal with. When there is a community event, we modify our work week to allow for coverage and also I am OK with them sending me a photo or two to post. We haven't had a problem with coverage so far.

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Hi,

We have 23 locations (in 3 countries), and four major service lines. While the locations each have their own social presences (developed on their own), departments and service lines do not. We also have a corporate presence where we share info from across the system (which was created first).

Whether it dilutes the corporate presence, I guess would depend on the system. With our locations in multiple states and countries, they do have their own "personalities." Also, many of our families are under our care from a young age to adulthood, so close relationships are built at the local level and there is a feeling of loyalty to "their hospital."

Would the departments/service lines wanting a stand-alone presence be able to manage a page? Content development, audience development, answering questions, comments, etc., all take more time than one thinks…not to mention there are no nights, weekends and holidays on social.

Is there a way the main page can better fill the needs of the departments/service lines instead of creating new pages?

Our donor team wanted their own presence, too, but found they really were not staffed to maintain it and our main page had too big of a following to justify branching out on their own. We work more closely with them, so their needs are met as well as our communications goals.

-Kathy

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Hi! We do have quite a few department/service line accounts. When we first started the social media department, we were more willing to allow departments to open individual Facebook/Twitter accounts. We do require that departments/service lines have a consult with a team member before any accounts are open. We encourage those that will be maintaining the pages to take our Social Media Basics certification as well as attend Social Media Residency. Some additional requirements: Utilizing Sprinklr (and paying for individual user seats), posting at least 8 – 10 times a month, and monitoring/responding to comments.

Recently, our team has encouraged people to do trials of content on our main accounts (if the audiences are similar) before opening individual accounts. We find that people like this approach better! We post the content, monitor, and answer questions. After the trial, most find that posting to our main accounts really does fulfill what they were looking for in terms of opening individual accounts and it doesn't cost them the price of a Sprinklr user seat.

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Hello! We allow certain physician practice offices (mainly primary care, pediatrics, and women's services), as well as our Institutes, to have their own Facebook pages.

We allow this at the practice level because we have found that, for those service lines in particular, that patients may want another way to engage with their physician. This also allows the practices to disseminate information about new physicians, community events they're participating in, etc., without diluting the content of our main corporate page. We do require that they add the main account as an admin on their pages in case there is any staff turnover (most of the time, the practices only have one admin), and we give them a set of guidelines, written by Marketing, that they have to follow. I also meet with them to help them set up their page and go over the do's and don'ts, how to get started gaining a following, and what good content might look like. From there, it's up to them to maintain their page, and I just serve as a resource for them.

At the Institute level (TriHealth Cancer Institute, TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute, etc), we allow pages because there is a lot of content to be shared, and it's good content — just too much for the main page because we can't focus too much attention on one service line. Similar to the practice pages, I help with set-up and serve as a resource, and add the main page as an admin, but beyond that, they're on their own.

I do tag these other pages when appropriate, and content is also shared both ways when appropriate. We've found that rather than dilute the brand, it enhances it.

We also have a Facebook page dedicated to employees, but that is managed by my colleague on the internal communications team.

This was actually an initiative that I helped to start, so if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

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Following up @Margaret_Marie's comment, here is an info sheet I designed a few years ago showing the pros and cons of each. I give this to anyone who asks for their own departmental account.

Shared files

PromotingYourServicesOnSocial (PromotingYourServicesOnSocial.pdf)

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@robinmillernorthbay

We used to have multiple Facebook pages before I was hired as the social media specialist. Today we have one main page and have absorbed or "adopted" all of the child pages under one umbrella, save 4. Our Cancer Center, Trauma Unit, Foundation and our medically-integrated fitness center all have separate Facebook pages. I have admin rights on all of them but our Cancer and Trauma leaders do most of the posting on their pages. i handle Foundation posts but their team does as well. The fitness center is administered by our marketing team and the company that runs the center for us.
All of our other social media sites (twitter, instagram, LinkedIn) are corporate sites.
Most of the PR team and a few of the Marketing team members have admin or editing rights. In addition, some of our HR team has admin rights on LinkedIn for posting career opportunity stuff.
We are a small enough organization that we haven't had a whole lot of after hours things to deal with. When there is a community event, we modify our work week to allow for coverage and also I am OK with them sending me a photo or two to post. We haven't had a problem with coverage so far.

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Great info Robin, thank you!

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@kathywinter

Hi,

We have 23 locations (in 3 countries), and four major service lines. While the locations each have their own social presences (developed on their own), departments and service lines do not. We also have a corporate presence where we share info from across the system (which was created first).

Whether it dilutes the corporate presence, I guess would depend on the system. With our locations in multiple states and countries, they do have their own "personalities." Also, many of our families are under our care from a young age to adulthood, so close relationships are built at the local level and there is a feeling of loyalty to "their hospital."

Would the departments/service lines wanting a stand-alone presence be able to manage a page? Content development, audience development, answering questions, comments, etc., all take more time than one thinks…not to mention there are no nights, weekends and holidays on social.

Is there a way the main page can better fill the needs of the departments/service lines instead of creating new pages?

Our donor team wanted their own presence, too, but found they really were not staffed to maintain it and our main page had too big of a following to justify branching out on their own. We work more closely with them, so their needs are met as well as our communications goals.

-Kathy

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We are thinking alike on this Kathy, Thank you so much for the advice.

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@jesslewis422

Hello! We allow certain physician practice offices (mainly primary care, pediatrics, and women's services), as well as our Institutes, to have their own Facebook pages.

We allow this at the practice level because we have found that, for those service lines in particular, that patients may want another way to engage with their physician. This also allows the practices to disseminate information about new physicians, community events they're participating in, etc., without diluting the content of our main corporate page. We do require that they add the main account as an admin on their pages in case there is any staff turnover (most of the time, the practices only have one admin), and we give them a set of guidelines, written by Marketing, that they have to follow. I also meet with them to help them set up their page and go over the do's and don'ts, how to get started gaining a following, and what good content might look like. From there, it's up to them to maintain their page, and I just serve as a resource for them.

At the Institute level (TriHealth Cancer Institute, TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute, etc), we allow pages because there is a lot of content to be shared, and it's good content — just too much for the main page because we can't focus too much attention on one service line. Similar to the practice pages, I help with set-up and serve as a resource, and add the main page as an admin, but beyond that, they're on their own.

I do tag these other pages when appropriate, and content is also shared both ways when appropriate. We've found that rather than dilute the brand, it enhances it.

We also have a Facebook page dedicated to employees, but that is managed by my colleague on the internal communications team.

This was actually an initiative that I helped to start, so if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

Jump to this post

This is so helpful. I'd love to know the parameters (do's and don'ts) that you offer as guidelines.

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@Margaret_Marie

Hi! We do have quite a few department/service line accounts. When we first started the social media department, we were more willing to allow departments to open individual Facebook/Twitter accounts. We do require that departments/service lines have a consult with a team member before any accounts are open. We encourage those that will be maintaining the pages to take our Social Media Basics certification as well as attend Social Media Residency. Some additional requirements: Utilizing Sprinklr (and paying for individual user seats), posting at least 8 – 10 times a month, and monitoring/responding to comments.

Recently, our team has encouraged people to do trials of content on our main accounts (if the audiences are similar) before opening individual accounts. We find that people like this approach better! We post the content, monitor, and answer questions. After the trial, most find that posting to our main accounts really does fulfill what they were looking for in terms of opening individual accounts and it doesn't cost them the price of a Sprinklr user seat.

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Love the trial idea. Thanks so much for responding.

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@tahoeforest

This is so helpful. I'd love to know the parameters (do's and don'ts) that you offer as guidelines.

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See this page for our criteria for Mayo-branded social sites, as well as guidelines for staff: https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/resources-1/.

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@tahoeforest

Great info Robin, thank you!

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No problem.

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Hi everyone. I wanted to chime in here from Mass General. Before I started, it seemed like many departments went off and created their own accounts. There were already many, many separate accounts that were started before my time. For some departments, like our Cancer Center, it makes sense for them to have their own account. They do have a separate marketing team that manages their content. I do share content from other department pages to our Corporate account.

Like Mayo mentioned, whenever a department is interested in setting up an account, I talk to them about strategy, content planning, monitoring and resources. We also give them the option to pilot testing content to our Corporate page. Since I've been on the team, only one department that I met with still received direction from their leadership to create a separate account. All other departments utilize our Corporate channels and it's been successful.

This can be tricky to balance. If you have any other questions, I'm happy to help!

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@Margaret_Marie

Hi! We do have quite a few department/service line accounts. When we first started the social media department, we were more willing to allow departments to open individual Facebook/Twitter accounts. We do require that departments/service lines have a consult with a team member before any accounts are open. We encourage those that will be maintaining the pages to take our Social Media Basics certification as well as attend Social Media Residency. Some additional requirements: Utilizing Sprinklr (and paying for individual user seats), posting at least 8 – 10 times a month, and monitoring/responding to comments.

Recently, our team has encouraged people to do trials of content on our main accounts (if the audiences are similar) before opening individual accounts. We find that people like this approach better! We post the content, monitor, and answer questions. After the trial, most find that posting to our main accounts really does fulfill what they were looking for in terms of opening individual accounts and it doesn't cost them the price of a Sprinklr user seat.

Jump to this post

Love the idea of having departments do "trial" content. What do you do, though, if the content they provide does not necessarily align with the corporate page and/or is too "in the weed" of the department? Or would that be a case where trialing wouldn't work?

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