Discussions

Social Channels for Individual Departments

Posted by Rhonda Mann @rhondamann, Sun, Sep 8 1:04am

Up until now, we've done a good job at Tufts Medical Center keeping official Tufts MC social channels in the hands of the Comms department. We're now getting lots of requests from clinical departments for their own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, which the departments would run themselves (we don't have the bandwidth to do it within the Comms dept). There doesn't seem to be a way to do this without opening up the flood-gates and allowing all departments to do it. So here's my question: Do you allow individual departments/divisions/programs to have their own official hospital social accounts? If so, does your comms department monitor these? (If so, please include the number of FTEs in your social media dept). Thanks for the insight…

@sasanof

That sounds a bit sad Kathy? My gripe with our Comms Director (who would fit in well in your org) is an over emphasis on the down side of engaging clinicians. Check out this example https://mobile.twitter.com/sasanof/status/1174584456104951808
I saw a letter of thanks from a patient in our local newspaper and shared it with the Director of our ER who hadn’t seen it nor had he been notified by our Comms or PR team. He and his ER staff may never have known but now they do and our hospital has more widely shared a good news story. Why wouldn’t you want free help from clinicians who are proud of their hospital?

Jump to this post

Hi, David, It wasn't a MarCom decision. I agree this may discourage our largest base of supporters to chime in during the workday, but we do involve staff and clinicians from around the system in many ways.

REPLY
@kathywinter

Hi, David, It wasn't a MarCom decision. I agree this may discourage our largest base of supporters to chime in during the workday, but we do involve staff and clinicians from around the system in many ways.

Jump to this post

Our health system also blocks social for most of the teams except for Marketing and Senior Leadership. We also don't allow individual clinics to have their own social accounts, with two exceptions. We acquired one clinic who already had a presence on Facebook and Twitter (though they're now only on Facebook) and we're piloting with another clinic to see how they do with it.
We're happy to share relevant, appropriate information from our clinics and providers on our main channels but getting them to share can be a tall order sometimes.

REPLY

Really interesting to read all of these responses. Thanks for posting this for discussion, Rhonda!
This is a conversation that we have often with different departments within our organization as we get these requests fairly frequently. We have come up with a process like many have mentioned in the response above to have a conversation with these departments about the effort that goes into maintaining a social media presence as well as the thoughtfulness, resources, and consistency needed in order for it to be successful. I find that often when we start hashing out audience, goals and objectives, and benefits of each different platform, they take a step back because it makes them think differently about social media. Because of this, we have developed a questionnaire that we send to the departments to guide our discussions. We certainly don't discourage departments and clinicians to create accounts, but what we do encourage is that they think through it – create a strategy and plan for how it will be used, who they want to reach, etc.
To answer your question though, @rhondamann, our marketing department does not manage these accounts. We definitely act as a content source and help provide guidance on best practices and act as a resource. And we monitor them just in a listening capacity because when these accounts are strategic and content is created in a thoughtful way, it often acts as a great content source for our organizational accounts.The best sources of content are those on the inside of an organization!

REPLY
@laurynb

Really interesting to read all of these responses. Thanks for posting this for discussion, Rhonda!
This is a conversation that we have often with different departments within our organization as we get these requests fairly frequently. We have come up with a process like many have mentioned in the response above to have a conversation with these departments about the effort that goes into maintaining a social media presence as well as the thoughtfulness, resources, and consistency needed in order for it to be successful. I find that often when we start hashing out audience, goals and objectives, and benefits of each different platform, they take a step back because it makes them think differently about social media. Because of this, we have developed a questionnaire that we send to the departments to guide our discussions. We certainly don't discourage departments and clinicians to create accounts, but what we do encourage is that they think through it – create a strategy and plan for how it will be used, who they want to reach, etc.
To answer your question though, @rhondamann, our marketing department does not manage these accounts. We definitely act as a content source and help provide guidance on best practices and act as a resource. And we monitor them just in a listening capacity because when these accounts are strategic and content is created in a thoughtful way, it often acts as a great content source for our organizational accounts.The best sources of content are those on the inside of an organization!

Jump to this post

@laurynb – how would you feel about sharing your questionnaire? I'm thinking about creating a document that we could add to our resources section re: this issue. What do you think? Anyone else have documents that could help with this resource?

REPLY
@DanHinmon

Welcome to the Social Media Network, @jratchfo! Thanks for asking the question. I'm going to tag a few members who may have some suggestions for you. @apafford @laurynb @lesliebyrne123 @mdethlefsen @alaxdal @northwesternmed

Jump to this post

Thanks, @DanHinmon! And welcome @jratchfo! I think the best place to start is to create a social media strategy within your organization if there isn't one already in place. And if there is one already in place, if you are looking to move from a more basic to a more engaging and patient-focused/friendly channel, it sounds like a revision of the strategy and objectives might be in order. Or at the very least a close look at the tactics you are using to reach those objectives. We take care of all of our strategy discussions and execution in house, so I can't speak to using consultants. However, I would imagine that even if consultants are used, your internal team would still need to be a big part of this process. You are the ones that know your organization's mission better than anyone else.

Once your strategy is in place, the fun part of creating the content that follows it. This could be a great time to utilize those outside vendors for some creative help!

When you talk about "best practices" what do you mean exactly? The best practices for creating content and posting on each platform? Or best practices for a non-profit healthcare organization's presence on social overall?

Hope this is somewhat helpful!

REPLY
@laurynb

Thanks, @DanHinmon! And welcome @jratchfo! I think the best place to start is to create a social media strategy within your organization if there isn't one already in place. And if there is one already in place, if you are looking to move from a more basic to a more engaging and patient-focused/friendly channel, it sounds like a revision of the strategy and objectives might be in order. Or at the very least a close look at the tactics you are using to reach those objectives. We take care of all of our strategy discussions and execution in house, so I can't speak to using consultants. However, I would imagine that even if consultants are used, your internal team would still need to be a big part of this process. You are the ones that know your organization's mission better than anyone else.

Once your strategy is in place, the fun part of creating the content that follows it. This could be a great time to utilize those outside vendors for some creative help!

When you talk about "best practices" what do you mean exactly? The best practices for creating content and posting on each platform? Or best practices for a non-profit healthcare organization's presence on social overall?

Hope this is somewhat helpful!

Jump to this post

Thanks Lauryn, this is very helpful! In terms of best practices, I meant both creating content and posting on each platform and, at a larger level, for a non-profit healthcare organization's presence on social overall. So your input was very helpful and much appreciated!

REPLY
@DanHinmon

@laurynb – how would you feel about sharing your questionnaire? I'm thinking about creating a document that we could add to our resources section re: this issue. What do you think? Anyone else have documents that could help with this resource?

Jump to this post

Sure! Happy to share ours. Like I mentioned above – this document is usually shared with the department looking to create an account. At the same time, a meeting between departments is set up to chat through their ideas. During that meeting, this document guides the conversation.

Shared files

Social Media Account Request Form (Social-Media-Account-Request-Form.pdf)

REPLY
@laurynb

Sure! Happy to share ours. Like I mentioned above – this document is usually shared with the department looking to create an account. At the same time, a meeting between departments is set up to chat through their ideas. During that meeting, this document guides the conversation.

Jump to this post

Thanks a lot, @laurynb This is a great start for a resource!

REPLY

I actually envy most of you, having a natural interest from your different departments to have their own social media profiles, while here – in Egypt – where I work in almost all the projects I have worked on for the past 10 years about 16 different entities which vary from General hospitals to specialized medical centers and polyclinics, we have spent lots and lots of time to just convince a few number of the medical team to join the social media team by any mean.
Actually this is an issue I wish to have here in Egypt 🙂

REPLY
@annettecalteaux

Hello,

I haven't read all of the responses, but I wanted to share my experience and advice I received from this group.

Long story short, we had a department that wanted to have their own page. After much discussion, we landed on trying a trial period (3 months – if I remember correctly) and I had them provide me with content which I shared to our main social channels. I also provided them with design resources (Canva), contents ideas/starting points and asked them to build a content calendar which we decided upon 3-5 posts/week (based on what the expectations would be if they had a real page). For various reasons after the 3 months, they decided against having their own page and will share content for our main channels. This was a great learning experience for all of us! And it let them give it a try without a HUGE commitment.

Jump to this post

I love this!

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.