Strategy Proposal for Initiating Use of Social Media
Emergence of many technologies on the internet presents healthcare industry with immense opportunity to influence the world through social media. This proposal highlights numerous opportunities that a healthcare provider can exploit to provide services to patients, manage crisis, promote management, keep tabs on competition and attract patient loyalty by keeping patients interested and continually engaged. The main goal is to use social media to influence the lives of many consumers of healthcare information across the world with the help of experts whose skills would fuel this agenda. Achieving these goals would entail involvement in online storytelling, building happy customer community, creating brand awareness and creation of top mind recall. The budget is relatively low for a healthcare organization considering the fact that it is a worthy course to invest in as evidenced by few personnel and equipment required initiating this process. To ensure focus on the vision of initiating the use of social media, the performance would be evaluated by checking on monthly outcomes and performance indicators would be analyzed to know to determine whether the company is on success track.
Strategy Proposal for Initiating Use of Social Media
Emerging technologies have significantly transformed how healthcare systems, hospitals and physicians interact with patients and one another. Social media started as a way for families and friends to connect online. Overtime, companies fast noted its game-changing potential not just for advertising and marketing but perhaps most significantly, for healthcare industry, engagements and consumer feedback (Benson 123). Establishing a strong presence in the social has never been quintessential for the healthcare industry at this age. Caregivers and patients have increased their online presence to discuss their health issues and research their ailment (Stokes & Lynn 66). Thus, it has become necessary for professionals in healthcare to join the social web and extend their influence. Social media has been intimidating for the healthcare industry because of the strict requirement for them to be aware of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act and regulations pertaining to privacy of patients (Cavoukian & Hamilton 26). However, with proper planning and strategies, it is possible to employ all social stethoscopes and begin listening so as to improve patient satisfaction and education (Stokes & Lynn 69). Social media is a powerful tool and ubiquitous form of engagement and communication that has greatly captured the world attention. Research shows that it has emerged to be a common place in the US with 73% of adult internet users continually visiting sites like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedln, Pinterest or Twitter (Fox 14). Facebook attracts most users of social media with 71% of adults visiting it while on the internet compared to the 18% who constantly visit twitter (Fox 14). Another notable statistic indicate that 42% of adult internet users continually visit different social networking sites, proving that active users of social media visit multiple social forums (Fox 15). The healthcare industry can capture the attention of these active users by pushing numerous health messages on different social networks.
Unlike indigenous form of media, social media provides platforms for interactive experiences with other users and contents (Benson 78). Posts and messages can be liked, critiqued, replied, shared, and validated by organizations of individuals instantaneously. This implies that the reach of health information that is posted on social media transcends the reach of the original contributor and traditional parameters of readers, listeners and viewers (Charon 37). Recent occurrences have highlighted and evidenced the immense power of social media. For instance, the trending hashtag online #BringBackOurGirls was employed to call attention of the whole world to schoolgirls that were kidnapped in Nigeria with reports from analysts indicating that the online campaign raised sufficient awareness that helped provoke the government of the Republic of Nigeria to actions (Smith 43). Considering the effect of such online activism, healthcare industry is faced with underutilized opportunities to raise global awareness on spread of diseases and preventive measures (Charon 28). Unlike traditional forms of media, social media coalesces people with similar causes and interests, allowing them to form a “buzz” around important issues. Social media grants healthcare service providers the platform to extend their services to millions of people which in turn boots their reputation and increases their stake in the global health market (Smith 72).
- Increase online presence on social media
- Change people’s behaviors and attitudes
- Attract a mammoth group of followers on social networks
- Periodically release useful health information to the public
- Increase contact with consumers of health information on the social networks
- Market healthcare products on social media platforms.
- Ensure confidentiality of information exchanged between the company clients.
- Increase consumer satisfaction
- Train healthcare professionals on the role of social media in service delivery
This team would be responsible for creating contents in forms of scripts, videos and photos. They would also be tasked with creating company’s pages and portfolio on social media that can be liked and followed by people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube and Blogs. They would also post and monitor the contents as well as removing undesirable comments and posts from the wall such as insults, adverts and dangerous contents such as nudes. Content creators and managers are the ones who would ensure that the company achieves the first goal. Additionally, their work is to ensure that information provided by the clients on the platform are kept confidential
They would be responsible for interacting with customers and the followers on social media. After the content has been posted, they will be in charge of answering all the questions and complaints, reply to comments and gathering feedback from the consumers. Because health information must be correct and sensitive in nature, this team must be composed of healthcare professionals.
Ensure that the company’s social media pages are only opened in secure computer, phones and network to clients private information from being leaked and hacking of the pages by cyber criminals. They would also advice the company on online security and report suspicious activities to the relevant authorities on behalf of the company. The security team would establish measures and policies to curb social engineering.
This team would be composed of people experienced in online marketing and sales. They would brand company’s products, coordinate with content creators to open groups and pages on various social networking sites where consumers can view them. Also they are responsible for advertising and creating awareness about the company on social media by employing tools and strategies to ensure that the information reaches as many consumers as possible. Additionally, the marketing team would also follow up on customers to ensure their satisfaction.
These are group of individuals already on social web and they include; patients in need of support, brand detractors, brand advocates and healthcare influencers and advocates.
A cross-functional social media training team would coordinate courses, answer questions, benchmark employees and provide constructive feedback. They would ensure that training programs includes clearly stated purposes for the reasons why the healthcare company is adopting social media and test to gauge the progress of employees as they are taken through the program
Online storytelling by caregivers and patients on various social networks can complement indigenous methods of capturing series of perspectives on the quality care. Healthcare providers often seek to understand ways of ensuring patient satisfaction so as to improve the quality of care provided (Born, Rizo and Seeman 45). This process would encompass increasing sophisticated surveys of patient satisfaction in order to constantly engage the public and receive feedback about the quality of care from the perspective of both the caregiver and patient. It has been found that learning from patients though listening to their stories told on social webs can enhance a better understanding among healthcare stakeholders concerning the challenges and richness of patient experience (Born, Rizo and Seeman 49). Thus, the organization would update ideal multi-audience touch points such as online surveys, professional virtual communities, patient virtual communities, and patient stories in internal website, patient social rating tools and focus groups.
Happy customers generate positive reviews on social media that can enable the company to gain competitive advantage (Charon 44). This strategy would be enhanced through a strong customer service that would use Facebook and Twitter to answer questions from clients and provide real-time support. In turn, it can be expected that it would directly feed into activities associated with quality improvement. Also, the content managers would build steady news and information feed that would allow clients to stay updated with hospital news such as key hospital events, media references and new jobs positions. Additionally, patient education is an important aspect of this strategy. The organization would increase its capacity to reach individual patients and families with high quality health information by using twitter and Facebook for patient education, research, delivery of knowledge, chance to engage and take part in reputation management.
The main reason for this strategy is to make the company’s brand searchable on social networking sites, enhance its quick discovery through SEO and being discoverable through searches and leads. Brand awareness would be enhanced through celebrity advertising, doing promotions so that social media users can share the page to other users for rewards and posting (Charon 33). Another way that this strategy would work is use of podcasts. Patients would be allowed to subscribe to receive certain category of podcasts automatically or chose different categories and search for topics. These patterns of usage can help inform QI priorities and processes by identifying the podcasts and stories that are most requested thereby meet the expectations of the consumers.
The content creators would create interesting videos everyday that are appealing to the eyes make many people watch them on company’s youtube channel. Videos are vital in brand recall. Also eye-catching photos that illustrate key health concepts and issues are important in attracting a large following.
This course of action is aimed at getting the public talking about the issue raised by the company. However, a conversation does not simply start because of posting on certain information. Rather, initiating a conversation would always be proactive, challenging and tend to engage the audience. The discussions would be motivated by raising questions, edgy or controversial topics to generate active group of participants.
The success of this organization’s social media campaigns depends on the general feeling from people the issues are relevant to the extent that they intend to take further action (Solactive 9). A powerful story is the most appropriate approach intended to build emotional connection as it enables participants to connect with the audience at a person level, raise awareness and motivate them to comment on the posts or retweet (Singh 22). This social media campaign would entail use of compelling, emotional engaging and relatable stories to drive further action and interest among audiences on social media.
Another important course of action is to advocate for important issues to inform and influence key audience which can be instrumental in shaping policy decisions (Solactive 11). To engage the audience, the organization would employ strong messaging framework a tool for advocacy. Social media has the capacity to provide the company with cost-effective delivery method to reach large number of people (Smith and Wright 156). The social media managers with embed messages in every blog, tweet, post and videos in memorable was to target audience into receiving content and also expanding the influence with every retweet or share.
This action is meant to provide an avenue to stir further action online and allow individuals to be able to share their stories.
The campaign would ensure that content work with communication strategy and also integrate various aspects of communications
The organization would have to enact key policies and change working procedures to accommodate increased use of social media in the company. They include;
- Outline list of best practices that would help the company become less risk-averse
- Answer all ethical questions and list ways of dealing with patient’s privacy by soliciting comments online and listening and accommodate people who are passive in social media.
- Write policies on return-on-investments especially the resource that would be allocated to social media
v 2 Content creators and 1 content manager.
v 3 Customer Service and Support
v IT Technician and Cyber-security person
$2000 monthly in salaries
$1200 monthly in salaries
$ 1500 monthly in salaries
|v Social Media Trainers||$ 3000 for 1 week training program|
v Two Apple Laptops
v Two user Kaspersky Antivirus
v Other software
Period evaluation of the outcome would indicate how effective the social media campaign is (Ghorbani 46). Evaluation would be directed on the brand performance to check whether there is a disconnect between how the community perceives the healthcare brand and how it is presented. The company would evaluate the following;
- Reverberation-This refers to the total volume of generations and inbound linking of retweeting posts
- Activation-The total number of new sources in a month that have shared the content of the post
- Repetitions-The average number of times in a month a content has bee retweeted
- Engagements-The exact amount of repeat commenting as well as the length of those comments on the page.
As a healthcare brand, the milestone that it aims to reach is having 5 million followers on Twitter and 10 million likes on Facebook.
Without measuring efforts of social media, it’s possible that the company is drifting with tides (Ghorbani 56). A performance indicator is the way of defining success. Since the goal is to change people’s behaviors and attitudes, the company would not focus on measuring superficial things such as number of followers and fans. Instead, it would concentrate on the following metrics;
- Activity and engagements-Referrals, members, active profiles, threads, inbound links, active profiles, ideas or comments, post frequency and tags, votes and bookmarks.
- Revenue and business development-conversions from community, % customer retention, net new leads, transaction value, cost per lead and referrals
- Cost Saving-Net promoter score, issue resolution time, training costs, product/service adoption, account turnover, brand loyalty/affinity, share of conversation, hiring/recruitment, sentiment of posts, employee social graphs, value awareness and influence, media placements, interaction with content and development cycle time.
The company would also need trust sentiment indicator. Sentiment analysis would help in determining whether the reputation of this healthcare provider on these online platforms is positive, negative or neutral.
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