Five Common Hospital Social Media Mistakes

When it comes to social media, I think we can all agree on one thing – it’s constantly changing and evolving. While this constant change is what makes social media so exciting, it can also be very easy to make mistakes.

Improve your health systems’ social media presence by avoiding these five common social media mistakes:

Mistake #1: Lack of research before joining a new social media platform

While Pinterest is a popular platform and is an effective strategy for some brands, that doesn’t mean it’s right for every brand. Before becoming active on a social media channel, make sure to do the proper research. What is the target market? Is our target audience active on this channel? What are our competitors doing?

By doing the proper research beforehand, you’re avoiding another common (and detrimental) social media mistake – being present on a channel, but not being active.

Mistake #2: No strategy

This goes hand-in-hand with the mistake above. After doing the proper research and determining which social channels are right for you, you need to create a strategy so that your content and branding is consistent. Remember that each social media channel requires its own separate strategy (i.e. your Twitter strategy will be completely different than your Facebook strategy). While creating a strategy takes a lot of hard work in the beginning, it will definitely pay off once your brand is active online.

Mistake #3: “Robotic” or “corporate” tone of voice

It’s important for all brands to be more humanistic on their social media channels – I often see health systems make the mistake of sounding more corporate than human. This is an easy mistake to make due to the regulations and guidelines health systems must follow; however, there is still room for creativity and connecting with the audience on a more personal level. Plus, people are much more likely to engage with brands online that are more humanistic.

Mistake #4: Overly promotional posts

Yes, social media is a place to communicate information about your health system with your audience, but it’s also so much more. It’s also a place to ask questions and share tips, fun facts, newsworthy information, etc. Remember this when creating content for your social channel – it will resonate with your audience and result in more engagement.

Mistake #5: Lack of listening

While social media is a place for you to talk, you also need to make sure you listen. Be sure to pay attention to your audience and address their questions and concerns. Channels like Facebook make it easy and convenient to engage with your audience by allowing you to communication with the audience privately.

Sometimes your audience will bring attention to something negative. It’s important to have a plan in place for situations like this beforehand so you know what to do and can respond promptly. It’s also important to only respond with accurate information. I’ve witnessed a handful of brands try to cover up the negative attention with an inaccurate or uninformative response. Unfortunately, this tends to result in more negative attention in the long run.


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