Social media is changing the healthcare industry quickly, and with the surplus of channels, tools and content, it can be difficult to manage. Social media management can be especially difficult for health systems because their reputation is everything. According to DC Interactive Group, 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a healthcare provider.
We also found in our healthcare social media research that some health systems have social networks dedicated to individual hospitals, which means an even more time consuming and detailed management process. So what are some tools that will help you keep up and use social media to its fullest potential? Here’s my list of the top 5 (some free) social media tools to get you started:
Chances are you already know about HootSuite, the social media management tool that allows you to manage multiple social channels through one Web-based dashboard. This tool can be especially great for those with individual profiles for hospitals within the health system, because it allows for collaboration. Teams can access your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. through this tool and schedule posts and assignments. They also offer some analytics with the opportunity to pay for more detailed, custom reporting.
Social media is a key place to start when monitoring online conversations about your health system. Trackur is a social media monitoring tool that offers a free trial and allows you to monitor mentions of your brand across news sites, blogs, forums, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. The Trackur dashboard allows you to save keyword searches and analyze mentions of that particular keyword.
Similar to HootSuite, Buffer is a one-stop shop for collaborative social media management. It is focused around scheduling and can automatically schedule posts for optimal times. In contrast to HootSuite, Buffer allows you to see an immediate analysis of each tweet or post (which will explain clicks, mentions, favorites, etc.). However, Buffer does not allow you to create multiple streams for each social media channel.
This infographic and presentation tool claims to be the best for “non-designers.” Research has shown that posts with images receive interaction rates 39% higher than average. Piktochart has an easy interface that allows for the creation of simple to more complex infographics and images that you can leverage on your social media accounts and make your posts more dynamic and shareable.
This is a fairly new social media tool, but can be very helpful when monitoring hashtags and conversations around certain topics. This is especially important when new social media tools like Vine are using hashtags and more mature social media tools, like Facebook, are adopting the #hashtag. Tagboard can also be a great source in discovering new hashtags that you should be using for bigger industry-related conversations.
When 90% of adults 18-24 years of age said they would trust medical information shared by others in their social media networks (PwC Health Research Institute), time spent on social media is important, and these tools can start improving marketers’ efficiency. Check out our comprehensive list of Twitter Tools that includes the ones I listed above and more. Healthcare marketers, let us know about your favorite social media tools in the comments below!
Check out Fathom’s white paper on social media in the top 15 health systems.