Authenticity, preparation and smart strategy: Lessons from the Mayo Clinic Social Media Conference

Authenticity, preparation and smart strategy: Lessons from the Mayo Clinic Social Media Conference

 In Social Media

Few things are as immediate, fleeting and simultaneously brand-building (or damaging) as social media. While each brand has different social media goals, we all face many shared challenges in reaching key audiences and amplifying our work. That’s why I joined nearly 125 members of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network in Scottsdale, Arizona earlier this month to talk strategy, success and lessons learned from social media efforts for health-focused organizations.

Here are the topline tips and reminders collected during my time in sunny Scottsdale, paraphrased from the wise words of social media managers, lawyers, physicians and many others:

Know your audiences.

This is important for both organic community engagement and paid targeting purposes as it can help inform tone and content. What are people looking for from your brand? Whether it’s education or entertainment, get to know the people you’re talking to and the audiences you want to engage.

Link social media efforts back to your communications strategy.

A case study about a health system’s social media campaign “win” showed that the best social media approach is integrated. Communications, whether via traditional forums or digital platforms, is interconnected. Tying social media engagement back to specific goals, such as increased patient inquiries, product sales or donations, makes a stronger case for social media support compared to an isolated look at likes and comments.

Set your thought leaders up for success.

Social media presents a platform accessible to anyone, including c-suite executives who might otherwise appear inaccessible to public audiences. When you hit the right notes on social, you can convey credibility, get introduced to new audiences and enhance your organization’s real-time engagement. That requires some homework to identify who you want to reach, what you want to say and how it ties back to communications goals.

Always be prepared.            

Though the best posts and engagement may be serendipitous, there is no substitute for good preparation – whether something as evergreen as having a policy or holding meetings with your core communications team to discuss “what if” scenarios and procedures for crises big and small.

Authenticity is key.

This should go without saying. Striking that balance of relevant information, engagement and good listening on social is invaluable (and fun). No need to feel like a robot!

 What’s your top tip for healthcare social media? Share with us @JPAHealthComm on Twitter.