Wanted: Social Media Manager

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Wednesday, 27 April 2011 18:37

What are the challenges you face around social media? If your answer is, “Hmmmmm...I’ve heard that term a lot lately.” Let me help you out.

I know you have seen these before, but they are just the icing on the cake. To define social media, well, Mr. Webster hasn’t helped us out with that yet. So in my search for a good definition I found a million different definitions from a million different people. One that summed it up best for me was on a blog by Duct Tape Marketing.

Social Media – “Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.”

One up and coming group of users that embraces the technology of social media and sees the principles of Social Media Management as essential are healthcare workers. A list complied on a well known healthcare blog, Found in Cache, stated that as of January 23, 2011, 906 hospitals are using 3,087 social sites.

They are using social sites as a means to stay in constant contact with their patients and monitor their progress. In some pediatric cases, it can be used as a mentoring tool. Jennifer Shine Dryer, MD, MPH, a pediatric endocrinologist in Columbus, Ohio, has accepted a few of her patients as friends because she found the service to be the best way to keep tabs on their progress. “These are patients I’ve kind of worried about, and I know I’m a good influence on them,” said Dr. Dryer.

The Mayo Clinic has been considered a leader in Social Media for some time. They provide quick, helpful health tips and promote sources of health information such as podcasts or interviews with their experts. They solicit questions from people, promote videos, and call attention to media stories.

This is just one area where great strides have been made in the advancement of social media.

Social Media is your new voice, a voice that you can use every second of the day. That is why many businesses and hospitals are now hiring Social Media Managers. These are dedicated people that will let your message be heard in every realm of the digital world, moving your organization to the top of the digital mountain. Establishing a Social Media Manager to create and/or maintain your digital image assures that your are always in constant contact with audience. Even more crucial, Social Media managers train your resources how to communicate at their level in the right manner. Your audience is going to talk about you on the web, why not talk first by creating a sound web presence.

The implementation of a Social Media Policy - the rules by which your organization communicates online - is a good first step if you don’t already have one in place. Having strategic guidelines in some organizations is very important as there can be a fine line between what you can and cannot say or do online. Below are a few things to consider when creating or revising your Social Media Policy.

  1. Does your organization currently have a social media policy in place?
  2. What does the existing policy look like? Does it meet your needs? What are your concerns? Where do you feel there are gaps in the policy?
  3. How long has the existing policy been in place? How often is it review/updated?
  4. What are the challenges you face around social media?
  5. How would you like to see your social media experience expanded?
  6. What legal issues concern you with regards to social media?
  7. What social media platforms are you most interested in or currently use?
  8. Do you or any of your staff currently blog? If so, what tools do you use? How do you monitor patient blogging?
  9. Does your staff currently use any social media tools? If so, which tools are they using? Do you have any means of monitoring their activity? Is this a concern?

Remember the old saying, “ "A happy customer will tell one person. An unhappy customer will tell 10 people." What about the one with the Facebook and Twitter account...YIKES! If you haven’t already, get out there and make your cyber presence known!

~ Kristen Price

Resources:
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/09/06/prl20906.htm
http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2011/02/07/hospitals_that_excel_at_using_social_med