Social media is becoming an essential tool in public relations. Public relations practitioners use social media every day to publicize their clients and start two-way conversations. Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are all important channels for social media. As a company or organization in the health industry, it may not seem important to be participating and interacting on social media. All too often healthcare practitioners’ dismiss social media as not being applicable to their industry. Why would someone want to follow a hospital on Twitter? Or be Facebook friends with a pharmaceutical company? There are in fact many reasons that audiences want to connect with those in the healthcare industry on social media platforms. Therefore, healthcare social media is becoming increasingly vital.
In order to develop healthcare social media strategies, companies and organizations must first be present on social media platforms. This means setting up accounts for Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. There may be some social media platforms that do not seem like the best fit for your company or organization. The best way to be certain is to see what your competitors are doing. If your main competitor has a YouTube channel then so should you. However, you may not want to rule out a platform for healthcare social media use, even if your competitors are not present on it. This could be an opportunity for you to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. For example, maybe none of the hospitals in the area have a Facebook page. By creating one and using it effectively, you might be able to reach some audiences that are not being reached through other forms of social media.
Once you have created accounts on all relevant social media platforms, your healthcare social media strategies can begin. Start communicating relevant information and your messages to your audiences and converse with other companies, organizations and individuals in the health industry. Social media is best used when it fosters two-way communication and reaches the most individuals. The health industry has various information that is increasingly important to disseminate out. Receiving this information could make a significant difference in someone’s life. These audiences are already using social media platforms for their daily lives, which is why it makes sense to connect with them on these healthcare social media platforms. Using all social media platforms to their full potential will increase communication and publicity for your company or organization in the health industry.