Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it

Barely a whisper…


We all know the key to social media is engagement and interaction. The corporate speak doesn’t work in this realm, and it’s a great tool for customer service and building brand loyalty. But what happens when there is little to no engagement? Tweeting for five hospitals, I try to tweet interesting, helpful tidbits and post the same kinds of things on Facebook, but in a way that is unique to each hospital. I’ve found that the engagement level is varying greatly though from one hospital to another, and what works for one is clearly not working for another. 

I’ve always said I’m no social media expert, and at this point, I’m feeling like a newbie, trying to wade through the waters to find new things that will work in helping to increase engagement.  I also find myself facing another, more critical decision: if the engagement does not increase, then do we simply call it a day? There’s a part of me that knows that we need to be visible here, and connect with people through these social channels. Yet there’s another part of me that can’t help but feel that we, that I, have failed in this endeavor, and the leaders of the company, of course, want results. HELP!

The best part of social? The ability to connect with others who ARE experts. So I’m calling on my friends in the social media world for some advice and guidance. How do YOU increase your engagement levels when they seem to have reduced to barely a whisper?

Author: Nancy Jean

I love reading, writing, music, the beach, and being a mom to two rescue dogs. My job is social media for health care.

6 thoughts on “Barely a whisper…

  1. I think a couple of things likely are happening: 1) Your target audiences (those you want to engage) are not on Twitter or care to “like” you on Facebook and/or 2) The information you’re distributing is too self-serving and not valuable to your audiences.

    When we were starting out, we asked a TON of questions. What do you like about hospital A? What don’t you like? What would you like to see in hospital A? Why would you choose one hospital over another…or would you?

    Asking people questions to get them engaged is like stroking their egos – you’re interested in what they have to say so they’ll tell you.

  2. Gini, THANK YOU… that’s a great approach and something I haven’t tried. I felt like we were talking too much about the hospital with those kinds of questions, but now I realize that it IS a way to engage our followers. I SO appreciate your help. 🙂 Have a GREAT weekend!

  3. I’m having similar issues with a small biz. (pizza parlor), so I don’t have any great ideas. I would try either widening my focus (snare more folks) or narrowing my focus (to engage a smaller but passionate group). Most importantly, if you believe in the media, show patience. Eventually you will be in a leadership position as others catch up to you.

    • Barry, Barry, Barry… I cannot believe I never replied to this! Thank you for your comments, and I think you’re right — patience is definitely key. It’s not something that shows overnight success. 🙂

  4. I’ve been wrestling with this as well, Nancy. I can tweet the same information simultaneously from our health system account and from my personal account, but it just doesn’t seem to create as much interaction (RTs, etc.) if it is sent from our health system account.

    I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that my Twitter account has my picture on it, and is a place where I can express my views and interact as myself. (It’s written in my voice and SOUNDS like me.) When created our health system account, I considered whether or not we should associate a “person” or “name” as a representative of the system (like @PRNewswire does), but we decided that more than 1 person might be required to keep up with the corporate Twitter account, so we did not go that route. I wonder if that would have made a difference—our CEO’s blog seems to get a lot of interaction. . .I wonder if lending his voice to our health system account would increase interaction on Twitter?

    If social media is meant to be truly social, should we reconsider corporate, faceless accounts? It seems like they can be done well and express a corporate culture or voice, but I bet that’s hard to keep up on a day-to-day basis. Should we give our brands a face? That adds many more issues and questions into the mix: (What if the face of the brand leaves or says something harmful to the brand? Will they need to separate personal from corporate views?) I’m still wrestling with these questions, but would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Hello Abby! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog (which clearly I am very bad at maintaining, but promise to be better!). You bring up some very interesting points about interaction when it’s personal versus brand. I think it’s important to have a name associated with a brand, even if it’s multiple people managing the accounts. I think people need to connect with a person behind the brand for it to “real” to put it simply. I am struggling with increasing engagement on our accounts too, so I’m trying things like asking more questions, finding new people to follow who have an interest in our specialty areas and saying hello, things like that. I think the key is finding a personality for the brand that is appropriate, with a little of yourself in there. Have fun, relax, interact. And it’s not a bad idea to have your name associated with the name on the Twitter account. At least from my perspective. You know I’m a big fan of your smiling face on Twitter, and I think that warmth and inviting smile needs to carry over to the corporate social side as well, if not in a photo, in your personality — let it come through your tweets. I’m no expert (as I ALWAYS say!) but I think it’s important.

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