Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it

4 new year’s resolutions for health care communicators

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Happy holidays! It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Each year, many of us commit to something that may make us healthier, become better members of the community or will somehow positively affect our lives or the world.

As healthcare communicators, what’s to stop us from making some New Year’s resolutions for our professional lives as well? Here are some ideas for resolutions that will not only help us become better communicators but also will improve our community too.

1. Get on board with social media. If you’re not using social media yet, what better time to start than at the start of the New Year? Get a Twitter account or launch a Facebook page, and start talking to people–your community, your patients, others in the industry. It’s all about building relationships. But first, be sure to get your leadership on board too. Help them understand the importance of social media and the role it can play in building loyalty for your hospital’s brand.

2. Commit to engaging. Social media sounds easy, right? But it really is a commitment. We can build content, create editorial calendars, and write daily tweets and Facebook posts. But if we’re not engaging with others, it’s all rather, well, pointless. This new year, let’s commit to truly being part of the social world. Read blogs and leave comments, retweet others, ask people questions and really listen to what they’re saying. It’s often difficult to find the time to do this, but committing to it and scheduling time will help make it happen. (Note to self: Make the time for this!)

3. Expand your horizons. If you’re comfortable with what you’re doing in the social media world, then maybe it’s time to resolve to learn a new platform. Give Google+ a whirl, or develop a photo gallery of your organization on Flickr. Or maybe start using a new app on Facebook. There are so many possibilities in the social media world–pick one, learn it and go for it! But let’s stick with it. (Did you know only about 12 percent of people successfully keep their resolutions?)

4. Fix what is broken. What can you do to improve what you’re already doing in social media? Not getting enough engagement? Study industry leaders to see what they’re doing, try asking questions, use polls, analyze your measurements to see what content works and what doesn’t, resolve to post more interesting content. Also, be sure to revisit your policies (you do have a policy, right?) to be sure they don’t need tweaking or refining.

I’m going to tackle the second one as my resolution for this year, but hopefully I’ll also get to the third and fourth as well! Those are my ideas for healthcare communicator resolutions. What are yours?

This post was written for and originally appeared on www.hospitalimpact.org.

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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.

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