In the world of health care marketing, it’s no secret that employees can be a hospital’s best brand ambassadors. Whether or not your hospital itself has entered the social media realm, be it Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., your employees most certainly have. And such employees – these frontline brand ambassadors – are posting comments, expressing opinions and, yes, talking about your hospital.
Does your hospital have a social media policy in place? If not, you should.
The goal of a social media policy is not to stifle engagement, by any means. Again, back to brand advocacy, social media usage by employees can be great for your hospital. An appropriate social media policy is designed to serve and protect your hospital while advocating and supporting the responsible use of social media platforms by employees.
The best way for your health care team to get started on a social media policy? I recommend a tried and true communications tool: define the W’s. Take the time to break down the who, what, when, why and where. This process is a good first step in helping you garner a full understanding of the goals, audience and rationale for a clear and concise social media policy.
Ed Bennet, a health care social media expert who tracks social media resources for health care professionals, has a great list of Social Media polices developed by hospitals and other health care related groups on his blog.