Shaking up healthcare social media

Jenn RiggleHealthcare marketers are so adept at helping others find their own voice that they sometimes lose their own. But when it comes to online communications, writes Jenn Riggle (pictured, right), associate vice president and social media leader of the Health Practice at the CRT/tanaka marketing firm, marketers have a little room to shake things up.

"Our work increasingly requires us to engage in social media, which rewards those who speak their minds and make snarky comments," she writes in a Hospital Impact post. "Nowhere is this more relevant than when it comes to writing a blog, which is all about creating thought leadership and having a unique point of view."

Social media continues to grow as a force in healthcare. Case in point, in a recent survey of managed care executives, 94 percent said they thought social media was necessary to increase consumer engagement. 

Riggle offers advice to healthcare marketers who want to reclaim their voice (and spice up their online writing), with tips such as writing with the audience in mind, avoiding medical jargon, taking a stand and thinking like a reporter.

"PR people may be masters of sticking to key messages and creating positioning statements, but this can make for dull writing," Riggle notes.

Blogging is just one of the many social media skills PR folks must hone, of course.

In another Hospital Impact post, Nancy Cawley Jean (pictured, left), senior media relations officer for the Lifespan healthcare system, offers a guide to the new Facebook timeline.

Love it or hate it, there are several new features that hospitals will find useful, including the cover photo, the new admin panel, private messaging, highlighting and pinning and the structure of the new timeline itself.

"What better way to show the strength of your hospital than to provide a whole history of firsts, breakthroughs and highlights than through the actual timeline?" she writes.

To learn more:
- read more tips on writing healthcare blog posts
- get tips on managing the new Facebook timeline

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