SCHA Social Media Workshop – The Afternoon Sessions


There’s more to getting started in social media than hashtags and status updates. There are hard truths that need to be examined. Or buzzkills, as one speaker so eloquently labeled himself. In other words, plan and prepare.

First up, does social media even make sense for your organization? Reed and Ed co-led a thoughtful discussion on ROI and social media. There are a few ways you can frame ROI with social media. Including:

  • Social media metrics (number of followers, message reach, number of fans, interactions)
  • Direct value (resulting new patients via word of mouth, word of mouse and direct interaction)
  • Indirect value (service recovery, customer service, brand monitoring, media and community outreach, patient education, recruitment, employee retention and crisis communications)

Ed pointed out that with such a small entry cost and little capital investment required, any value is ROI. The main real cost will end up being time. He also cautioned that ROI can’t just measure sheer numbers, the quality of interactions themselves have value.

With many healthcare facilities and processes getting a bad rap for being behind the times, social media is an excellent place to be fresh and modern. Whether it’s apologizing for an errant bill or ownership of a frustrated consumer’s problem, most consumers are surprised, amazed and appreciative that someone is listening. And not all interactions are bad, typically there are more positive ones that can recharge a tired nurse or department.

Still not convinced there’s value? Think about the exact ROI of services such as pastoral care, front desk staff, groundskeepers and housekeeping staff. Or, as Ed said quoting David Scott, “What’s the ROI for putting your pants on in the morning?”

Ed and Reed agreed there are certain services that are expected in this day and age, it’s part of doing business. Just as websites are now the norm, they both believe social media will become part of the typical consumer’s expectations.

Legal Issues
Next came Michael Shetterly from Ogletree Deakins Law Firm with a sobering and entertaining discussion of social media ramifications. He likened the evolving, ever-moving social media realm to giving your employees the keys to the car. Social media is so new and changing so fast, the Supreme Court has only had two cases that involve social media and one of them happened last week.

What areas must be considered when implementing social media? A lot. FTC guidelines. HIPAA. Privacy of staff, patients and the lady in the background of your hilarious hand-washing video. Copyright. PHI. Not to mention employee use of social media, web and texting.

Michael advised organizations to keep their social media guidelines and employee use guidelines up to date and very specific. Revise policies to reflect use of social media and blogs and to insulate against liability. Be sure to share policies with all employees and offer real-use training.

Panel Discussion
Last on the agenda was a panel discussion. The panel featured a range of hospitals and personnel including:

  • Andy Busam, Public Relations, Coordinator, Randolph Hospital
  • Dr. David Geier, Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist, MUSC
  • Sally Foister, Director of Marketing Services, Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center
  • Ronda Wilson, Marketing and Communications Director, Georgetown Hospital System

So let’s start the sharing right here, Social Media Revolutionaries. What were your biggest takeaways from the panel discussion?

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One Response to “SCHA Social Media Workshop – The Afternoon Sessions”

  1. Jeff Davis Says:

    I thought the 3 marketing/PR panelists approached getting into social media in a very smart way. They researched it, formed a plan, “dipped their toes” in the various media to get comfortable with it and then stuck to a series of processes for being actively engaged in it.

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