Planning the social media and content marketing journey for your audience when you work for an industry tightly regulated by the government, like the healthcare industry, can sometimes look like a puzzle impossible to be solved for marketers. In this highly constricted environment, marketers often feel discouraged from coming up with any strategies that could be compatible with all the data security, laws, and restrictions found within this specific industry.
However, there have been some healthcare companies that have surpassed this barrier and have made a huge impact in the way healthcare marketers should approach their social media marketing with their audience. Yes, we are talking about the Mayo Clinic, but hold on here, because today we are not going to talk about what type of posts they used to reach 500K followers on Facebook; we are going to analyze their content marketing strategy. For real.
Being open-minded is key in order to succeed. Social media doesn’t need to be ONLY Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest; there’s a whole new world beyond those platforms. In fact, the thought process behind the Mayo Clinic’s social media strategy was not to just adapt to or jump into any of those platforms but to create one that could accommodate their own audience. They created their own channel, http://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/, to better serve them! They wanted to educate their audience, and they found value in doing so in a more collaborative way so all their employees would learn how to share and exchange the Mayo Clinic’s ideals to better serve their audience. As Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, stated recently “Our employees make our brand every day.”
Empowering their employees. Educating their employees about the right use of social media would help them to be professionally responsive and to make wise decisions in their use of social media, but, ultimately, it benefits the Mayo Clinic. “We want to make healthcare better. If we can do that through social, then we want to do that,” Lee Aase pointed out.
Giving their users the right tools. While great strategic ideas will help medical companies on their social media journey, it’s important not to forget what their audience wants as well. Interaction is important, but great in-depth content will be mandatory to fulfill their patient’s needs.
Social media foundation from the inside out. Through the use of internal and external social platforms, the director of the Mayo Clinic Social Network has been able to meet the needs of their diverse patient communities health care professionals and staff, translating the Mayo Clinic’s mission of placing the patient first. “We trust our employees with narcotics and sharp instruments, so we can probably trust them with Facebook and Twitter, too.”- Lee Aase.
Embracing innovation. Through the creation of the Center for Innovation, the Mayo Clinic has opened the doors of user interaction, giving them the opportunity to ask doctors questions online so that patients have a better approach to their day-to-day healthcare experiences. This platform has given the power of healthcare back to the patients in the form of a tablet, computer, laptop, or smartphone.
By recreating the collaborative environment that the Mayo Clinic has set up, your staff will be able to provide the best patient care and will feel better about sharing what they have learned with others. While nowadays, only 26% of all hospitals in the US participate in social media, the future of social media and content marketing will be normal for users to engage with the healthcare industry on a daily basis. With that being said, the sooner your company jumps into this social health strategy, the more opportunities you’ll have to stand out from your competitors and to start to build that trust with your community. Keep in mind that users get their healthcare information online and most do so from their trusted social networks. Are you ready to give the power of healthcare back to your users by creating a solid content marketing journey? If so, we are here to help!