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Should your healthcare business have a social media policy?

DeathtoStock_Creative Community7With so many people already on social media talking about their experiences with the healthcare system, their symptoms and ailments, it’s a great idea for the private health care businesses to join the conversations.

It has tremendous potential for brand awareness, brand reputation and gain and retain new clients.

But with so many social media networks and so many members of staff having social media profiles and participating in the conversations, it might seem a good idea for a healthcare business to have a social media policy in place.

What is a social media policy?

A social media policy is a guideline with clear rules about the who, what (and what not), where, when to engage in social media.

You can make the rules rigid in order to avoid problems, but we recommend you develop something in-between: a dynamic approach tailored to your business.

It’s a good strategy to draft guidelines on what information your staff may share online. Professionalism and ethics are important here.

A more restrictive stance is required whenever customer communications and information are involved, reminding doctors and staff of their absolute responsibilities around patient confidentiality.

Why does my business need it?

Careful crafting of your social media policy will greatly improve your healthcare brand’s ability to leverage the vast reach of social media platforms to connect with, inform, and learn from your online community.

Together with social media training, having a policy educates and guides your staff about the use of social media, so they know exactly how to use it to communicate with your audience or for customer service, maintaining your brand image and reputation intact and consistent.

Train your staff about social media and your policy

Sometimes having a social media policy in place is not enough.

Different people have different approaches and experience with using social media, so it’s important to train your staff on social media and guide them through the internal policy.

A social media policy is not set-in-stone

Your social media policy is not an one-off procedure, it will need to be tweaked as the business gains experience and as the social media networks evolve, so always keep up-to-date with changes on the networks.

When crafting or updating your social media policy, get input from all stakeholders and participants by establishing a committee of staff, IT experts and marketers to devise your specific business strategy.



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