Healthcare Social Media 2019

Blog post by Colin Hung

This week on #hcldr we are going to revisit an always-popular chat topic – social media.

Using social media to connect, stay informed and find professional opportunities is second nature to members of the #hcldr and other online communities (#pinksocks, #HITSM, #bcsm, #HITMC, etc). We have all drank the proverbial Kool-Aid. We see the value and the benefits. To us there is no doubt.

However, I was recently reminded that not everyone sees social media in the same way and many are only starting their journey online.

Recently, I was asked to deliver a hands-on social media session to an audience of healthcare technology professionals. The organizers of the conference wanted to give the audience a short primer on how to use social media for personal/professional growth.

I must admit that as I was putting together the presentation, I was a little worried that my “How to comment on a LinkedIn post” and “How to write a LinkedIn update” would be too basic. It was not. The audience appreciated being shown how easy it was to engage on LinkedIn and many individuals came up to me at the end of the presentation to ask more detailed questions about how to better use the platform.

Being ever-curious, I asked people who came up to me why they were choosing to get involved in social media at this time. There were two main answers and both surprised me.

About half of the people said that they simply did not have time to engage online. They were always heads-down working on projects and engaging with co-workers via internal communication channels (read: Slack). These people didn’t have a spare moment to dedicate to social media.

I never really thought of social media as a luxury item, but after reflecting on it, I realized that I was lucky that social media was just part of my daily duties as a marketer. Much like how an app developer gets to play with the latest smartphone, I got to play with social media at a time when others did not.

The other half of the people said they had abstained from social media because there was not a clear benefit for them…until recently.

In the early years, the #hcldr community discussed and debated the ROI of engaging on social media. Looking back, I have to honestly say that many of the early benefits were centered on the ability network + meet like-minded professionals. Today, however, being present on social media is almost a job requirement.

According to a 2018 Career Builder Survey, 47% of employers said they were less likely to call a person for an interview if they couldn’t find them online. We have reached the point where NOT being online is a black mark on your job prospects!

I’m going to bet that for most on #hcldr the reaction to this is “FINALLY”. But for many people this is a painful wake-up call that is motivating them to dive into social media.

The good news for people coming to social media TODAY, is that we have already passed through many of the growing pains with the various platforms. Remember how we used to have to put “RT” to designate something as a Retweet? Or remember when you couldn’t paste links into LinkedIn updates?

Things are much more evolved…which raises some interesting questions. What does it mean to be engaged on social media today? Back 10 years ago, just tweeting a picture of your breakfast was considered engagement. But now?

With more voices on social media, what can be done to differentiate yourself? Is it simply a question of shouting louder or are there other ways to stand out?

Join #hcldr, Tuesday June 18th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) when we will discuss the following:

  • T1 Has social media use in healthcare matured? And if so, what are the signs of that maturity?
  • T2 As social media use has matured, is it harder now to differentiate yourself online or easier?
  • T3 What does it mean to you to “engage” on social media? Is engagement still subjective?
  • T4 Humor time! Share a funny story from your social media past – a gaffe, a early slap-the-forehead moment, a past quirk of the platforms.

References

Newberry, Christina. “How to Use Social Media in Healthcare: A Guide for Health Professionals”, Hootsuite, 4 February 2019, https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-health-care/, accessed 17 June 2019.

Arnold, Andrew. “Can Social Media Have A Positive Impact On Global Healthcare?”, Forbes, 5 June 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2018/06/05/can-social-media-have-a-positive-impact-on-global-healthcare/#1ffb098f18a0, accessed 17 June 2019.

Stelzner, Michael. “How Social Media Has Evolved and Where It Is Headed”, Social Media Examiner, 27 October 2017, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-social-media-has-evolved-and-where-it-is-headed-brian-solis/, accessed 17 June 2019.

“More Than Half of Employers Have Found Content on Social Media That Caused Them NOT to Hire a Candidate, According to Recent CareerBuilder Survey”, CareerBuilder, 9 August 2018, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-than-half-of-employers-have-found-content-on-social-media-that-caused-them-not-to-hire-a-candidate-according-to-recent-careerbuilder-survey-300694437.html, accessed 17 June 2019.

Samuel, Alexandra. “Using Social Media to Build Professional Skills”, Harvard Business Review, 4 August 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/08/using-social-media-to-build-professional-skills, accessed 17 June 2019.

Image Credit

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

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