July 5, 2010Katherine Rourke
If you’re like me, you’re tired of hearing about the entire social media mess– Twitter, Twanger, Facebook, Nosebook, StumbleUpon, FallDown, ClimbUp, YouTube, Tubular Bells, Foursquare, FiveSquare, Friends on a Stick, Digg, Dig-Dugg, PasstheHat, you name it.
I’m not going to deny that many of these channels (the ones I didn’t make up to be silly, of course) have some uses. I’ve been known to follow a Twitter conversation via hash tags, enjoy a few threaded conversations on Facebook, connected with some very useful businsess contacts on Linked in and promoted many a blog item on StumbleUpon and Digg. These are good, useful activities which can sometimes offer real communications value.
But what’s the point of using any of them if all your organization does is pump out the least valuable information it has to offer? Neigborhood events. Cutesy press releases. Links to clinical research done by your faculty (which is, of course, valuable, but hardly unique to your stream if a true discovery is involved.) As I noted previously in an item on useless Twitter feeds, social media doesn’t matter if the society you want isn’t listening.
So, enter the notion of “social content,” information written by pros — sometimes professional journalists in your field — who mine your organization for information that really matters and help present it in ways that build your healthcare organization’s brand.
Facebook pages, for example, can become places for serious dialogues about health issues, hosted by your organization but run by people who are focused on real substance. Social content involves real research, study and preparation, like the research and editorial efforts you see turned out by Modern Healthcare or Press Ganey.
Rather than issuing happy-talk nonsense statements, healthcare leaders can develop social content that shares their key concerns and team messages using the social media infrastructure. These messages don’t involve some sort of tricky, gadgety approach to using social media channels; they’re just stronger, clearer and far less shallow than what you might have done in the past.
The bottom line? Creating social content isn’t a Big New Thing — it’s just a method of squeezing far more value into a smaller space and coordinating it with what you say elsewhere. It’s confident , it promotes your mission, and it’s too damned important to ignore.
If we can help you begin a social content audit — to find out what kind of great content you’ve already got — just let me know.