Social media use by B2B Health IT companies has come a long way. In the beginning most viewed social media as another broadcast medium, but now, most have come to realize that it is much more. It has the power to engage audiences, close feedback loops and identify nascent thought leaders/experts.
Here at HITMC we use social media to connect (and re-connect) with members of the community, share interesting stories as well as useful marketing tips and to crowdsource ideas for future articles. Social media is part of our daily routine. I suspect it is the same for many B2B Health IT companies in the HITMC Community.
On Tuesday June 30th at noon ET, we will be announcing the winners of the 2020 Medigy HITMC Awards. Best use of social media is one of the award categories – and one of my favorites. This year’s Honorees include:
Health IT Category
I had the chance to ask two of our Honorees in the Health IT category a few questions about where they are putting their social media focus, how the use of social media has (or hasn’t) changed due to the pandemic and what advice they have for all of us. Here’s what they said.
How has the use of social media changed for you given everything that has been going on in the world these past few months?
Christina Noel (MEDITECH): I don’t think social media itself has changed. But I think many of us are seeing how truly important social media is for the healthcare industry. We saw our customers sharing more resources for their communities and more personal stories. This time with the pandemic has been incredibly stressful for healthcare providers, and social media has enabled us to stay connected, even during a time of widespread isolation. Seeing the content that healthcare organizations are sharing – whether it’s strategies for safe testing or clinicians applauding patients leaving the ICU – has been very moving for me. I’m learning things I would never have known without social media. The past few months have only strengthened my passion for how social platforms can build new connections and opportunities for learning. It has also been particularly valuable in disseminating vital information among our customers and internal team. At MEDITECH, we had a COVID Task Force that met regularly so we could discuss our integrated digital marketing strategy and the things that each of us learned through our different channels. Social media was one of the ways we got an outside perspective on what our customers were going through, and it challenged us to think about how we could support them better.
Dalton Paterson (TrustHCS): Social media has become a key communication point for leadership and not just an afterthought. We are living in a business world right now where we cannot shake hands, walk into facilities and make introductions, or have that person to person interaction. The digital world has started to thrive in ways that, for years, we could have only hoped would catch. Change can be a slow process. We have been working with our team diligently to get them to see that value of social media and the spans of their reach. In recent months, they have grown to understand that and have made a conscious effort to build out their own brand on social media, even if its just one original post or share at a time.
What social platform are you focusing most of your energy on right now and why?
Christina Noel: We go where our customers are. Twitter and LinkedIn have been particularly active for our audiences. Twitter presents many opportunities for learning and sharing with individuals on a real-time basis.
Dalton Paterson: LinkedIn is the platform that received the most attention from individuals in our organization. This is a niche, relationship driven industry. This is the platform where we have the largest following, interactions, and most success and recognition among prospects.
Do you have any tips on how to talk to executives about the value of social media for a Health IT company?
Christina Noel: I have always talked one-on-one with our executives and taken the time to show them concrete examples of how you can learn and build stronger relationships through social media. For execs to see the value of social media, they need to know that customers and industry leaders are using it. Execs need to know that if they are not on social media, they may be missing opportunities to learn what their customers are talking about, what they need, and what issues they feel are important. This is valuable information for marketing and sales strategies.
Dalton Paterson: “Getting involved” doesn’t mean mastering and completely inundating yourself with social media. Take a step forward. Share a company post and give feedback. Give an original opinion on a topic or offering. When that step is taken, encourage another step. Don’t be afraid to walk through the process step by step, either!
Also, it is always important for your leadership to understand that when they interact or share something related to your organizations brand, its reach is beyond the people that follow your organization! That is the beauty of organic exposure, it’s who is connected with the organization, AND who is connected with you.
What social media advice do you have for HITMC?
Christina Noel: Be human. Social media can be very rewarding and informative for those who are willing to let their guard down a little and show who they are on a personal level.
Dalton Paterson: Remember each platforms purpose and its voice. Do not get caught up in carrying over themes from other platforms. Understand what the platform is used for and capitalize on it. LinkedIn has been referred to as “The Second Facebook”. This doesn’t have to be the case. We have the ability to control our brands, our voices, and the brands that we represent.