So I’ve been helping my own hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, cultivate its own social presence. And like every hospital the same questions come up: Facebook, Twitter, our emerging blog – how do we use them to build community around our hospital?
The answer comes from Mitch Joel at Six Pixels of Separation who posted recently on community building:
“As you build your own spaces and places on the channel and platforms, always remember that the “build it and they will come” model won’t work. The best way to grow an audience and build a community is to make yourself a valuable member of the existing communities. Figure out where the dialog, conversations and feedback around your area of interest is happening and be present and accounted for there. All of the time. As much of the time.”
Hospitals have always done a great job of naturally integrating in their communities. Their social strategy has to take that same natural inclination for outreach to identify and connect digitally with the thinkers, writers, activists, champions and patients who are around them.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently speaking in front of hospital marketing professionals and the focus consistently is on their own properties. The social business mindset has been slow to reach hospital administration. But Joel’s advice is all you need.