Healthcare Marketing: 10 Steps to Survive a Social Media Blunder

Social media snafus happen.  It’s what you do when they happen that matters.

You read about them almost everyday.  Somebody makes a mistake and posts something that’s inappropriate or is potentially damaging to the brand.  From the Red Cross, Chrysler and Southwest Airlines companies face uncomfortable situations.  Some handle it well and some don’t.  More damaging than the original blunder is when a company doesn’t address the issue or doesn’t handle it well.

Michelle Ponto with News10 in Sacramento  wrote a story quoting Josh Morgan of Edelman Digital  and Lori Bertelli of Augustine Ideas about steps to take to help minimize the damage if you are faced with a social media nightmare.  The steps are very applicable to healthcare marketers who face such critical issues.

1. Before you say anything on social media, take into account everyone who could be in your audience, not just the people you know for sure are in your audience. Remember, not everybody thinks exactly the same way you do.

2. Before you open up any type of social media forum, have a policy in place that lets people know that certain types of speech aren’t going to be tolerated and that the platform is being moderated.

3. If you find yourself getting emotionally involved in something online, take a step back. Don’t let commentators get you riled up as you could end up saying something that you regret.

4. Think about who is doing your social media postings. An intern may be comfortable using Facebook and Twitter, but are they the right person to be representing your brand online? It is easier to teach someone who knows your brand/business about social media than it is to teach someone who only knows social media about your company.

5. Set up multiple administrators on all social media accounts just in case you can’t get in touch with someone when you need to – or they leave the company.

6. Make it easy to do the right thing when you are setting up your policies.

7. Own a mistake and do it quickly. Don’t try to hide from it. It’s not going away.

8. Have a friend or an editor check things out. It might seem funny to you, but it may not be to everyone.

9. Understand that you can’t control social media. Instead, be ready to react and take ownership when something does happen.

10. Don’t be insulting or come off defensive. All it takes is one bad post to create a social media nightmare.

Very sound advice.  Advice that could be very helpful if your hospital or healthcare organization faces social media missteps.

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