Too often consumers’ relationships with our hospital are strictly transactional. They use the hospital to get the service they need. Nothing more. But we can help them develop positive feelings and emotions about our brand. And build brand loyalty.
In today’s socially charged world, there is a need for hospitals to develop a persona, create relationships that are more than just transactional. To be helpful, meaningful, engaging. To develop a brand for our hospital that people like. A brand they trust. A brand they are loyal to.
Corey Eridon posted a blog for HubSpot that offered suggestions on how an organization could do this. I borrow some of his ideas here that could help humanize your hospital’s brand.
1. Write an “About Us’ page that’s actually good.
Here is your chance to tell people who you are. Give your brand a personality. But more often than not, its boring, stale, factual information about your hospital. Why not use it to show your personality, to be interesting and give a reason why the reader should care about who you are?
2. Kill the business babble.
Hospital or clinical jargon doesn’t cut it. Be clear and easy to understand. Talk as if you are having a one-on-one conversation with someone in person who knows nothing about your industry. Talk like a person. And this goes for ‘About Us’ pages especially.
3. Publish photos of your people.
People doing what they do. At work, volunteering, in serious activities and even in more light-hearted ones. Let your people’s personality show. Put a face on the place. Make it about people who work at your hospital and not about an organization.
4. Sign your social media updates.
If you have various persons posting on your social media sites, let them sign it. This helps people know there is a real, live, breathing person behind the brand.
5. Have conversations with fans, followers and commenters.
Make sure all the conversations aren’t just about your hospital. Venture outside the norm a bit so you can be real. Make it abut them.
6. Encourage employees to be social on behalf of the brand.
Eridon says when employees post social media updates about or on behalf of their company, it does a few things:
- It lets people know that person gives a hoot about the company they work for
- It lets people get to know the names, faces and personalities behind the company
- It gives the company’s content way, way more reach
Sure there has to be a strong social media policy with guidelines and restrictions. Especially with regard to HIPAA regulations. But letting your people help humanize the hospital through their social media channels can be very helpful personalizing your brand.
7. Admit your mistakes.
On those occasions when customer service is not what you want to be admit your shortcomings. Everyone screws up. It’s human. It’s how you respond to mistakes that matters the most. Be genuine, care and own up to it.
8. Take off your marketer’s hat sometimes.
Sometimes it’s good to see things a little differently. Like through the eyes of the consumer. Step back, stop being a marketer for a bit and just be a consumer. You may see things a little differently. That’s what marketing is really about anyway.
Make your brand more human. Build rapport with your audiences. Be a friend and just “hang out” with them sometimes. Be authentic. Build lasting relationships!