Healthcare Marketing: Social Media Rule One – Start Small

Success in social media is not necessarily having a complex social media strategy with multiple tactics – but it’s doing ONE thing well.

The pressure is on.  Social media is here and here to stay.  It is a new way of doing business and if you are not doing it, you are behind.  And there are so many things to do. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, YouTube and viral marketing just for starters.  And as healthcare marketers we need to be engaged in all of these to be successful.  At least that’s what we are led to believe.

But the fact is that each of these social networking options requires time and effort but few of us have a larger staff or more resources.   Healthcare marketers still have all the responsibilities they’ve always had…and more – in most cases.  And social marketing requires time.  So we are left overwhelmed and confused.  We feel the pressure to become engaged but how do we get it all done?

A bit of advice is to relax a little.  And start small.  It’s impossible to do everything at once.  Even more impossible to do all of them well.  And still keep up with your other important responsibilities.   We all have the long list of things to do and the daunting task of getting them accomplished.  And that list includes multiple social media tactics. But maybe this is the wrong approach.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to start with one thing and do it well.

Brian Sheehan, associate professor of advertising at the Newhouse School Syracuse University gave this advice in a recent article in Ad Age, “since most companies have no new people, just do one thing.  And then do it really well. Once you have mastered this, then – and only then—think about doing a second social media program.”  Forget about the list of 10 things to do to be successful in social media or the seven steps in mastering social media.  For most healthcare organizations that’s totally impractical because it will lead to either paralyzation, because you can’t get it done, or a very weak effort, because you are spread too thin.

Social media is about engaging consumers in meaningful conversations.  That’s it!  And if you do a really good job of that, social networking can be very effective.  And if you don’t do it well, you are better off not doing social media at all.  If we are trying to do too much, more than we can handle, it will not be successful.

Choose what you think would work best for your organization.  The thing you think would engage your audience and best meets the needs of your organization.  The one thing that has the best chance of success.   Choose one thing and do it as well as you can. So let’s get started.  But keep it simple.  Keep it small. Do one thing and do it well.  And if you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *