During these uncertain times, social audiences have been turning to hospitals’ social channels like never before. They have become central resources for communities looking for information and guidance surrounding Coronavirus. In the final week of March, hospitals saw a 273% increase in social engagements compared to the first week in January 2020.
With this influx of patients and communities coming to them for help, hospitals need to ensure they’re reaching their social audiences with the right information they’re seeking. ListenFirst leveraged our hospital database to compile best practices on how healthcare networks can use social analytics to keep up with their growing audiences and demand for information. Here’s what we found:
Tip #1: Measure Performance Across the Entire Network
Rather than looking at social strategy performance on a hospital-by-hospital basis, ListenFirst arms hospital networks with a central social intelligence hub, encompassing public and authenticated data across all of the networks’ social handles for every entity.
ListenFirst’s social intelligence hub has given Hackensack Meridian Health the ability to understand social and digital performance for each individual hospital, branded initiative, doctor, influencer and partner, as well as the entirety of the Hackensack Meridian Health enterprise network as a whole. This has given the team significant insights allowing them to standardize KPIs across the organization, including using consistent definitions, vernacular and key critical metrics.
Tip #2: Track Audience Sentiment
ListenFirst’s sentiment analysis showed that people became less fearful about the coronavirus as they became more aware of it at scale. Diving into all of the content posted by hospitals in ListenFirst’s database, we found that audiences have been most responsive to posts containing useful information about treatment or prevention, distinguishing symptoms, what to do when symptoms appear, and even what to buy.
In general, the more the population knows about the virus and what they can do to prevent the spread of the disease, the less anxious they are. However, we also need to be prepared for life after quarantine. ListenFirst found that Twitter mentions of anxiety attacks and panic attacks rose 41% between March 1 – April 8, 2020 compared to the average in January and February, and rose 54% compared to the same period in 2019. People talking about anxiety or panic attacks are those that are expressing the most fear with 40% of conversations surrounding this emotion. Interestingly, some discussion about panic attacks is not in the context of now, but later when businesses are open again, society gets back to normal, and people come out of quarantine.
Understanding the unique challenges of your audience can inform you on how your hospital can help. Reassuring your communities now will go a long way when quarantine measures are lifted. With people turning to social media for compassion, answers, and community, it’s important we listen correctly and give them the tools to get through these current difficult times, and the times that lie ahead.
Tip #3: Pinpoint successful content strategies among competitors
ListenFirst’s content optimization and benchmarking features provide hospitals with best practices that inform content strategy, including creative planning and best time to post, and competitive insights into what type of content and themes are generating returns across the industry. With this analysis, ListenFirst has identified the content driving success for hospitals during this pandemic.
From March 1 – April 12, 2020, Mount Sinai New York tracked among the top 10 most engaging and has seen the largest movement (+1,115%). This growth was driven by posts showing an inside look at a doctor’s experience on the frontlines of COVID-19, educational infographics, asking for plasma donations, and a “Live With” doctor series.
Banner Health experienced the 2nd largest movement and tracked as the 10th most engaging hospital, also seeing social success by posting infographics, as well as calls for donations, information around video visits, and stay at home messaging.
Henry Ford Health System also tracked among the top 10 most engaging with a notably high uptick in movement (+459%), driven by posts featuring donations from celebrities and brands, as well as research and medical advances to tackle the virus.
Tip #4: Adjust content strategy according to audience shifts
Healthcare and Hospital social content is now being viewed by more users than ever before.
With the ListenFirst platform, you’ll be able to identify key shifts in audience demographics across all social channels and be able to change content strategy accordingly. You can also use ListenFirst’s insights to identify peaks in fan growth among competitors and share what content potentially drove these upticks.
For example, University Hospitals of Cleveland tracked with the highest movement of fan growth (+2,044% vs. prior time period) from March 1 – April 12, 2020 among the top 10 trending hospitals. Digging in further, University Hospitals of Cleveland gained 21.3K fans, 95% of which stemmed from Facebook. The hospital started to experience a peak in activity on April 4th, the same day of the brand’s highest engagement volume. On this day, the hospital gained the most engagement from the two posts below, suggesting that content about donations and medical advances as it relates to COVID-19 is resonating with healthcare social fans.
Rochester General Hospital also saw a huge uptick in new fan accumulation, garnering 12.2K fans during the same March 1 – April 12, 2020 timeframe (+3,353% vs. prior time period). Surprisingly, the hospital gained a majority (85%) of fans on Instagram, straying away from the usual Facebook popularity like other hospitals. Similar to other hospitals, donations (especially from popular local distilleries) helped the brand experience a peak in engagement. Also, this cute and heartwarming image of a nurse’s kids surfaced to the top. Showing healthcare workers’ lives outside the hospital was also common and popular to fans on social media.
Tip #5: Measure Campaign Exposure and Identify New Partners/Influencers
UCSF Medical Center quickly featured a series of posts on Facebook which spoke to the efforts of featured staff members as they worked towards combating COVID-19, all utilizing the hashtag #UCSFresponds. Organically, this campaign generated 115 mentions and had the potential to reach 752K users.
Let’s say a specific doctor or medical publication participated in this conversation. Not only is that a great example of a connection for a future potential partner but at ListenFirst, we can take it a step further! Using our Twitter Affinities Report, we’re able to identify the accounts that followers of this doctor or medical publication are also following, opening up opportunities for easy identification of influencers and potential sponsorships; thereby allowing your brand to be exposed to new users on social.