3. GOALS, OBJECTIVES, METRICS
The overall goal of Tufts MC regarding its social media is to expand its brand awareness among mothers and all women in the 25 to 54 age
group, throughout New England, and especially in the suburbs of Boston.
4. GOALS, OBJECTIVES, METRICS
Sub-goals and Objectives
In order to reach this goal, the Public Affairs department has set for the following sub-goals and objectives:
SG1: Improve engagement of its current network of “friends”, “fans” and “followers” on Facebook and Twitter.
o O1-1: After 3 months of implementation, increase monthly user-contributed Facebook comments by 100%.
o O1-2: After 3 months of implementation, increase the monthly number of Twitter retweets and @ mentions by 100%.
SG2: Engage social media users that are not currently friends, fans or followers of Tufts MC.
o O2-1: After 3 months of implementation, increase Facebook fans on both pages by 25%.
o O2-2: After 3 months of implementation, increase Twitter followers by 25%.
SG3: Determine ways in which the Medical Center may utilize other social media tools/platforms outside of Facebook and Twitter to
engage its target audience.
o O3-1: After 3 months of implementation, obtain at least 20 RSS or email subscribers to the main Tufts Medical Center blog.
o O3-2: After 3 months of implementation, reach an average of 2 comments per blog post.
o O3-3: After 3 months of implementation, increase YouTube channel subscribers by 100%.
o O3-4: After 3 months of implementation, increase total YouTube channel views by 20%.
5. GOALS, OBJECTIVES, METRICS
In order to determine whether or not Tufts has met its goals and objectives, the hospital should establish a baseline for and then re-
measure the following metrics:
Number of Facebook comments per month for each Tufts page.
Total number of Twitter retweets and @ mentions per month.
Number of Facebook fans for each Tufts pages.
Number of Twitter followers.
Number of blog subscribers.
Average number of user-contributed comments for each blog post.
Number of YouTube channel subscribers.
Total number of YouTube channel views.
In addition to these metrics, the following may also be helpful to Tufts in determining the success of its social media efforts.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for the hospital’s main website and the .tv channel. SEO can be measured with tools like Google
Google PageRank of both sites, which can be viewed at http://popuri.us/.
Number of incoming links to the hospital’s main website and the .tv channel. Links can be measured with http://popuri.us/.
Brand mentions should be counted regularly through Twitter and Google Alerts.
7. SHARING TUFTS MEDICAL CENTER
As Mayo Clinic and Swedish Medical Center have discovered, soliciting
stories from patients, family members, staff and other individuals allows various
stakeholders to share their own experiences of the Medical Center, allowing them to
feel more engaged with and invested in the brand. It also provides valuable content
that can be turned into blog entries, YouTube videos, Facebook and Twitter posts,
etc. According to social media experts and a thorough examination of hospital social
media content, personal stories, especially those from patients, often elicit top levels
of social media engagement. Additionally, the large majority of survey respondents
indicated that they want to receive hospital information, which can easily take the form
Tufts Medical Center should therefore focus on an overall social media theme
of “Sharing Tufts Medical Center”. The basis of this theme is that Tufts Public Affairs
team and other hospital departments will work to regularly share their own stories and
hospital information; in addition, the Public Affairs team will work to solicit stories and other pertinent information from patients, family members,
physicians, staff, and anyone else that would like to share about Tufts Medical Center of Floating Hospital for Children.
9. WEBSITE PREPARATION
According to Peter Taylor of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, in order to have
a successful online presence, an organization must “do a bang up job on its brand website”.
This includes creating ways for users to share their own content online, as well as integrating
the organization’s social media efforts into the website.
In order to spruce up the Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
websites, the hospital should consider the following changes.
10. WEBSITE PREPARATION
“Share Your Tufts Story” Web Page
Tufts should create a “Share Your Story” page of the website which solicits stories from all individuals that have had an experience at
Tufts MC or Floating Hospital, including patients, family members, staff, etc. The web page should consist of a set of questions that guides
visitors to provide the correct type of information. For example, Swedish Medical Center uses questions like the following:
When does your story take place?
Was there a special doctor, nurse or caregiver
that you want to thank?
Tell us your Swedish story in your own words.
How has your Swedish story changed your life?
Swedish also provides radio buttons for individuals to
select which an appropriate campus and medical unit,
as well as the individual’s connection with the hospital;
Tufts should add these options. As Swedish also
provides, the Tufts “Share Your Story” page should Figure 1- Swedish Medical Center's "Share Your Story" page.
provide the ability for users to upload a photo.
The “Share Your Story” page should be heavily promoted on the website, on all social platforms and through more traditional means,
such as hospital posters, patient collateral, the Employee Newsletter, etc. Tufts should focus on getting as many patients, family members,
employees, physicians, etc. to contribute content. This page of the website not only allows an opportunity for users to provide feedback and
share information with the hospital, but it also provides extremely valuable content that can then be used to create content for a Tufts blog,
Facebook posts, YouTube videos, etc.
11. WEBSITE PREPARATION
Dedicated Social Media Resource Page
Tufts Medical Center’s organizational website should have a dedicated social media resource page. This type of page provides a central
repository of all hospital social media accounts, allowing visitors to easily find Tufts social accounts and explore their options in an organized
way. It can also be considered a type of digital newsroom for journalists and other media professionals, including bloggers.
Not only should this page provide descriptions and links to all organizational social media accounts, but it should also heavily integrate
the platforms into the page itself. This type of integration keeps the page fresh and new while allowing visitors to check out the social media
accounts without leaving the page. The page should include elements like the following:
Teasers of the latest blog posts
Twitter and Facebook feeds
Embedded YouTube videos
A Delicious feed for the most recently bookmarked news articles and websites
In order to also function as a digital newsroom, the social media page should also include elements like the following:
The hospital’s mission statement
RSS feeds to hospital blogs, press releases and other regularly-produced content
Full-resolution photos for download of hospital facilities, hospital executives, recent hospital events (which can be hosted on Flickr), etc.
13. WEBSITE PREPARATION
Integration throughout the Website
In addition to a dedicated social media page, social media elements should be integrated throughout the Tufts website. Tufts should
consider including the following elements on the website:
Social media links/icons on the home page, as well as in a footer or sidebar on all other pages
Social media feeds on appropriate pages, such as a Twitter feed on the home page, the newsroom and/or the “Contact Us” page; a
Delicious feed on the newsroom page would also be useful and appropriate.
The latest social media content should be promoted on the home page of the website. For example, if the hospital has a new blog post
or YouTube video, the home page should feature a teaser, such as “See how Dr. Smith is using robotic technology to remove tumors in
our latest YouTube video.”
“Share” buttons throughout the website, especially on pages the regularly provide new content, such as the blog and the dedicated social
Figure 3--Johns Hopkins Hospital website footer
14. WEBSITE PREPARATION
The Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital websites should regularly provide fresh content to improve SEO and give users a reason
to return to the site. The following additions to the site count as fresh content:
Integrated social media throughout the site that shows social updates
A well-maintained blog hosted as part of the site
Regular press releases and news articles
Any web page that provides regular content should be RSS enabled and provide “share” buttons for users to easily subscribe to and spread the
15. WEBSITE PREPARATION
Currently, Tufts’ .tv site is more successful than the hospital’s website at sharing multimedia content, such as videos and podcasts
(“healthcasts”). However, the page would do well to add the following elements to improve the social aspect of the site and promote Tufts’ social
A prominent link to the “Share Your Story” page
Comment functionality on the videos that allows viewers to add comments to each video
Live Twitter feeds of the #tuftsmctv hashtag on the healthcast pages
Archived feeds of the #tuftsmctv hashtag with each respective archived healthcast
A short survey or poll as to which topics the audience would like to learn about
In addition, Tufts would do well to put more resources into its live healthcasts. Not only would this increased frequency increase the
number of engaged consumers, but it would also provide valuable content for the hospital’s Twitter account and engage more Twitter users.
Mayo Clinic, for example, produces a live radio show once per week that the hospital’s Twitter handle heavily promotes and relies on for content
and engagement. Several other prominent hospitals also feature live shows and webinars that contribute to a large portion of the organization’s
Twitter content and engagement. Tufts should consider hosting healthcasts at least twice a month. If dependence on an agency for production is
a barrier, consider purchasing basic sound and recording equipment in order to produce to the healthcasts in-house.
17. CONTENT CREATION
After listening to what others are saying about the organization online, and after learning the rules of the road for each social media
platform, a social media manager must create content. Because 80% of internet users are searching for health information, creating reliable and
accurate health-related content can position a health care organization as a trusted resource for information.
When creating content, consider that most individuals in the target audience prefer to receive information via text combined with photos,
video and/or audio components. Try to add these components to as many pieces of text content as possible.
Based on expert interviews, survey results and a research-based audience profile, Tufts should focus on creating content around the
following general genres and topics in order to promote high levels of consumer engagement:
Patient and staff stories
“Useful and scarce” content that the user is not likely to otherwise encounter in daily life
Controversial and/or provocative topics and questions such as the blog post on the Children’s
Thrive blog about whether or not leashing children is acceptable
Content with a “cute factor”, such as children, animals, etc.
Content surrounding celebrities that visit the hospital or make donations
Information about volunteer opportunities and subsequent event photos and summaries
Information on stress management and/or time management for busy lifestyles
Healthy recipes and healthy events/activities, such as a healthy recipe contest
Safety and recall information of popular consumer products and child injury prevention
18. CONTENT CREATION
Based on survey results of Tufts target audience members, women and mothers that follow hospitals or other medical facilities on social
media do so to obtain the following types of content. Tufts should therefore focus on providing and promoting these types of content:
Hospital news and information
Boston-area health events
A specific health condition
Regarding specific health conditions, survey respondents indicated that they are most interested in the following topics. Tufts should
therefore focus condition-specific content around these areas:
Nutrition, diet, fitness, weight loss
Women’s health and pregnancy topics (infertility, fibromyalgia, breastfeeding,
gynecological issues, monthly cycle)
Pediatric topics (child development, autism, Asperger syndrome, ADHD, learning
problems, baby information)
Oncology (general, breast cancer, lung cancer)
Heart Health (hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol)
Medications/Treatment and Symptoms
19. CONTENT CREATION
“Sharing Tufts Medical Center” Content
In order to tie all of this content together, Tufts should focus on creating content appropriate to the “Sharing Tufts Medical Center” theme.
Much of the material for this content can be collected through properly facilitating and promoting the “Share Your Story” page of the website. The
following are ideas for content based on research data and the Tufts theme:
Patient and family stories and testimonials, especially those of children
Physician and staff profiles
o Tufts True Blue contest winners
o Saltonstall Employee of the Month
o Those with interesting/relevant specialties and personal hobbies
o The “Get to Know Your Colleagues” featured in the Employee Newsletter
o Those that want an increased boost of exposure
Volunteer profiles that feature additional volunteer opportunities, especially in the Floating Hospital
Interviews with physicians and staff about their current relevant research done at the Medical Center and how it may affect treatment
More content similar to the .tv videos featuring Tufts physicians explaining specific conditions of interest
Textual and visual (video) updates from executives and other staff regarding important hospital issues, such union negotiations
Physician and staff stories regarding what they like about working at Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medical Center staff’s favorite healthy recipes, featured regularly
If participation in the “Share Your Story” page is low, consider a monthly giveaway, such as a drawing for a gift card to a local restaurant or
tickets to a local sporting event.
20. CONTENT CREATION
Tufts Medical Center should create and use an editorial calendar for all content, including blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook posts
and tweets. This will help the hospital to keep its content regular, timely and cohesive. In order to come up with content ideas, consider the
following questions. Use the answers to lay out blog posts videos, Facebook posts and tweets on a weekly basis.
What news does Tufts want to promote in the near future?
What Tufts research findings will be published in the near future?
What events are approaching at the hospital and throughout the Boston area?
Which diseases and conditions are promoted through upcoming awareness days, weeks and months?
Which diseases and conditions are currently hot topics in the news or in social media?
22. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Of the available social media platforms, experts recommended and survey respondents indicated that the best social media to use as a
hospital are some of the most popular platforms: blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Both blogs and YouTube (or other online
video platforms, such as the .tv channel) are two of the best outlets for hosting hospital-created content. Facebook and Twitter are strong outlets
for promoting this content and developing conversations.
23. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
A blog or multiple blogs hosted on the Tufts website will help to create a social component of an otherwise static website and prepare the
site for more social media use. A blog will also help to improve the SEO of the Tufts website by regularly providing fresh, keyword-rich content
and increasing the number of inbound links to the site. Lee Aase explain the importance of a blog: “Whether it’s the foundation or whether it’s
what everything else builds up to, it’s definitely the most effective [platform]. Having a blog is crucial.”
While blogs can be time- and resource-consuming to do well, Tufts has several options that would require fairly minimal resources.
“Sharing Tufts Medical Center” Blog (or similar name…)
Mayo Clinic takes a similar approach to its blog with “Sharing Mayo Clinic”. This type of blog can be facilitated by Public Affairs and
heavily features patient, family and staff stories and profiles. These stories can be largely supplied by the “Share Your Story” page and
supplemented with physician and staff features either requested by the individuals or solicited by Public Affairs. The actual posts can be written
and edited by a member of the Public Affairs team. If any patients or staff wish to write their own posts, they can do so with editing by Public
This type of blog can also feature
posts about upcoming/recent Tufts
Medical Center events, news, featured job
and volunteer opportunities, and other
suggested topics in the “Content” section.
Posts can be written by appropriate
departments and staff or Public Affairs
members and edited by the Public Affairs
24. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Clinician Group Blog
Put out a call for interested physicians and/or other clinicians to create a group blog. This could be a group of clinicians in the same
department (such as the Weight and Wellness Center), or a group of clinicians from various related departments writing about a central topic
(such as several women’s health or pediatric staff members). Calling for interested staff members will help to find those clinicians that already
have an interest and knowledge of blogging and social media.
A group blog takes the pressure off one individual author to create a large amount of content. With a group blog of about 5 bloggers,
each blogger would only need to contribute once or twice a month. This type of blog may also be easier to promote, as several bloggers will be
individually promoting the publication. Finally and obviously, this type of blog features and provides awareness for a number of Tufts employees
rather than a single doctor or staff member.
Further Use of “Mommy Blogs”
The “Mommy Blogs” hosted by Tufts Medical Center in conjunction with two affiliate hospitals (Lowell General Hospital and Signature
Health Brockton), have been successful in generating content both on a blog and on Facebook. Tufts should consider broadening the use of
mommy blogs to its other affiliates and possibly creating its own “Boston Moms” blog. All of these blogs should be featured on the Tufts website
with a description of the content and geography associated with each blog. This will be particularly useful in engaging suburban mothers.
25. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Blog Best Practices for All Blogs:
Publish short posts (200-300 words) and use plain language.
Post at least once per week, if not more often.
Centrally list and promote all blogs on the Tufts website, particularly on the dedicated social media page.
RSS enable all blogs.
Integrate the blogs with other online resources and social media.
o Integrate a live Twitter and/or Facebook feed
o Provide links and descriptions to other hospital platforms
o Provide biographies for regular authors and link them to appropriate Tufts resources, such as respective Find A Physician listings,
a page to request an appointment or a departmental web page.
Monitor blogs regularly for appropriate content and maintenance; suggest best practices to the authors as necessary.
Figure 4--Strong social media integration on Children's Thrive blog
26. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
YouTube and Other Online Video
In addition to blogs, online video is a great medium in which to create content. Tufts can utilize online video in several ways.
Further Utilize .TV Videos
Tufts has some valuable
content on its .tv channel
website. However, the hospital
should make better use of these
videos. Firstly, Tufts should
make sure all of these .tv
videos are uploaded to
YouTube, tagged appropriately
and added to playlists on
appropriate topics. YouTube is
the second most popular search
engine, and Google uses
YouTube thumbnails in its
search results. It is therefore
beneficial to upload the videos
to YouTube because they are more likely to be found by interested consumers through YouTube than through the .tv channel. In addition, Tufts
currently uses paid search ads to drive traffic to the .tv site; this is a free way to earn more viewership.
27. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Build a YouTube Library
In addition to the .tv videos, Tufts MC should focus on creating more regular content for YouTube to develop a strong library. The
“Content” section of this document provides many content ideas
that are appropriate for video. The following are some additional
tips and ideas:
If patient and staff stories or profiles are only text-based,
conduct video interviews with the individuals for a
Obtain footage of more hospital and area health events,
such as the Harbor Health Walk, relevant and timely
presentations at Grand Rounds, etc.
Create tours of specific facilities, such as new units,
birthing facilities, pediatric facilities, etc.
Feature new hospital technology and how it works.
Provide a weekly exercise or fitness tip that requires a
visual element to teach.
Figure 5--A healthy recipe YouTube video by Swedish Medical Center
Utilize hospital nutritional and culinary staff to create
healthy recipe instructional videos.
Create videos on specific topics rather than broad departments (such as water birthing options versus overall prenatal information).
Feature informational videos on rare conditions that Tufts physicians specialize in.
28. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Promote the YouTube Videos
YouTube videos need promotion; otherwise, it is hard for viewers to find new
videos. Keep in mind, most videos do not go viral and that should not be the goal of
creating online videos. Ways in which to promote YouTube videos include the following:
Use playlists to create groups of videos on similar conditions/topics. This will help
to promote the Tufts MC videos while also establishing Tufts as a resource for
Find specific Facebook groups on the topic and/or individuals on Twitter that
tweet about the topic and offer the content to these individuals.
Promote the newest videos on the website home page, through other social
media, through links in email signatures.
Figure 6--Swedish arranges its YouTube videos by playlist.
29. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Video Best Practices
Online videos do NOT have to be professionally produced; make
use of the hospital’s Flip camera.
Keep videos short—ideally between 2 and 3 minutes.
If you want comments, explicitly ask for them in the video description or in the
video itself. This is true of any desired call-to-action, such as asking viewers to
subscribe to the YouTube channel. Be explicit.
Always include a link to the Tufts website or the .tv site in each YouTube video
description. This will drive users to the respective website for more content and
improve SEO through adding incoming links.
Produce videos for YouTube on a regular basis, according to the hospital’s social
media editorial calendar, in order to build a strong library, keep viewers coming
back, and providing content to promote on other social platforms like Facebook
Figure 7--Work to build a strong library of content on
30. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
While Facebook is also a great platform for hosting social media content, its real strengths are sharing and promoting content from other
platforms and generating conversation. Therefore, Tufts will firstly focus on using Facebook to promote the strong content created for the hospital
blogs, YouTube and the .tv channel. The exception to this rule is photographs; Facebook is a great place to host photographs, as fans are very
likely to comment on and engage with photos.
Consider the following suggestions for improved Facebook fans and engagement on the Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital
Post new blog entries from the various hospital blogs to the
Facebook wall. Use a concise teaser and consider asking the fans
a specific question about the entry topic on the wall post.
Automatically publish the hospital’s main blog to Facebook using
the Notes application.
Post new YouTube videos on the Facebook walls. Use a concise
teaser and consider asking the fans a specific question about the
video topic on the wall post.
Further promote .tv videos on Facebook. For those that address
particularly relevant or timely health issues, post them to Facebook.
Post as many photos as possible, preferably organized into
albums. Include photos from hospital events, local health events,
photos of featured patients (with permission), physicians, staff, etc.
Figure 8--Photos, especially with a "cute factor" and/or local angle, elicit engagement.
31. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Sharing on Facebook
In the spirit of “Sharing Tufts Medical Center”, encourage
users to share their own content. Not only does this help to populate
the hospital’s Facebook pages with content, but it also helps fans to
feel like they belong to the community and want to return. The
following recommendations will encourage fans to engage and share
Create a question of the day/week that’s tied to something
timely and popular; post relevant articles/information with the
Occasionally create contests, such as “Cutest Tufts Baby” or
“Favorite Boston-area Healthy Restaurant” or “Favorite
Healthy Recipe”. To improve participation, consider a small
incentive for the winners. For example, the top three baby
photo contestants (those with the most “likes”) each get a gift Figure 9--RI Hospital sometimes creates "Question of the Day".
card to a local restaurant, a small cash prize, a gift bag from
the hospital gift shop, etc.
Ask fans to share their own photos of recent Tufts events, their favorite Tufts staff members, or other Tufts-related topics.
32. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Facebook Best Practices
Like with most social media platforms, experts have indicated
that the topics which generate the most engagement on
Facebook are local, timely, provocative and/or “cute”.
Patient stories and research tend to generate engagement
well on Facebook.
Post about twice per day on most days (morning and
afternoon/evening), including the weekends (feel free to use
Keep posts relatively short—aim for the length of a tweet.
Do not use Twitter language in Facebook—that means
avoiding the use of hashtags, retweets and @ mentions.
Add a customized landing page through the FBML
application that asks visitors to “like” the Facebook pages.
Specific requests such as, “We currently have 800
fans…help us reach 1,000!” may be particularly effective.
Promoting the fact that the hospital already has a strong fan
base will show visitors that other individuals are already Figure 10--Avoid using hashtags and other Twitter language in Facebook.
following the hospital and therefore encourage visitors to do
33. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Like Facebook, Twitter is all about having conversations and promoting content from other platforms. The guidelines for creating
engagement on Twitter are therefore similar to those of Facebook:
Tweet about new blog entries from the
various hospital blogs. Use a concise and
Tweet about new YouTube videos. Use a Figure 11--Research news generates engagement on Twitter.
concise and catchy headline/teaser.
Further promote .tv videos on Twitter. For those that address particularly relevant or timely health issues, promote them with a few
Be sure to tweet about any research-related content; the Twitter audience indicated that they are more interested than users of any
other platform to hear about new research from the hospital.
While many of the same topics that will resonate on other social platforms will also resonate on Twitter, this platform is specifically
geared toward timely content. Keep tabs on the news and conversation topics of the day and see how Tufts may be able to contribute with
existing or new hospital content. Experts also indicated that pithy, interesting quotes and fun, personal tweets also help to generate engagement
Like on Facebook, asking questions may be helpful to generating engagement on Twitter. Specifically, it will likely to be helpful to
occasionally ask followers what topics they would like to hear about. Not only does this generate engagement, but it also provides valuable
insight as to what the hot topics are that Tufts should focus on.
34. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Live-tweeting is also likely to generate Twitter engagement and better promote various Tufts events. Tufts should consider live-tweeting
Healthcasts. Use the hashtag #tuftsmctv in order
to promote the healthcasts and engage more
Twitter users during the live program.
Surgeries. Specifically consider those surgeries
with a timely aspect, such as a heart surgery
during heart health month.
Other hospital events. These could include press
conferences, fundraising events like the Harbor
Walk and Cycle for Life, etc. Tufts could create its
own hashtag for these events or find an
appropriate existing hashtag.
Figure 12--Mayo Clinic uses live-tweeting to promote and facilitate its Mayo Radio program.
35. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Twitter Best Practices
Tweet regularly—at least two to three times per day.
Personalize the Twitter biography with the name and/or personal Twitter handle of the person(s) tweeting.
In order to increase followers, specifically ask readers to follow with a statement such as, “Please follow to help us reach 1,000
followers by end of week! You can expect hospital news/info/research and other #Boston & #hcsm content.”
Make sure to tweet about a wide variety of topics related to health care, health conditions, hospitals, and Boston in order to become a
strong resource and contributing community member.
Don’t forget about community! Make sure to interact with other users, especially those that directly mention or message Tufts. This
includes retweeting, using @ mentions and sending direct messages.
Figure 13--Give followers an idea of who they are following.
36. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
While they may be promising, do not spend too many resources on up-and-coming platforms at this point in the social media journey.
Currently, efforts will be better spent on improving usage of popular social media platforms. However, it does not hurt to keep an eye on some of
the following platforms and platform types and consider them when they may be beneficial for specific hospital goals.
Use bookmarking to organize daily news clips for both internal and external audiences. This eliminates the need for daily emails to
various individuals and departments with news of the day. It also provides an easy outlet for any individual—including news media, employees,
patients, etc.—to see archived news items of importance to the hospital. This could be the responsibility of the media relations officer that
already compiles daily news clips.
37. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Add links to other social media outlets, such as Facebook or Twitter, in the tips section and invite visitors to join the conversation. This
will draw users to other platforms that Tufts has a better grasp of and devotes more resources to. Add a link to the “Share Your Story” page of
the Tufts website in the tips section; current visitors are particularly likely to have something share about their experience. Finally, consider
offering some sort of incentive for those that check in to the hospital, such as a discount at one of the restaurants or a free cup of coffee. Users
that check in a certain amount of times can be offered bigger incentives, such as a gift card to a hospital restaurant or a gift bag from the
hospital gift shop.
Q&A Platforms, such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers
Tufts could use to help physicians and program
managers position themselves as experts in their fields. In
order to do so, interested individuals should search for and
answer questions relating to their expertise
39. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media Access at Work
Social media and health care marketing experts agree almost unanimously that hospital employees should
have access to social media while at work. The reasons for opening up access to all employees are compelling:
Social media can boost efficiency. Social media are like other communication tools that can actually help
employees make connections and get their work done more efficiently.
Employees are great hospital advocates. Employees can be some of the
organization’s biggest online cheerleaders and should therefore be encouraged to participate in work-related
Social media can boost morale. Social media can be a morale booster for employees. For example, nurses
at Children’s often go on the hospital’s Facebook page to read inspiring patient stories when they are having a
Just like there are some employees that abuse phone and email privileges, there may be some employees that abuse social media.
However, this type of problem should be considered an individual productivity issue and should be dealt with by individual managers and human
resources. As many social media experts noted, this type of individual productivity problem does not prevent hospitals from allowing telephone
and email access because the vast majority of employees use the tools appropriately.
If Tufts is absolutely not able to reinstate employee access to social media, the hospital should consider a compromise such as providing
employees access via public computers in break areas.
40. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Hospital Social Media Accounts
While some hospitals maintain only one official hospital account per social media platform, the growing trend is to allow individual
departments and service lines to maintain their own social media accounts. Tufts should allow departments to create their own social media
accounts for the following reasons:
Authenticity. Individual departments will be able to
represent themselves more authentically than a marketing
manager will be able to. They know their patients so it
should be them conversing with the patients.
Logistics. Tufts does not currently have the human
resources to effectively maintain more than a few official
hospital accounts. Allowing departments to maintain their
own accounts distributes the work across the hospital.
Community. From the patient’s perspective, departmental
accounts will likely represent tighter, more welcoming
communities. For example, a cancer patient is more like to
share his or her story on a Tufts Oncology Facebook page
than the general Tufts Medical Center page.
Figure 14--Children's Hospital provides clear lists of all hospital social media accounts.
41. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
While departments should be allowed to created official social media accounts, there must be a process in place for doing so, such as
1. Any employee or group of employees interested in starting a social media account must request permission from both the Public Affairs
office and their respective managers.
2. A member of the Public Affairs team will meet with these employees to discuss goals, objectives, intended audience(s), measurement
metrics and plans for maintaining the social media outlets.
3. If permission is granted for official use of social media, involved employees must attend a training session or sign a contract saying
they’ve read and will adhere to the training document.
4. A member of the Public Affairs team must be included as an administrator on all applicable accounts and the Public Affairs office must
have login credentials for each account.
Additionally, a central authority, such as a member of the Public Affairs team, should oversee all departmental accounts on a very regular
basis (daily or weekly) in order to provide feedback and guidance. This could include positive reinforcement for successful content and/or follower
engagement, encouragement to post content more often, and suggestions as to how to better engage followers, etc. This monitoring will also
allow the Public Affairs team to delete any inappropriate content, comments, posts, etc. The team should reserve the right to delete any accounts
that are not maintained properly over a period of time after providing warnings to departmental administrators. Finally, monitoring all hospital
accounts will allow the Public Affairs team to repurpose content on the main Tufts Medical Center sites as appropriate, further promoting the
content of other departments.
Tufts may also want to consider a regular meeting with all social media administrators throughout the hospital to discuss specific topics
and/or best practices. Children’s Hospital, for example, meets quarterly in a “Grand Rounds” fashion: a different administrator presents on a
different social media topic for each meeting.
42. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Internal Social Media Policy and Employee Training
The goal of a social media policy and employee training should be to help employees use social media tools well. This means that the
policy and training should provide solid guidance rather than a lot of strict rules.
In order to ensure that employees are using social media appropriately at work, all employees should be trained in social media use. This
training could be in the form of an in-person session, a live webinar or a training document, for example. Both the social media policy and
training should explain to employees the value of social media as a hospital communication tool and provide guidance as to how to best use
43. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
For employees that will be maintaining official hospital social media accounts or speaking on behalf of the organization, the following
topics should be covered in both the policy and training:
Online HIPAA compliance. One of the most important things to teach employees is how
to comply with HIPAA and other privacy regulations online. Training should explicitly
outline what can and cannot be posted on social media and examples should be provided
of both compliant and noncompliant use.
What to do if something goes wrong. Employees should be taught how to react to negative comments and posts online.
Platform best practices. Training should provide guidance on using social media platforms, such as how often to update the
accounts, what types of content to post and how to best engage fans and followers. Examples should be provided of what works
well and what does not work well on each platform.
Maintaining the brand. Employees should be taught to adopt a voice consistent with or similar to other Tufts social media
outlets. They should also be taught any applicable social media brand standards, such as use of logos, colors, etc.
Social media efficiency. Tufts should teach employees how to use tools and tactics to be efficient avoid social media burnout.
This could include using management platforms like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. It could also include creating an editorial calendar of
upcoming content and automating some posts. Tufts could also teach employees how to leverage the same or similar content
through multiple platforms.
Creativity and flexibility. While there are some rules that must be followed and best practices for guidance, employees should
be encouraged to be creative and try new things.
Cheerleading. While there are some rules that must be followed, employees should be encouraged to always share positive
stories and feelings about the hospital.
44. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
For those employees only using social media for personal purposes, the following topics should be included in both the social media
policy and training:
Online HIPAA compliance. Again, one of the most important things to teach employees is how to comply with HIPAA and other
privacy regulations online. Employees should be taught that they cannot violate privacy whether on duty or off. Training should
explicitly outline what can and cannot be posted on social media and examples should be provided of both compliant and
Affiliating with the hospital. Tufts should teach all employees that any employee that affiliates him/herself with the hospital
online—such as indicating that he/she works at Tufts Medical Center—must behave professionally and in accordance with human
resources policies. Failure to follow hospital behavioral policies will be met with appropriate disciplinary action.
Speaking on behalf of the hospital. Employees should be taught not to speak on behalf of the hospital without explicit
permission from Public Affairs. To avoid confusion, employees should state in all social media profiles that they are speaking on
their own behalf and not on behalf of Tufts Medical Center.
Professional boundaries. Unless maintaining accounts specifically for professional purposes, employees should be encouraged
to decline friend requests from patients in order to maintain a professional boundary. Tufts should also encourage employees to
be thoughtful about connecting online to colleagues and coworkers.
Cheerleading. While there are some rules that must be followed, employees should be encouraged to always share positive
stories and feelings about the hospital.
45. HOSPITAL OVERSIGHT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
All social media policies and training documents/sessions are most useful when they are not overly long or daunting. A good social media
policy should be written in a clean format, such as in outline form or short paragraphs with bullets of the most important information. Policies
should be written concisely in plain language. Training documents and sessions should also be concise and brief, hitting the main points and
providing solid examples.
The social media policy and training should encourage all employees with questions or those that would like further guidance to contact
the Public Affairs and Communication office.
It is not necessary to create a social media policy from scratch. While it is important to personalize the policy to Tufts Medical Center,
good wording and solid guidance can often be borrowed from the published policies of other hospitals. Tufts should also include its Legal
Department in the creation of a social media policy.
Finally, the social media policy should be included in the Tufts Medical Center employee handbook and prominently placed on the
employee intranet. All current employees should be notified of the new policy, be asked to read it thoroughly and bring any questions to the
Public Affairs office.
47. PROMOTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Promotion of social media is important for building a strong following and encouraging participation in the hospital’s online endeavors.
The following are ways in which Tufts should promote its social media presence:
Hospital signage. The Public Affairs team should create posters similar to those created to promote Tufts’
strong University Health Consortium ranking or the Tufts True Blue Competition. The posters should
encourage employees, patients, family members, etc. to connect with Tufts through social media with a list
of hospital accounts and appropriate icons and web addresses.
Patient collateral. As patient collateral is revised and/or reprinted, Tufts should add boilerplate social
media information to each piece of collateral. This could include a basic call to follow or connect Tufts
online with icons for each social media outlet.
Employee collateral. Tufts should include a regular feature box or sidebar to both the Employee Newsletter and Excellence in Patient
Care publications that includes a call to follow or connect with Tufts online with appropriate icons for each platform. In addition, the social
media policy should be included in the employee handbook and posted to the employee intranet.
Affiliate connections. Tufts should connect with affiliate hospital Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other social platforms online and
participate in their conversations. This will improve the hospital’s visibility among the suburban followers interacting on those accounts.
Information on traditional advertising and other marketing materials. Tufts should include a basic call to follow or connect with Tufts
online with appropriate icons on all traditional advertising, such as print ads, brochures, flyers, posters, etc. Marketing materials for all
hospital campaigns and events should include the same information, regardless of whether or not there
is a social component to the campaign.
Website. As previously discussed, the organizational website should obviously promote the social
media efforts throughout the site, especially on the home page and dedicated social media page.
49. INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL WITH OTHER MARKETING EFFORTS
When considering a new marketing or communications effort, Tufts should always ask how social media may be able to contribute to the
campaign. Just like any other medium or outlet, social media should be considered as a viable option for all communication endeavors. The
following examples outline how Tufts may consider utilizing social media in various hospital initiatives.
Tufts True Blue Employee Recognition Program
The entire Tufts True Blue employee recognition program, as well as other efforts to
recognize employees, could be hosted entirely on social media, such as Facebook. For
example, Employees could nominate each other by posting a photo and brief statement about
why the employee is being nominated to the Tufts Medical Center Facebook wall. Employees,
patients, family members and others could then vote for their favorite Tufts employees by “liking”
the post. The employees with the most “likes” would be declared the winners and profiled on the
page, as well as on the Tufts blog, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, etc. This type of approach
would encourage more individuals to “like” the Tufts Facebook page, encourage valuable user-
generated content, encourage large scale engagement, and provide free publicity for Tufts’ top employees.
Tufts could host a reception-like event at the end of the contest in which the nominators speak about the winners and winners accept
their awards; this event could be largely publicized as a Facebook event with the public invited to attend. Video footage of the event could be
posted to YouTube and shared on Facebook.
Finally, once all nominations have been collected, Tufts could create a Facebook photo album of all nominees. The nomination
statements would be used as captions. This album could then be promoted through both Facebook and Twitter, encouraging all visitors to read
about Tufts’ top employees.
This effort would, of course, require that employees have access to Facebook.
50. INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL WITH OTHER MARKETING EFFORTS
Harbor Health Walk & Run and Cycle for Life
While Tufts currently promotes these events by linking to their respective websites on Facebook and Twitter, as well as creating basic
events for them on Facebook, both annual events could have more of a social presence.
Before the Event:
Firstly, the Facebook event pages should include pictures/videos and testimonials from past events. These
could easily be obtained by requesting photos/videos from whichever department runs the event and asking
employees that have participated in the past to provide a quote. In addition, Tufts could ask its fans and followers
to post their own photos and stories from the previous years’ events.
Secondly, a Facebook event should always be “seeded” with attendees before promoting it to the general
public. This would include asking 10 to 15 employees or friends to indicate that they are attending the event.
Seeding improves the likelihood that others will decide to attend the event.
After the event has been populated with images and testimonials, and after the event has been seeded,
Tufts should push the most important Facebook events out to all of its followers by using the “Update Fans of Tufts Medical Center” button.
In addition to Facebook, Tufts should create an appropriate hashtag for each event. This hashtag would be used in promotional tweets,
as well as for live-tweeting both of these important events. Before the event, Tufts Twitter handle could not only promote the individual event
websites, but it could also encourage followers to visit the Facebook event to see who else is attending. Tufts could also use Twitter to solicit
stories from past event participants. Through Twitter, Tufts could also reach out to influential Boston-area tweeters and others that are interested
in local volunteering and fundraising in order to request further promotion of the event.
51. INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL WITH OTHER MARKETING EFFORTS
During the Event:
During the event, Tufts should live-tweet photos of participants, race finish times, amount of money raised and continued fundraising
goals, etc. Additionally, the Tufts Twitter handle should encourage event participants to post their own updates, photos, etc. by using the Twitter
hashtag or posting on the Facebook page.
Finally, Tufts should obtain video footage of the event to post to YouTube.
After the Event:
After the event, Tufts should collect all of the photos tweeted by the hospital and participants during the event to create a Facebook
photo album. The hospital should also upload and tag video content on YouTube and then promote the videos through Facebook, Twitter, the
blog and the website. Tufts should again encourage event participants to post their photos and stories from the event on the Facebook wall.
Collectively, all of the Facebook posts, archived tweets, photos and video collected each year could be used to promote the next year’s event. In
addition, this plethora of content can be used to create a compelling blog post summarizing the event.
All of these efforts for the various marketing initiatives emphasize further sharing of the Tufts events. The hospital shares more event-
related content with its fans and followers and also invites fans and followers to share more content with the hospital. The result is a wealth of
content that can be further shared online and used to promote further event.
53. A FEW FINAL WORDS…
Develop community. Interact with fans and followers. Be generous; it’s not all
about the brand.
Get physicians involved for added credibility and exposure.
Involve all important stakeholders, such as executives, IT, HR and Legal.
Address any concerns each of these departments has with social endeavors.
Make sure to provide appropriate time and resources to those managing
social media outlets.
Make sure all employees are aware of the hospital’s social efforts and their importance
to brand awareness and outreach.
Finally, have fun! Try new things. Don’t be too rigid with the social media strategy.