A glaring understatement – health care social media is growing. Conversations are taking place especially around the topics of patient care and the delivery of patient care, and these conversations are being led and facilitated by many physicians and clinicians. In Twitter, these conversations usually utilize #HCSM as a reference point.
As discussed in an earlier post – Health Care Social Media – My Confession, another conversation needs to begin on the topic of health IT, and healthcare CIOs, IT directors and managers, and other IT professionals need to get more engaged in these discussions. There are many application and IT infrastructure best practices which need to be shared. We proposed the #HITsm point of reference for tracking these conversations.
As the interactions grow in health care social media, it is essential to remember that character matters, and it matters on two fronts.
First, as in having character, your posts and tweets must have sound principles of integrity. Second, as in being a character, your posts and tweets should show some of your personality. Let’s explore both.
Having Character. Reputation should be a paramount consideration in all social media activities. Integrity and honesty matter. Build and protect your reputation. Specifically –
- Do not take questionable shortcuts to try to accelerate SEO or Twitter followers. Write good content frequently. Engage in the relevant conversations on Twitter. Build your presence methodically and consistently.
- Do not make offers which cannot be supported. Trust is crucial, and honesty needs to be upheld in all discussions. Deliver information which is forthright and credible. Be practical and realistic in what can be achieved.
- Do not be pushy in your efforts. Take people at their word; they may not be ready to engage yet. Don’t turn a potential participant into an un-engaged skeptic – or, worse, an enemy – just because they are not on your time schedule.
If a light was shining on your activities, will you stand up straight, smile, and be proud? If not, then don’t do it. Have character. Be reputable. Be honest. Have integrity in all interactions. Health care is serious and respect needs to be at the highest level.
Being a Character. Having said that, although health care is serious, showing your character will enliven the conversations, make the interactions more engaging. Your personality should show through in your blog posts, tweets, and Facebook comments and discussions. Having a charming, yet consistent, personality will be more inviting for people to join in.
- Define your organization’s personality. Personality is branding in the sense it puts the spirit in your website, literature, direct mail, email, social media relationships, etc. Personality should be evident in your writing style. Is it conversational? Educational? Whimsical? “We feel your pain?” Whatever personality you want to come through, define it, and then use it.
- Deliver the personality consistently. The organization’s personality is not delivered just by one person. There is a supporting cast. The personality, or brand, needs to be consistent in all interactions – front desk check-in to technicians to physicians to accounting, etc. The person calling in or walking through the door will have an expectation set by the public brand. If the experience is inconsistent, then questions will arise, and credibility will erode quickly. Be consistent throughout the organization in the personality you are projecting.
If you are writing for just yourself or a solo practitioner, these points are still valid but easier to manage. However, it is still essential to think about your personality, and let it shine through in a positive way.
Character matters in #HCSM and #HITsm. Having character in all interactions is a necessity while being a character will bring your interactions to life. Maintain your principles while delivering a personality. Your readers will welcome it.
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