Our last post regarding the importance of developing a brand for your healthcare organization identified what factors to consider when developing how you want the community and potential employees to view your system. Your brand will be the first thing a potential physician hire knows about your organization, and that fact should never be taken for granted when enhancing your physician recruitment strategies. Just as your hiring managers are performing online searches on potential hires, don’t think that potential patients and new hires aren’t performing the same “online investigation” about your organization. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your digital healthcare organization brand is in alignment with what you have defined.
Many healthcare organizations underestimate the importance of their own website as a differentiator for business development and employee recruitment. Your website is where first impressions are made, so it is critical to ensure that the brand you are promoting is supported by all aspects of your website. The messaging and language you use should have a consistent tone throughout. Websites are also the perfect place to have your best and brightest “brand ambassadors” record a personal video snippet of what makes your organization unique. These brand ambassadors should emulate everything you want in an employee and should represent “who you are” and “why you should be a care provider or employer of choice.”
Produce Quality, Relevant Content
While you are developing your brand, make sure it also has a distinguishable voice. A great way to keep your voice relevant and position your organization in the marketplace is to regularly produce content. Your key leadership team members and key medical staff should all have an opportunity to publish content on your website. A well-crafted blog can highlight the things that are important to your organization, can demonstrate the unique skills and qualities of your medical team, and can further support the overarching brand with pertinent content.
Social Media Strategy
Assigning someone to tweet once a day about nothing, in particular, is not a social media strategy. Branding can be fully supported by an intentional, cohesive social media strategy. Optimize your organization’s visibility on relevant social media platforms. They all serve a purpose in promoting your blog content, keeping your name and brand near “top of mind,” and will drive traffic to your website.
Regarding an online brand and image, all healthcare organizations should keep the famous Warren Buffett adage in mind, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Everything gets reviewed today from movies to restaurants to everything in between. As expected, physician and hospital reviews are slowly joining the review revolution. Sites like vitals.com, healthgrades.com, and others are gradually collecting reviews. It is important for every healthcare organization to manage online feedback, whether on a formal site or even as a comment on Twitter or Facebook. Both positive and negative feedback should be addressed promptly. Systems shouldn’t be afraid to solicit or encourage their patients to provide feedback. Generating a sense of accountability and trust with your clients is an important step in walking the walk of your brand.
Keep in mind, whether you are trying to attract new physicians or new patients, your digital healthcare organization brand is the first impression people have of your organization.