Social Media 101
Stay connected — PHC social media accounts
Providence Health Care has recently joined the social media community as a way to connect with staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, residents, family members, other health organizations, governments, the general public and the media. There are three new ways to keep connected with Providence Health Care:
Facebook is a social networking service with more than 750 million active users. People and organizations can create profiles, share information, add other users as friends and exchange messages. Providence Health Care has launched a corporate Facebook page where “fans” can read about health-related news stories, watch videos profiling PHC people and innovations and check out photos from PHC events across our sites. Be a part of our Facebook community!
Are you weary of “liking” Providence Health Care’s Facebook page for fear of your employer being able to see your every cyber move? Don’t worry, Providence Health Care cannot access private profiles and cannot view your photo albums or personal wall.
Twitter is a digital two-way communication tool that uses 140 characters (or less) to communicate with a large audience. Users can connect with each other through the exchange of quick, frequent informational snippets of conversation, that quite often link to websites, articles, images and other supporting resources. Follow PHC’s Twitter account @Providence_Hlth to keep up-to-date with news, events, research, photos, videos and inspirations about health care and share interesting tweets with your own followers.
YouTube is a video sharing website where users can search and view videos. Providence Health Care has created a YouTube channel ProvidenceVancouver. Watch videos about SALOME, Dr. John Webb performing a non-invasive heart valve replacement, our latest Mission Award recipients and many more to come.
What is social media?
Social media refers to online tools that allow users to communicate and interact instantly, actively sharing and commenting on content. Examples include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a growing number of others.
Why use social media?
Social media provides another avenue for PHC to build relationships and share information that will promote health and wellness in PHC communities and encourage open exchange of information and ideas.
Established social media channels will broaden our conversation with key stakeholders — media, employees, patients, the public and representatives of government. They allow us to promote services and public health information to patients and the public and they provide patients, families and the public with an opportunity to respond and engage with us.
While we already reach this audience using traditional communications means, social media’s unique reach may allow PHC to reach more members of the public directly without having to rely on the media as a conduit through which public information flows.
These established social media profiles will help highlight PHC’s role as a credible leader in the health care community and provide the organization with another means with which we can be a visible member of our local public community.
According to the New Study: How US Hospitals Use Social Media, in the U.S., 83 per cent of adults who are online have used the Internet to access health information. Social media is an opportunity to connect with these potential and existing patients and provide them with links to our experts, information and compassionate care.
Submissions for PHC’s social media channels
Providence Health Care Communications & Public Affairs currently manages the PHC social media tools mentioned earlier. If you are interested in submitting content for distribution through these tools contact Communications & Public Affairs.
We suggest that you join and follow PHC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts before submitting content in order to familiarize yourself with current content and interactions on those sites. Because these tools are based on two-way communication, we encourage you to take active part in not only using them for distribution purposes but to engage with your health care community and support your co-workers and interested public.
For descriptions of common social media platforms and how they could be used in a health care setting, please see the Popular Platforms section of the website. Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but highlights some of the most common social media tools that would be acceptable for health care use.
Starting a program/departmental social media account
PHC Communications & Public Affairs is currently developing policies and guidelines around program and department Twitter accounts and Facebook pages and groups. We are looking forward to supporting this use of social media, and we thank you for your patience as we work towards this exciting new phase in communicating and engaging with staff, patients and stakeholders. Developments around social media use at Providence Health Care will be announced in PHC News. Education and training is also part of our plans. Please ensure that you read this weekly newsletter to ensure you are kept up-to-date.