I manage the social media platforms for a medical association and find myself with an abundance of text, data, and complicated health information to share with our community. Promoting text-heavy, clinical content can be a difficult task. However, I’ve found several ways to liven up content, entice others to pay attention, and highlight the human side of medicine.
Pay attention to the numbers. We share many clinical journal articles, but we also share a wide range of stories highlighting the human side of medicine. First-person stories resonate with our audience. We seek out content from the New York Times, NPR, and other smaller blogs. We would lack understanding about the impact of these stories if we weren’t paying attention to the metrics. Decisions are best made, especially in social media, when you have data and metrics to back up those decisions.
Turn mundane text into beautiful, sharable images. One of my favorite tools is PixTeller. PixTeller allows you to take any text and transform it into a shareable, viral image for social media audiences. Each Friday, I post a #FactFriday image on behalf of my organization. These images are shared hundreds of times and seen by 20,000 or more individuals each week. Not only do these posts bring awareness around important topics, they also improve our engagement rates each week.
Have a sense of humor. Working in health communications may seem stale, but at the end of the day, we’re communicating with actual people. They may be busy clinicians, but they still like references to pop culture and they like to have a laugh. One of my favorite go-to sites is Gomerblog. Gomerblog regularly goes “there” and delivers content much like The Onion, just exclusively about health and medicine. Gomerblog might not be a fit for your organization, but I encourage you to seek out content with the ability to generate laughs, interest, and engagement.
Consider an infographic. My organization issues patient care guidelines with hundreds of pages of clinical information. The guidelines are difficult to sift through, and crystalizing the most important details is key. Most recently, we created an infographic around a guideline for COPD exacerbations. The infographic, in one posting, was seen by 54,000 people, liked by 354 people, and shared 356 times on Facebook.
What tips do you have for livening up social media content and engaging your audience?