If your organization is like ours, you’ve undoubtedly been hit by the current social media frenzy. One of our team members recently asked me if I was following the medical center on Twitter or if I was a fan of our Facebook page.
I just learned what a blog is—and now they start throwing around terms like Twitter and Facebook. It hardly seems fair to be expected to fit “tweeting” and Facebook updates into an already jam-packed day—especially when most days it’s hard enough just to stay on top of voicemail and emails.
So why are we updating and tweeting? Not because it’s the popular thing to do these days, but because we want to build relationships with people right here in central Illinois and across the country who have been touched by the medical center. Social media tools enable us to do this by engaging everyone from current and former employees to patients and their family members in conversation. These conversations help us share information, but more importantly, they help us learn how we can continue to provide the very best healthcare while staying true to our mission of serving with the greatest care and love.
The world is no longer one in which the only way we communicate is by issuing a press release, updating our website or running a newspaper ad or billboard. While we will always do these things, we’re expanding our reach by also posting information on our Facebook pages and encouraging our fans to comment and share the information. Social media is two-way communication at its best.
With all of the social media tools out there, the opportunities seem endless. At OSF Saint Francis, we’re also using it to recruit physicians, nurses and other hospital staff. We post and tweet news about what’s happening with our amazing team of caregivers. We haven’t tweeted a surgical procedure yet, but we regularly share information with our Twitter followers. (I’ve been told these are called “tweets” and will trust the PR and marketing departments on this.)
Through a separate Facebook page for the Milestone Project, people can receive updates about our construction projects, learn interesting facts about the building, see photos of our progress and even go on a hard-hat tour with some of our team members. As we prepare for the opening of the Milestone Project next year, there will be lots of information to share. The Milestone Project has been such a large part of our community for years; we hope that you too have memories of the project that you would like to share with us through our social media efforts. iBi