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Social media offers limitless ways to engage with patients. These top hospitals aren’t taking a day-off when it comes to patient engagement, and they’re going above and beyond to build online relationships and communities.

We count down the top 10 hospitals taking patient engagement to the next level with social media.

10. Indiana University Health
Facebook Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram YouTube

IU Health has a persona. Their Twitter account has a voice–a voice that stands out among the crowd. They’re not boring. Every caption is short, sweet, dramatic. “Healthcare In The Comfort of Home Sweet Home”, “Sister Cucumber is a Transplant Staple”, “Combating Crisis”, “They’re Training Doctors of the World”– what does all of this mean? I don’t know. But I want to. If you can make the user smile, they’re more likely to engage.

With smart writing and comedics, IU Health conversationally speaks and casts a dramatic light on daily news using social media. They know how to make headlines and turn them into headliners. You might even want to hang out with this Twitter account. To earn their Twitter following of 25.5k, a persona is key.

9. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

UPMC has a life-changing Twitter hashtag campaign–literally. #UPMCLifeChangersillustrates a community of physicians, patients, and people changing lives in the healthcare industry. The campaign offers a video series which not only proves the hospital’s credibility in making a difference but provides hope.

The message behind the campaign seems obvious and encompassing–it’s something we might universally want to partake in. The message pushes a mission statement and reminds us what healthcare strives for. The videos play as you scroll, requires no clicks, and is captioned. When you’re scrolling on the bus, or with friends, there’s no need for sound to enjoy these two-minute stories.

8. The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF)
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

UCSF uses a similar strategy by engaging with patients through offering hope. Facebook posts focus on unique people, each with their own success story. Power comes from bringing people’s stories to light–which elicits emotional engagement responses. Every few days, they offer a new short story. It’s like their own patient-success newsletter. UCSF is creating a small series for themselves–between Dennis who survived cancer 3x, to Gary celebrating his 6 -year heart transplant. A year ago, Tom was in the hospital for sepsis. Now, he’s out living a healthy life in the world!

These snippets of light, hope, and success brighten lives and prove that health is attainable, no matter the intensity of the struggle. While at the same time, it helps improve patient engagement and showcase the hospital’s success. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this? UCSF Health boasts a Facebook following of 186K.

7. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

UCLA Health holds a Facebook following of 250K and Twitter 40K. And they hold an awesome Twitter chat — #UCLAMDChat. Users commented below a live Twitter video. In other Twitter chats, people are invited to tweet on certain days at specific times with corresponding hashtags in order to create an online community conversation. #UCLAMDChat offer various topics of interest to patients — for example, they explained a recent change in UNOS policies. They take complicated, newsy topics, and break them down into digestible pieces for the patients–by listening to questions, and answering.

The most recent patient engagement chat invited questions concerning kidney health. And previously–what is healthy breastfeeding?

6. Massachusetts General Hospital
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

Mass General holds a massive Facebook following of 81K. They don’t hold a general page; Mass General is very audience specific. In order to share content with only the most relevant audiences, they hold a collection of Facebook pages. Each page exists as its own channel with corresponding hashtags. If you’re looking for a specific conversation, chances are you’ll find it.

From @MassGeneralNews and @MassGeneralResearch to @MassGeneralChildren, @MassGeneralMDs, @MassGeneralCRM, and @MassGeneralEM. This way, content becomes very customer-focused and specialized.

5. Shriners Hospitals for Children
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

Talk about trendy, Shriners Hospitals host a podcast series. Focusing on various forms of challenging pediatric care–from children with muscular dystrophy to cerebral palsy– they offering an engaging medium for sharing wisdom on everyday life struggling with these conditions. Physicians and clinicians offer the tips and trades of specialty care. On their website, for some topics, they offer the option of listening to a podcast rather than reading content.

Shriners Hospital for Children hold a following of 629K on Facebook and 20.5K on Twitter.

4. New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Facebook page is people-focused. Rarely do we encounter a hospital photo or white coats; instead, we see real pictures of real people. We see smiling kids and their dad, a new mom cradling her newborn, a high school student, a family at their cabin, a birthday boy and his cake. They stay true to what Facebook is all about–why it was created. For faces. For people. For celebrating our connections and personal life.

With seemingly un-edited, organic photographs, New York-Presbyterian has accrued a Facebook following of 115K.

3. Johns Hopkins Hospital
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

Johns Hopkins Hospital holds a large following on social media and we know why–they utilize narrative. Their Facebook page features personal narratives, intimate stories, of healthcare journeys and John Hopkins’ pivotal role. Its Humans of New York turned Patients of Johns Hopkins, and it takes form as copy and video. They use names, cultural backgrounds, hopes, symptoms, struggles. Patients voice the pain and strength that come with the reality of living with their condition. It’s intimate. The testimonials offer precious insight into what it means to be sick and the process of healing.

According to Jimmy Neil Smith, the Director of the International Storytelling Center, “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”

2. The Mayo Clinic
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

The Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned hospital, and their social media is pretty famous, too. With a Facebook and Twitter following of 1M each, this hospital is doing something different. In addition to reliable interaction, engagement, and every other tried-and-true practice, they’re incorporating other unique strategies. They’ve created a #MayoClinicMinute video campaign.

Each video contains 60 seconds of health-worthy news. Maybe you don’t want to watch the daily news, but could watch something that will help you, take better care of you. It’s something healthcare companies should consider and continue pursuing–creating a short, creative, engaging videos series to brand your practice and connect with your patients outside the hospital.

1. The Cleveland Clinic
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

The Cleveland Clinic is a hospital with local, national, and international reach, boasting 2M+ Facebook followers and 2M+ Twitter followers. With over 3,000 physicians and 120 medical specialties, they’re ahead of the game when it comes to social media.

One tactic stands out–recently, they featured a Facebook Live Chat. Dr. Hyamn, Director the Center for Functional Medicine, did a live Q&A and opened up the platform to questions concerning the functional medicine approach to the ketogenic diet. While the video live-streamed, people commented their questions below. Dr. Hyman answered in real-time and ignited an engagement of 857 comments and 538 shares within 24 hours. Facebook live Q&A could be the future engagement-fuel of choice.

These top hospitals are using next-level social media strategies, and we should be taking notes.

It’s one thing to own an organically accredited service, but social media represents another reality of your business–don’t neglect it, or leave it behind. In addition to responding to patients who reach out, maybe your business could make the first move by inviting interaction. How could social media take your patient engagement to the next level?

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