The stay-at-home orders that state governments have issued in response to the coronavirus have more people spending time on their social media accounts. Any time a large audience is in one place, marketers have to ask themselves what the best approach is. This is especially true at a sensitive time like this one, particularly if you’re in the medical field.
Here are some suggestions for how to handle healthcare social media during the pandemic.
First, do no harm.
The Hippocratic Oath that doctors take with their patients can certainly apply here. There’s a lot of confusion circulating right now regarding COVID-19. Do we need to stay locked down or develop herd immunity? Is the cost of the quarantine greater than the danger of the disease itself? Do we need a mask or not?
Perhaps most frustrating for people, regardless of what side they stand on these questions, is the confusion that exists. Make your first priority to not add to the confusion. As a medical office, your content is going to carry credibility with people. Make certain that you’re backing up whatever you say with data and try to avoid sweeping generalizations that are hard to walk back if subsequent data changes the landscape.
Be a unifier, not a divider.
This can be hard to do and we’re not suggesting you be so bland as to be irrelevant to the conversation. But it’s safe to say that social media has enough people making bold statements intended to paint people who disagree with them into a corner. As a medical professional, you have the unique credibility needed to rise above that.
So if you share content about the dangers of COVID-19 and unnecessary exposure, do it in a way that even a struggling small business owner can embrace and take seriously. If you share content that offers good news about herd immunity or anything else that would allow for a loosening of restrictions, do it in a way that even those who’ve seen a loved one die from the disease can endorse.
Above all, remember that on social media you’re talking to a scared audience. Scared of the virus and scared of economic devastation. Make sure your social account has a bedside manner that’s appropriate for fears of all kinds.
Focus on more than COVID-19.
There is any number of medical concerns that are getting heightened scrutiny during these times. A lot of parents are with their children more now than ever. Are there any healthcare tips you can offer for these unique circumstances? How about advice on how to boost everyone’s immune systems?
Stress is a significant factor for families right now as cabin fever sets in. Offer your suggestions for how to cope. If you have a good professional relationship with a therapy office, perhaps some social media partnering could be in order—you’ll share medical advice to their audience and they can share psychological counsel with yours.
People are reliant on their medical professionals for sober advice, now more than ever, and especially in the digital Wild West that is social media. Be the solution.