Patients Say Hospital Blogs Help Build Strong Online Reputation
Written by Tina Samuels
Using Our Hospital’s Blog to Spread the Word
Corporations of all types have used websites and blogs to reach their clients.
When you think about it, patients are clients. Citizens in a community can choose among different hospitals.
Using a blog as outreach can help these people choose to use your facilities. A blog is also an excellent strategy for reputation management.
Before beginning a blog, administrators of the new website must decide who they are targeting as readers. Local patients? Doctors? What do you wish to accomplish with the blog.
Once these questions are answered, it is time to move on to creating the site.
Layout and Design
Blog templates can be found through various methods.
Themes or templates can be downloaded from the internet for free or for paid premium themes. Designers often create their own for each specific job (blog) designed.
A medical blog should be simple to navigate with clean lines and easy to read text. Stay away from image heavy designs which can take too long to load for some readers. The best combination of colors for readability are black text on a white background with muted colors for accent. Blue and green are soothing colors.
Great Content Matters
Well-crafted content that pertains to the medical field and your hospital is crucial.
A blog is often considered an informal site, though a professional blog can be chock full of informational and educational content. The content entered must be written in an authoritative manner.
Whether the administrator or hired professional blogger handles the content, readers need to know they're coming to the 'experts' on whatever topic is covered. New content needs to be consistent and relevant to your community.
Any doubts to the writing ability of the blog author can be eliminated by hiring a professional blogger.
Social media experts can be found by placing an ad. Nearly all professional bloggers have experience with social networking strategy. Media companies often employ people for both tasks. The decision to move to a professional writer or content provider can be the most important choice to a blog's success.
WordPress blog software comes standard with most website hosting purchases. The system is easy to use and the WordPress community offers many tutorials for beginners.
The posting system allows articles to be scheduled in advance. This is handy for when there are events that come along at a certain time every month or year. Posting ahead can help when there's limited time for the blog author to post or is away from work for whatever reason.
Monitoring comments is another aspect of blogging that will help a hospital.
When patients make comments, you know that your blog is reaching an audience. Comments that are positive are wonderful. Negative comments can be just as useful as these negative experiences give the hospital a chance to make things right.
Showcasing good customer service skills will help influence other potential patients.
The best exposure any hospital can have is when their problem solving skills are used in a positive manner.
So, does your hospital have a blog? If so, what kind of feedback have you gotten on it?
About the Author
Tina Samuels writes on healthcare recruiting, social media, small business, and marketing.