In many ways, spearheading social media for a major U.S. hospital is like spearheading social for any brand. Telling stories, engaging an audience, managing community feedback, and analyzing your efforts are part of every social media marketer’s job. Hospital social teams, however, face the unique challenge of operating in a highly regulated industry. Audiences look up to them as community leaders and educators. The patient stories they tell and feedback their receive often carry life-changing consequences.
Social teams at these institutions have to be exceptional listeners and top-notch strategizers. We set out to identify the teams going above and beyond on social media—the truly exceptional in this challenging field. Below you’ll find the 19 best social media teams from the nation’s top hospitals, each one responsible for some of the most successful and engaging social media content in the health industry (which you can read more about in our latest report, below).
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital boasts the most engaging social media presence of any hospital in the U.S., according to our latest research. As Social Media Associate, Emily masterminds NYP’s social strategy and upholds the hospital’s status as a supportive and educational community cornerstone.
Cleveland Clinic is lucky enough to have a large team of pros heading up its social media efforts: Nada Youssef, Stephanie Petrucci, Shelby Simmons, and Elizabeth Melhus. This stellar team generates twice as much social content as the average U.S. hospital and boasts one of the highest engagement rates in the country.
Rounding out the top three is Mayo Clinic’s Audrey Laine Seymour. Mayo Clinic stands head and shoulders above its peers when it comes to social video content and was responsible for one of the most “Loved” Facebook video posts of any hospital this past February.
Shannon has been with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 2015. In her time with UPMC, she’s built one of the most engaging social presences in the hospital industry, reaching audiences on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and—yes—even Pinterest.
Daniel took charge of social media at Indiana University Health last year. Like its peers in the top five, IU Health maintains a prolific social presence and attracts a striking amount of engagement.
The top-notch social media team at UCLA Health places special focus on uniting their institution’s silos under a strong, unified brand voice. According to Digital Marketing Director Linda Ho, they’re devoted to their social media monitoring, which helps them take a proactive approach to engaging with their audience and stay aware of the social conversation surrounding the hospital.
One such proactive strategy is the UCLAMDChat series. This webinar series connects audiences with doctors and medical experts via Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitter. Viewers tune in to get the latest information on medical advances at UCLA, conditions, and treatments.
Linda offers this advice to social media teams in heavily regulated industries: “Have a process in place to manage content as well as content contributors. Be patient as you work towards establishing a formal policy towards achieving your goals.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Elena and Breana both joined Johns Hopkins in 2016. In addition to running the hospital’s social presence, the team also maintains a successful email marketing strategy with a robust subscriber base.
UCSF Medical Center
The social team at UCSF Medical Center caught our eye when they turned a Facebook link post—usually one of the worst-performing types of social content—into a major point of engagement. Rather than let comments simply accumulate on their announcement post, the UCSF team personally thanked every well-wisher.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Since 2016, Monique has spearheaded Massachusetts General Hospital’s social strategy and even worked with local colleges to show students what hospitals are doing in digital marketing.
Mount Sinai Health System
Rounding out the top ten is the team at Mount Sinai, serving the New York City community.
Cedars-Sinai’s growing social media team engages its audience and manages community feedback across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
This small team does it all for the Vanderbilt community: brand management, blogging, analysis, social, and more.
The powerhouse team at Memorial Hermann serves their Houston community across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Changing social algorithms and maintaining engagement in increasingly noisy digital spaces are challenges for the team at Florida Hospital. However, these social media pros are reaching more people than ever and drawing audiences in with visual content, with help from tools like Canva.
“Always listen to your audience,” advises Brandy Peacock. “What do they like? What do they want to see?”
John Winkelman has overseen communications, social and otherwise, at Mercy for over 14 years. His marketing efforts serve a wide audience across the south, as Mercy is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the U.S.
How does a small team like the one at Michigan Medicine maintain such a vibrant social presence? “I think you have to place an emphasis on quality, engaging content if you hope to build your brand,” says Rex Hall. “I’ve always been of the belief that content is king when it comes to building a strong social media strategy and presence. We work diligently to produce timely and interesting content for our audiences, but doing so remains a challenge, as we are a team that is small in size.”
The team at Michigan found great success with people-centric content, specifically stories that centered its medical students and resident physicians. With help from tools like Hootsuite, Michigan’s social team attracted substantial engagement during Match Day festivities, sharing community stories with its audience.
The team at Christiana Care does it all, from social strategy and brand management to crisis communication.
“Be real!” says Christina Stolfo, when asked what hospitals should be doing on their social channels. “Convince your boss to invest in the paid social space. Meet potential patients in the moment with useful health information.”
That perspective is working for the team at Northwell Health, whose refined paid campaigns see CPC levels as low as $0.08 and a CTR as high as 3.3 percent. Like many institutions, Northwell faces challenges when it comes to breaking through algorithms and appealing to an external audience. Meeting their audience “in the moment,” particularly with tools like Facebook Business Manager, has helped them rise above the noise.
This past year was a rewarding one for the social media team at BayCare, who turned patient and team member stories into a successful, system-wide brand campaign called “Humanity at Work.” The BayCare team focused on storytelling, long-form content, and video and supported their hard work with both paid and organic efforts across their social channels.
When asked what challenges BayCare’s team the most, Stephanie Abeles said, “Resources. Producing engaging, meaningful content requires planning, execution, and social media savvy. Creating consumable content for the various channels and ensuring effective customer service can be demanding and requires a team of trained professionals.”
The BayCare team also relies on tools like Hootsuite and Reputation.com to manage their channels and stay abreast of the social conversation.
“Socialize programs and campaigns with leadership and key stakeholders,” Stephanie advises. “They can be your biggest champions and endorse the strategy as it is implemented across the organization.”
Want to see more of these social media pros’ exceptional work? Download Convince & Convert’s report, The Best of Social Media from America’s Top Hospitals.