100 Most Social Media Friendly Children’s Hospitals
Every APRN working in pediatrics understands that the hardest role in a children’s hospital doesn’t go to a doctor or nurse – it belongs to the parents of those sick kids.
Reaching out to families and including them in what’s going on in the hospital community is something that parents have come to really value and appreciate during these tough periods. What better way to find out what kind of new medical research the hospital is keeping up on, or what kind of new imaging technology they’ve brought into the facility, or even what pop star might’ve been walking the halls lately paying a youngster a visit as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation program?
So hiring a strong social media team is critical for children’s hospitals. It can be a tricky enough position to fill in any organization, but it takes a unique kind of sensitivity when it’s a children’s hospital. Social media staff need to have a deft touch combining just the right amounts of humor, compassion, and insight to post and reply on platforms that the whole world can see. Successes go unheralded; failures wind up on the six o’clock news.
We’ve combed across the internet and identified the 100 children’s hospitals with the most social media activity, both to help you identify potential employers on the cutting edge of modern communication technology, and to recognize the best practitioners of a difficult sort of work that is too often unrecognized.
How We Ranked Children’s Hospitals For Social Media Use
Good and bad social media use often comes down to the details. Moreover, it can be perceived very differently depending on who is looking at it. Social networks have their own tastes and standards, and what flies in one group may cause hard feelings in another.
This is particularly difficult for children’s hospitals in that kids from all walks of life and parts of society end up there. Their families may not have much in common other than having a very sick child to worry about. It’s hard to objectively evaluate social media posts in those conditions.
Fortunately, social media has a built in set of metrics that anyone can use to get some idea of how a given user is doing. We have checked out eight of the most important modern social networks for each American children’s hospital to determine from their posting numbers and followers how good a job they are doing. We have ranked them on a 100 point scale to show you the absolute best social media users from the bunch.
We started with Facebook, worth up to 25 points on our scale based on the number of followers and likes the page gets. Since Facebook is far and away the most widely used social network, it has a big reach and those numbers are one of the most important measures of the kind of content and interaction the hospital is providing.
Twitter is more of a broadcast medium. With only short snippets or links that can be posted, it’s not a forum for long and in-depth conversation. Yet the direct messaging function makes Twitter important in a way that other platforms haven’t managed to duplicate. It’s a prime gateway to open up customer service interactions in addition to offering news and alerts. Based on the total number of tweets and amount of followers, hospitals can earn up to 25 points for their Twitter accounts.
YouTube isn’t a social network with a lot of interaction, but it is one with great exposure. Around 73 percent of American adults have viewed a video on YouTube in the past year. For hospitals, this offers a great opportunity to produce content that will help explain the often complicated treatment options and environment that children will find themselves in. We offer a full 25 points based on the number of videos, channel subscribers, and total views on the site.
Hospitals don’t just have patients; they also have employees. Getting connected and communicating with both other staff and the institution itself is a huge boost for APRNs, both searching for jobs and staying current once they have them. LinkedIn can earn the hospital another 5 points based on total followers.
Google launched Google Plus in 2011 as a competitor to Facebook. The user numbers for the network are far lower, which is why we only award 5 points based on follower numbers here. But the community is small and dedicated, and hospitals that demonstrate their ability to leverage Google Plus to connect with people deserve special acclaim.
Pinterest is focused on visuals which makes it a great choice to reach people who understand things most easily by looking at them. For children’s hospitals, this offers the opportunity to show off their facilities and staff to accentuate the type of environment they foster for parents and children alike. Not all hospitals take the extra step to put together a solid Pinterest presence, but those that do can earn another 5 points from us for their follower number.
Snapchat may be one social network where children’s hospitals are hitting right on target. Snapchat use among kids and young adults is through the roof, nearly 80 percent in some cases. Although it’s a challenging platform, one where content is set to expire by design, any hospital that has put a Snapchat account in play automatically gets an extra 5 points from us.
Instagram is another picture collection site, but one that is more focused on user interaction than Pinterest. Apart from that, it holds much the same position in the social network hierarchy, and we similarly offer up to 5 points based on posts and follower numbers.