As COVID vaccines roll out across the world, vaccine hesitancy has decreased but continues to play a role in how quickly vaccines can tame this pandemic. How to increase the confidence of patients, particularly Black and Latino communities, has topped the list of conversations among healthcare marketers. Government resources promoting the vaccine may actually do more harm than good as confidence and trust in government sits at around 20%. Hospitals and healthcare workers are turning to trusted, local providers along with community influencers to reach those who may not have decided whether or not to get a COVID vaccine.
Here’s a look at some organizations and doctors who are getting the message out in their communities through social media including TIkTok, Facebook, and Twitter.
For decades The Ad Council has combined resources to provide public relations campaigns for health issues. Major corporations have contributed to the COVID Collaborative to support creative and messaging aimed at increasing confidence in vaccination. But vaccination isn’t the only key to reducing the spread of COVID. Wearing masks and social distancing continue to top healthcare’s messaging around the pandemic.
Distrust of healthcare in minority communities goes back more than a century and is a major contributing factor to the lower numbers of interest in the vaccine by Black and Latino patients. Dr. Kristamarie Collman is a physician in Orlando whose TikTok video addressing the myths of the COVID vaccine has reached more than a half-million views. In an interview with NPR, Dr. Collman talks about the importance of the Black community receiving information from doctors who look like them.
A hospital in Kansas supported the home team during the big game earlier this month while continuing to encourage responsible gatherings (or not gathering at all). It’s a recurrent theme among healthcare teams to talk about vaccines as well as how to protect yourself until you are eligible for the vaccine. Their social media pages show images of healthcare workers masking up and serving in the vaccination drive-through and sharing information on how to volunteer to help with vaccinations. Like most other hospital groups, they’ve personalized their posts to engage with the community.
Not all effective COVID content has to be custom written. LifeSpan Health System in Rhode Island capitalizes on articles written by trusted advisors to expand their content and share relevant information. For organizations without the time or bandwidth to create custom videos and blog posts, sharing content from trusted sources allows organizations to improve education while making the most of their resources.
So she’s not a healthcare center, but she is a physician and associate professor of pathology, immunology, and laboratory medicine at Rutger University. Dr. Fitzhugh took her commitment to the COVID vaccine a step further when she signed up for the clinical trials. In an interview with Technology Review, she talks about the importance of people of color being involved in clinical trials. She uses her Twitter account (@DrFNA) to share her experiences and promote the vaccine.
We can’t leave out our local hospital. North Mississippi Health Services created a COVID vaccine frame for anyone to use to help promote the COVID vaccine and protection against the virus. The frame gives their employees a way to show their support on their own social media pages and offers the same to their patients. In addition to the frame, they use their social media to share images of providers receiving their vaccines, to tell community stories of COVID survivors, and to say thank you to generous community supporters.
If you take a longer look at all of these pages you’ll find one thing in common, no one talks about COVID all the time. Heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes continue to claim lives. February is National Heart Month and Black History Month so a lot of hospitals and providers are including content about these issues as well as others with their COVID-related content. It’s a question we ask ourselves as we create content for our clients. What’s the right mix of COVID vs non-COVID posts?
The answer depends on your unique clinic or hospital. Some areas need or want more COVID content than others. Test your content. Pay attention to your analytics. Listen to your followers.
We hope you’ve found some inspiration and ideas for your own healthcare social media pages. Thousands of clinics and hospitals across the US are creating unique social content. We couldn’t possibly highlight them all. If your clinic or hospital system has had a particularly well-received piece of content, we invite you to share it in the comments.