How healthcare professionals can keep their social marketing efforts HIPAA compliant
Social media is everywhere – its ubiquitous use now touches nearly every facet of human life. In the healthcare industry specifically, users of social media must always be aware of the fine line between proper and improper information sharing.
Being governed by strict HIPAA compliance standards, the healthcare industry must manage the rising use of social media in healthcare settings. Maintaining HIPAA compliance must always be the first priority when sharing sensitive healthcare information.
According to a recent DC Interactive Group report, 26 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. participate in social media. Another study revealed that a whopping 92 percent of marketers indicate efforts in social media have created better exposure for their business.
Healthcare marketers have huge opportunities when it comes to social media marketing, but how do organizations know what is acceptable for them or their employees to share and what is not?
Social Media and HIPAA Compliance
There are a number of benefits to sharing information and patient success stories. Although HIPAA does provide a strict framework to operate within, there are still ways to stay social, secure and in compliance.
Although institutions and employees may use personal social media channels, discussing patient information on those channels is strictly forbidden. The following guidelines apply to healthcare businesses as well as workers:
- Avoid gossiping about patients.
- Identify a central point of contact.
- If you wouldn’t say it to a co-worker, don’t post it online.
- Be aware of the tone you are using when you post something.
- Do not bring professional matters into your personal life.
By using social media, healthcare marketers can both increase awareness and share positive stories. They can provide crucial information and assist with decision-making. By keeping these tips in mind, you can stay in compliance while still reaching your target audience.
Is your brand guilty of any of these photo editing mistakes on social media?
Editing photos for social media posts can be fun and empowering or a total time-sucking drag, depending on how good you already are at it and how much you enjoy it compared to other social media marketing tasks competing for your attention.
If you’re newer to photo editing and want to avoid some of the most common mistakes brands make on social media — especially Instagram, which offers users a ton of filtering and editing options — here are some things you should avoid doing at all costs:
Relying too much on pre-set filters
When some marketers are first starting out, they tend to use the pre-set filters to save time and effort of figuring out how to fully edit the photos themselves. Unfortunately, it’s blatantly obvious to many users when a brand hasn’t put much effort into optimizing their photos to look their best, and it can drive people away from your channels if your content doesn’t look outstanding compared to your competitors.
Yes, this will take more time and the learning curve is certainly steeper, but ignore those pre-set filters and edit your photos yourself (on social media or with Photoshop) for best results.
The saturation feature lets you adjust the color density of a photo. You can remove most of the colors or send the saturation into overdrive, neither of which produces eye-catching imagery for social media posts. If you must have a black and white photo, then a pre-set filter might help you here. On the other end of the saturation spectrum, you don’t want any people in the photo looking as though they have bright orange skin, so take care to lightly boost the saturation without making them look cartoonish.
Some brands seem to think vignette — darkened corners around an image — make their photos look edgier, but doing this too often or too excessively can hamper the attractiveness of the original image. Occasionally darken the corners of your photo when you think it is necessary but avoid doing this on all of your posts.
Troubles with Text in Images
On Facebook, any photo ads with more than 20% text will most likely get rejected (based on how much text fills up squares in a grid). Even if you don’t have much text in a photo, it still can be unappealing for your audience if the photo falls into any of these traps:
- Text color is too similar to the color in the photo
- Text style doesn’t match the “vibe” of the image (think Century Gothic Bold for a cheerful beach theme)
- Text doesn’t seamlessly blend with the photo, making it look awkward and out of place
Portrait Mode Gone Wrong
A final mistake you want to avoid in social media photos is using portrait mode when there’s no reason to or focusing on the wrong face/person/animal/object. If you’re a fashion company promoting a new shoe line, then a portrait mode photo centered on your model’s face will blur out the product you’re trying to promote. As simple as this advice sounds, plenty of brands make this mistake when they don’t put enough care and thought into what exactly they’re trying to promote with a particular image.
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