• October 1, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Advocate Uses Hootsuite to Maintain a Healthy Social Presence

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Advocate Health Care, which is based in Downers Grove, Ill., operates 11 hospitals and more than 400 clinics, trauma centers, hospices, and other healthcare facilities in the Midwest, but to provide the best service to its patients and the communities it serves, social media is where it needs to be.

Advocate operates 35 separate accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. It couldn’t maintain that kind of a social media presence without Hootsuite, which Advocate has used since it launched on Twitter in 2009. Advocate switched to Hootsuite’s Enterprise edition late last year.

“We knew we needed some type of social media management tool to manage our growing social media presence and our many accounts and also to support our social media strategy,” says Sarah Scroggins, social media manager at Advocate Health Care. “Hootsuite does all of the things we needed, from sharing content; scheduling; managing comments, messages, and feedback; gathering analytics; and monitoring more than 35 social accounts across all platforms. We are able to manage them from a centralized location.”

The deployment has paid off: Advocate has more than tripled its social media followers since 2014.

“We’ve seen engagement boosted by nearly 100 percent by being able to store content in the content libraries and reuse it throughout the year, and not just during key marketing campaign times,” Scroggins says.

During its six-week #StoriesOfTheGirls breast health awareness campaign last fall, Advocate increased Facebook engagement year-over-year by 100 percent; received 1,477 bra personality quiz submissions; captured 1 million video views; collected more than 3,500 photos; and saw a 431 percent increase in Web site visits, with 88 percent on mobile. At the same time, Advocate increased the number of mammography appointments at its facilities by 37 percent compared to the same time the previous year.

“We had a robust content plan that included posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with images and video,” Scroggins says. “We were easily able to schedule and share these messages with all of our teams and also ensure content was being pushed out on a daily basis because Hootsuite makes it so simple with content libraries and publishing.”

Advocate’s social media management team, which is part of the digital marketing team, includes a dedicated manager and a specialist and often draws support from others on the digital team, including a graphic designer, a digital programmer, and a number of interns.

The social media team posts at least once a day on Instagram, 10 to 12 times a day on Twitter, and three to four times a day on Facebook. Advocate also receives daily engagement from followers, whether they’re commenting on a health news article, sending encouragement to patients, or sharing their own experiences.

Scroggins thinks of social media as “organized chaos” because it can literally change in an instant. “Using Hootsuite has helped us organize social in a way that can be somewhat controlled and not so disorganized,” she says. “We have all of our accounts under one platform that makes it easy to distribute content.”

Hootsuite also allows Advocate to pull monthly reports instead of the very manual process of counting likes, shares, comments, etc. “This then also allows us to spend more time on creating content and supporting our strategy,” Scroggins says.

“Advocate is in the social space because we need to be where our patients and consumers are every day,” Scroggins adds. “We want to provide them with health news they can use on a daily basis, but also educate them on our services, whether it’s providing them with information on community events, patient stories, videos, and blogs, as well as photos of what is happening across our health care system.”

“One of our core values at Advocate Health Care is to build life-long relationships with the people we serve,” added Mayura Kumar, director of digital marketing at Advocate Health Care, in a statement. “Social media is one of the ways we achieve this. We leverage social channels to raise awareness and drive loyalty for our physicians and services as well as providing a platform for our patients to share stories and experiences. It’s a key part of our overall digital strategy designed to drive profitable volume and a strong brand for our system.”

The Payoff

Since implementing Hootsuite to help manage its social media activities, Advocate Health Care has accomplished these results:

  • tripled the number of followers on its social media channels in the past year;
  • increased social engagement by more than 100 percent; and
  • captured 1 million video views and saw a 431 percent increase in Web site visits during its six-week #StoriesOfTheGirls breast health awareness campaign in fall 2015.

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