How EMS Companies Can Boost Community Engagement

By: Harrison Schoolar

Social MediaThe importance of social media engagement in the EMS industry has grown over the last decade. Throughout the years members of the EMS community can be seen on the news and not just for the work people normally think of. Around the holidays a common theme on the local news is seeing EMS working in their communities at a Thanksgiving food or toy drive. This is great to show the value they add in their community and its important people see the contributions they do beyond their job. This same message could and should be conveyed over your social media outlets. 

Certain stories work better on social media than others, it can be hugely beneficial if the post is emergent and emotional. When you work in collaboration with the people in your community this can also help your company’s outreach. Hospitals, schools, and local health departments are good places for collaboration, the topics could range from healthcare, emergency management and/or prevention to volunteer events. Additionally, Positive social media can be a real help in recruitment efforts of new personnel. In reality, organizations should use social media to demonstrate value to their community to stay ahead of the times.

Post Ideas

Photos are one of the easiest ways to boost engagement. Action shots are important because they assist in taking the mystery out of what you do. Ideas include photos of training, people helping in the community or behind the scenes pictures of an ambulance. These are all notable examples of the right kind of action shot that should not violate any HIPAA or the organization’s Media policy.  

New Equipment, it’s not just the organization’s peoples that get excited about new equipment. The people that you help will also be excited. Show the public that new ambulance or defibrillator. let them know about it through a post. Tell them how it will help the community with response and saving lives. This is a great example of staying in touch with the community at no cost! 

There are alternatives of course to getting out and doing photography. Another easy way to boost the image and outreach of the company would be to post about new hires as well as employee recognition for hard work. Posting about relevant new stories can be a reliable way to maintain or gain engagement as well. Additionally, these ideas can be recycled once you have seen the benefits of each posting, 

Navigating The Platforms

When establishing a social presence for your organization, there is no need to try to be on all social media channels. Use the ones where you see the most potential and you’re comfortable with, build them up and monitor engagement. All social media platforms have ways of helping your company grow, but for this, we’ll stick with two, Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter:

Twitter is a great platform for company engagement and building awareness in the EMS community. There are two keys that can make Twitter much easier to navigate as a company. One is Scheduling the days of the week that you are going to tweet and the second is making a list of post ideas (these ideas can be recycled throughout the year(s)). The example below shows just a few post ideas for a schedule, but if you are just starting out and not sure how you are going to make it work consider starting with one weekly or bi-weekly post and increasing the frequency as you become more comfortable and fluent. Statistics, pro tips, quoting tweets and even reusing a tweet that was successful before are all positive ideas. And more than one person can contribute, or delegate it to a tech-savvy team member. 

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Employee Announcement – new employee, work anniversary, milestone etc. (FB) Retweet (Tw) Positive brand news: feel good piece or a retweet
Photo Employee recognition Ask a question

 

Facebook:

Most of us are very familiar with Facebook, this is the backyard BBQ social media presence. This is all about growing your community engagement. Whether you are a for-profit or non-profit ambulance service this could be a valuable outlet for free advertising, and this adds to positive public relations. Just like the Twitter posting start small, once a week and use the same calendar. The same item can be posted in both areas. 

 

What about LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the professional social media. This platform is unique with its focus on business-to-business interactions and connecting with like-minded professionals, which makes it easy to grow your business and recruit new employees. Engagement from company employees on LinkedIn can be much more beneficial than people realize. Statistics show that employees’ profiles are ten times more like to be seen than the company’s page. If there is consistent communication and interaction throughout this can be seen from others outside the company and they may engage with you too. This platform can help you recruit new hires and/or volunteers! 

 

Now Get out there and start tweeting and posting! 

Harrison Schoolar: Marketing Intern

 

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