In the last few years, we’ve seen social media being integrated much more fluidly into small businesses across New Zealand and Australia. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, are adding tremendous value to many of our clients’ capacities to reach their target markets in an impactful way that increases their bookings. This continues to remain true, even with social media algorithms (I’m looking at you, Facebook) making it exponentially more difficult to organically reach your audience compared to just a few short years ago.
While it’s one thing for a business owner or practice manager to start actively engaging in social media regularly for the benefit of the clinic, getting your staff on board can be a completely different ballgame. We’ve had mixed experiences with the uptake of social media as part of a healthcare role with the teams we have the privilege of working with. Some embrace the role and take advantage of the many opportunities to take photos, videos and provide our team with fantastic information and resources to help us best manage their social media strategies. Others shy away and don’t partake at all, leaving it to other team members and making it clear that they don’t realise the value in this activity, or simply don’t want to take the time to do it.
This is why I found a conversation with a client recently regarding a new team member he was bringing on board recently so interesting. When I asked him about the expectations of her on the social media front, he was completely confident in her involvement because she had a section of her employment contract dedicated to social media.
While this is not uncommon for larger businesses and organisations, especially where any products are being sold online, the thought around the value of including it within an employment contract for smaller medical & healthcare clinics isn’t something that I’ve personally dived into great detail or conversation with clients about. After our conversation, this idea stayed with me and I had a chance to mull it over. I must admit, I believe it is a truly valuable addition to an employment contract, even in the medical & healthcare fields, and something that I believe you should be considering for your future employment contracts, if you haven’t already. I’ve jotted down five of the many reasons that come to mind.
1. It fosters understanding of the role of social media in marketing and business by all employees
If your employees aren’t actively participating in your social media strategies when you have active platforms running, there’s a good chance they don’t understand the role it plays. Having it as part of a contract fosters the conversation (and ongoing conversations and meetings) around this area. The likelihood is that unless you have an active responsibility for the success of the business (director, clinic manager, business strategist, and so on), you won’t know things like the cost of customer acquisition, the cost of marketing, fostering your clinic’s culture and using social media to portray this and emphasise your point of difference. You also may not realise the value in reviews, comments, shares, likes and how these foster trust and can equate to a word of mouth referral from a friend (which is the strongest kind of referral).
2. It encourages social media to be embraced and taken seriously by those who would otherwise be less familiar with the platforms.
There are always new skills to be learnt on the job, and this way, social media is accepted as one of these from the get-go. Having it as part of the contract places responsibility on the employees to familiarise themselves with these platforms, or ask for help in doing so, as opposed to it being an optional extra.
3. For those that are very social media savvy, it shifts the focus from ‘social’ to ‘business’.
For employees that already spend their life on Facebook and can show you all of their meals from the last week on their Instagram account, having social media as part of their contracts helps to shift their mindset around its use from simply personal-social to a potentially lucrative aspect of their workplace. This group of people will already likely be more eager to embrace the social media aspect of their role, and this can encourage them to take a more proactive approach and even bring new ideas or strategies to the table.
4. It covers you for when or if you decide to actively uptake social media platforms in the future.
If you fall into the category of knowing that you should have a greater focus on your social media but are absolutely swamped right now, having it in the contract will serve as a great fallback for if and when you decide to pursue it in the future. You don’t lose anything by including it, and are preparing for future growth. Who knows, a social media savvy employee may even help you out with getting your clinic’s social media platforms started if they know your intentions to do so in the future!
5. You can start building up your database of social media content to use later.
Because a large part of social media is taking relevant photos and videos that allow people to see your services, products, patients and the general culture of your clinic, accumulating a database of these images will only add value to your business and future marketing endeavours. Regardless of where you’re currently at with social media or marketing in general, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to need some content to use, and this way you’ll be prepared and ready to go. Aaaand your team will have fostered good habits around collecting social media and marketing content which they will pass on to new staff that come on board, and so on.
So to summarise: If you’re looking to bring on new staff sometime to soon, or are renewing contracts, seriously consider the value in adding a social media element to the contract. If you’re unsure about where to start with social media or content marketing, get in touch with our team here at Word Prescription. We’ll happily run you through the opportunities you can create through various platforms, and how to get started. We also manage social media for a number of clients that don’t have the time to do so themselves or know that it is more profitable to spend time treating patients rather than trying to stay on top of their content or social media. If that sounds like you, get in touch with Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org and say hello!