Modern marketers need checklists. We need checklists for all the same reasons that medical doctor Atul Gawande described in his book, The Checklist Manifesto, though maybe without as severe outcomes as surgical teams. The reasons that checklists are critical for social media activities are similar, however:
- Limited time for review
- Critical attention to quality
- Inability to correct
Let’s look at these factors in order:
Limited time for review
Social works on a different time scale than regular publishing. With a website there are usually months or weeks to review content, tweak it, and get it approved. With social the time scale is minutes, hours, or for standard content, maybe one or two weeks depending on your approval processes.
This time pressure means that everything has to be clear and everyone working on the project needs to be engaged and alert.
Critical attention to quality
The regulatory regime under which healthcare marketers work is complex and unforgiving. We can argue the nuances of one guidance over another or the interpretation of old rules for new channels (and we do) but the hard stop is that when the FDA decided that something is offside the marketers are going to get an NOV (notice of violation, sometimes called a Letter or a Warning Letter).
This means that we need to be certain of what we’re publishing and ensure that everything is the result of a clear decision by the company and not just one person’s interpretation of the rules.
Inability to correct
Sure, all of the major channels allow the user to retract their post: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. but that doesn’t stop third parties from reposting or sharing the content while it is available. And with social, the half-life of a post is incredibly short, so if reposting or sharing is going to happen, it’s going to happen fast. When content is shared it is no longer yours, and deleting the source does not remove the shared content.
This issue serves to amplify the top two and drives our requirements for checklists and other tools that can help the social team keep the train on the track.
The Klick Health solution
For each of our clients we have a one-page “cheat sheet” that provides us with everything we need to manage the channel:
- Sources of content that we need to check for curation
- Upcoming calendar events to which we need to pay attention
- Rules for content creation for that particular client (every execution is somewhat different)
- Rules for managing engagement from the audience
By having all of these items in an easily referenced document (we have them handy for when we’re working on different client accounts) the social team is able to provide the timely information that our clients need and maintain quality and regulatory security for our clients.