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Key takeaways:

  • Sub-account strategy: Creating sub-accounts on social media enables targeted communication but demands careful content alignment and ownership management.
  • Benefits: Tailored communication fosters engagement and builds relationships with specific audience segments, enhancing brand resonance and community connection.
  • Challenges: Shared ownership poses content consistency challenges, necessitating clear guidelines and efficient workflows to maintain brand reputation across platforms.

Leveraging multiple social media sub-accounts for your hospital’s brand can be crucial in engaging with your target audiences and providing the quick information they need to make informed decisions. But with the responsibilities of owning multiple sub-accounts comes the challenges of managing an expanded social media footprint.

In a Health benchmarking report, 72% of social media leaders at large hospitals in the nation said their providers and service lines manage social media sub-accounts. And 53% of members that participated in the survey reported they have shared ownership where sourcing and creating content is a joint responsibility between the social media teams and the providers and service lines.

So, how can your social media team maintain a consistent brand voice across the accounts your providers are responsible for while also aligning their content to your hospital’s strategies? When do you decide to create a sub-account and how do you decide who manages the content published on those pages?

Here are some key factors you should consider in your hospital’s social media strategy.  

Benefits and Drawbacks of Sub-Account Ownership

After establishing a presence on various social media platforms, it could help to segment your healthcare information to targeted audiences through sub-accounts. 

For example, if your hospital has a large presence on Instagram, it could help to create an account for your oncology service line in order to reach cancer patients and caregivers more directly. And for multi-hospital systems, sub-accounts can help target segmented community needs.

Owning sub-accounts creates the ability to share a variety of content. Customer segmentation allows you to focus on certain topics as opposed to trying to engage all audiences at once.

But having multiple accounts for your brand also creates obstacles with content management and deciding who should own the account. 

Whether you’ve received a request from a service line or want to create individual accounts for various locations, you’ll need to consider the benefits and challenges of managing multiple hospital sub-accounts.


One of the most noted benefits of creating sub-accounts is the ability to educate and communicate with patients and the community at large in a way that is specific to each segment’s interests and location. 

The National Library of Medicine reported that social media helps improve access to healthcare information and physicians can use posts to provide evidence-based information against inaccurate information found online.

Along with providing education and support for patients comes the ability to build relationships with your targeted communities within these sub-accounts.

Leveraging sub-accounts allows you to tell a story and build your brand in a way that speaks to each individual community, as an article from Sprout Social showed. “It’s not enough to syndicate the content from the main brand page. You need to create original content that speaks directly to this interest group,” they reported.

A number of hospital systems throughout the country have multiple clinics and locations, making these accounts an integral part of sharing timely information that may only pertain to a specific region or specialty.

While few can argue against a strategy that provides more targeted engagement, it isn’t as easy as simply creating sub-accounts to cater to every location and service line. With account creation comes account management — is your social media team prepared to carry the load?


Social media teams, whether they are directly managing the account or leveraging assistance from service lines and providers, have to consider how sub-accounts will stay aligned with overall strategies.

According to the Health benchmarking report, 53% of social media leaders at major hospitals said they have shared ownership of sourcing and content creation for sub-accounts. Shared ownership can create challenges when deciding what content to create and managing what’s posted.

Another risk of shared ownership is implementing social media best practices. With the daily responsibilities of service lines and providers, dedicating time to managing social media accounts can create inconsistent social presences. An article from Socialized PR stated, “Managing multiple social accounts takes more time and staff, so the result may be that there are times when you don’t have to use any specific social media account.”

On top of that, your service lines and providers may not be up-to-date on the best social media management best practices for customer service and handling negative comments and reviews.

The National Center of Biotechnology Information explained how more sub-accounts could create more unfiltered conversations. Their report stated, “The risk is that social media can resemble a ‘cocktail conversation’ rather than an effective and useful means of communication.” The report also mentioned the importance of credentials for those who share health information on social media.

The potential for brand inconsistencies means you have to keep all account owners and administrators aligned with how they relay the information to patients within the brand and hospital guidelines.

Social media teams are not strangers to managing brand reputation. Sub-accounts are still subject to negative comments and criticism. While you most likely have an established strategy to address negative comments on your main hospital accounts, it is critical to establish and train sub-account administrators on the process and guidelines.

To further protect your team and your brand’s reputation, especially on your hospital’s sub-accounts, you should also consider the workflows to efficiently manage accounts and content.

Workflows and Processes for Sub-Accounts and Content

Creating, distributing, and approving sub-accounts and content, along with ongoing management, can be an overwhelming added responsibility for many social media teams. Creating workflows and clear processes for account owners and the social media team alike can help provide guidance, set expectations, and improve efficiency. Health members, who all lead social media at the largest hospitals across the nation, recently shared on a Zoom call how they streamline workflows to improve turnaround time for content.

Members benchmarked their strategies in total confidentiality and without any vendors listening in. Many have created rigorous criteria for requesting a sub-account, such as requiring thirty days of content or an account management plan during the approval process. 

They candidly discussed project management tools like Asana, Airtable, and Workfront to streamline the request and approval process.

Learn Best Practices with Your Peers

When managing hospital sub-accounts, are you handing over the keys to providers and service lines or maintaining full ownership of the accounts? 

On Tuesday, July 19, at 2 PM ET, Health members will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each sub-account ownership approach, focusing on pain points and efficiencies. 

This confidential, vendor-free conversation will touch on workflows and processes from creating, distributing, and approving accounts and content. Members will also dig into which tools improve alignment and collaboration among service lines and providers.

If you’re a social media leader at a major hospital, you can join the conversation to gain leadership insight from your peers to help you make strategic decisions on managing your social media sub-accounts. 

Interested in learning more about membership?

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