How Tristin Bates deployed a new social media management tool across Johns Hopkins Medicine’s marketing and communications departments

As Senior Internet Marketing Specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Tristin leads efforts around high impact visuals for social, strategic planning, and execution of complex social media strategies. She helps embed social into the department and institution through guiding her colleagues and departments on social media implementation.

One of the largest projects Tristin has worked on was the expansion of Johns Hopkins Medicine social media management tool.

Last year, Tristin led an ambitious department-wide project to better integrate a decentralized social media presence.

You can definitely see how empowering others to use the tool has made an impact in their work. Tristin Bates
Social Studio — a Salesforce platform that assists real-time publishing and engagement and measures performance — provided the technology needed. The project was based around six specific goals: Improving cohesiveness across the channels, instituting enterprise-level tracking, empowering teams managing social media for the brand, improving strategic effectiveness across social media channels, ensuring meaningfulness of channel responses, and making sure everyone was using a tool that fit their needs.

“We felt like integrating and expanding Social Studio would be a really good way to accomplish these goals while improving collaboration across the organization,” explains Tristin.

First, Tristin and her colleagues dedicated a few months to planning out how they were going to set up and lay out the platform so it would be usable. “We ultimately decided to create different workspaces for each of the different accounts — currently we are using thirteen and growing,” says Tristin.

With 60 different users and 30 total accounts across their marketing and communications teams, the priority was making the platform neat, organized, and user-friendly so that all users had the ability to see what was going on in the various channels without impeding their day-to-day workflow.

Once they had mapped out how they would organize the platform, they started developing a social media toolkit for social media admins.

“We wanted to make sure that once we added everyone to the platform, they would have the resources they needed,” explains Tristin. Some of the things that were in the toolkit were common social media responses and inquiries.

“We looked at common responses that we receive — from appointment requests, to education information, to research questions — and compiled that into a 17-page document for our teams,” says Tristin. “We also have guidelines on if there is a complaint that comes in, each of the different hospitals have a different patient relations team.”

Tristin shared how the toolkit is also an important component of the project because they tag all content that goes out on Johns Hopkins Medicine social media channels, and now, with Social Studio, all other accounts will use the same tagging system. So they developed the toolkit to house all of their different tags to improve ease and consistency across the board. This allow them to easily report as one organization.

The next phase of their project was developing training to help users get comfortable with the platform.

Talking with the users you're adding and ensuring everyone is engaged, onboard, and receiving the help they need is the most important thing. Without that, a tool won't make a bit of difference. Tristin Bates
Tristin led an hour-long training session to onboard everyone onto the platform. “We worked with the different users to add all of their own accounts and helped them become more comfortable with the tool,” explains Tristin. Then they walked through the high level, key elements of Social Studio.

They followed up that preliminary training with a two-hour session that dealt more with the publishing side — how the teams could use the tool to schedule all of their content and the KPIs for that — and having meaningful interactions and engagements with the social communities.

“Now we’re holding monthly hour-long meetings to talk through successes we’ve had, additional training, new features of the tool, and social media in general,” says Tristin.

Since implementing a management tool, Tristin and other social media users have noticed a big difference in their efficiency and consistency.

“You can definitely see how empowering others to use the tool has made an impact in their work,” says Tristin. “It’s a lot easier for us all to be in one tool where it aggregates all information into one place. It also makes it easier for users to respond quickly.”

The tasks on the horizon definitely include looking at what enterprise-level reporting will be like within the next few months. Now that her colleagues in the marketing and communications department are comfortable in the tool, Tristin will be expanding it to other entity hospitals under Johns Hopkins Medicine to further connect the brand.

“We’ll be putting together training for them and focusing on next steps for how far we can take the platform and what other features we can incorporate and implement across our hospitals,” says Tristin.

Tristin shares that one of their key factors to success was enthusiasm about the tool.

When we showed them the tool would meet needs they knew they had -- and didn't even know they had -- they were on board immediately. Tristin Bates
“Everyone who we added to Social Studio was excited about it,” says Tristin. “When we showed them that it would meet needs they knew they had — and didn’t even know they had — they were on board immediately.”

According to Tristin, it was important for them to identify the needs of those you are trying to support in any expansion. “Talking with the users you’re adding and ensuring everyone is engaged, onboard, and receiving the help they need is the most important thing,” says Tristin. “Without that, a tool won’t make a bit of difference.”

To ensure they continue to support them, Tristin has led the creation of office hours and has scheduled monthly meetings with all super users to discuss success stories and lessons learned.

“We needed to figure out how to adjust priorities a little,” explains Tristin. “And how we add to the day-to-day, and really make something like this happen.”

Tristin shares that, at Johns Hopkins Medicine, most of the team members who manage social accounts are also working on a lot of other tasks outside of the social space. So they had to keep that in mind for how they implemented the platform and held their training sessions.

As for her advice, Tristin says that a successful tool integration is less about which tool you use and more about the process itself.

She also emphasizes the importance of leaning on a community of others who have done similar projects for guidance and support.

“Other social media experts have put together training, not necessarily for the expansion of a social media management tool,” explains Tristin. “And you can really learn a lot from what they’ve done and what they would recommend based on that experience.”

Tristin Bates has been a member of SocialMedia.org Health since 2017. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.