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Earlier this summer, McLean’s Facebook page hit 30,000 likes—a significant accomplishment for a specialty hospital, in comparison with many of Boston’s major hospitals which have about the same number of followers, according to Adriana Bobinchock, director of Public Affairs and Communications.
“Our page is quickly approaching 35,000 likes, drawing between 250 and 300 followers a week,” said Bobinchock. “It’s interesting to watch how different stories drive people to our page and how it changes, and how people engage with the hospital. We get a lot of shares when stories feature celebrities, such as when we posted about the royal family’s mental health campaign and the actress Kristen Bell, who came out and talked about her experience with depression and anxiety.”
“The success of McLean’s growing Facebook likes and Twitter followers,” she noted, “is not only helping the Public Affairs and Communications Department increase awareness about the hospital and the many issues surrounding mental illness, but it’s doing so through education and engagement.”
In addition to posting stories from the press, the digital team also promotes the hospital’s blog Advances in Mental Health and other educational activities, including webinars developed by the Borderline Personality Disorder Patient and Family Education Initiative. Both the blog and the webinar drive additional traffic to the hospital’s website and increase McLean’s visibility as an expert in the field of psychiatric care, research, and education.
“Having these social media platforms allows us to engage with people who are interested in what we do, or for those to happen upon our page,” said Bobinchock. “The more we’re able to talk openly about mental health in a public forum, the more we’re chipping away at stigma. Our sole focus with social media is educating the public and creating a dialogue.”
The goal for next year, she said, is to not only increase followers but to increase community engagement. “We want to engage the public to participate in our activities, such as our events or our online efforts like our Mental Health Superheroes campaign.”