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How the RACGP uses social media to build stronger connections with its audience

The RACGP uses social listening and streamlined publishing workflows to grow its audience and drive engagement—while gaining insights to inform its broader strategy.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is Australia’s largest professional general practice organisation and represents urban and rural general practitioners across the country.

The challenge

The mission of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is to champion better health for all Australians—every patient, family, and community. Just as general practice keeps Australia healthy, the RACGP's strategic priorities help support the health of the profession.

Social media plays a vital role in keeping its 41,000 members—and the wider community—informed and engaged with its valuable initiatives. Many departments across the RACGP have important information to share with its community on social media. But with content coming from a variety of sources, the social media team at the RACGP implemented a more efficient process for managing the volume of content received.

With Hootsuite Enterprise and Brandwatch, the RACGP rolled out a new social media strategy in just two months and quickly saw improvements to the RACGP’s social reach, engagement, and team efficiency.

  • 130%
    lift in engagement on Twitter and 87% on Facebook
  • 41%
    increase in LinkedIn followers
  • 95%
    active content contributors in the first three months

Streamlining workflows with scheduling and approval

The RACGP created a social media strategy that empowered its content experts to publish content securely via Hootsuite. This enabled the RACGP to streamline workflows, focus on content performance, and deliver more advanced reporting.

The RACGP is a content-rich organisation with many subject matter experts contributing valuable content to share on social media. In the past, this content was sent to the social media team by email, resulting in a lot of manual work.Following a comprehensive audit, the team decided to implement a hub-and-spoke social media model, centralising content management workflows in a social media hub but decentralising content publishing across the organisation.With the redesigned workflow, more than thirty content experts across many different departments now publish content via Hootsuite.The efficiencies gained from this new decentralised process have allowed the social team to focus on more strategic tasks such as examining the content types that are best suited to each social channel and the best times of the day to attract the most engagement.

Speeding response times with a unified social inbox

Using Hootsuite Inbox, the RACGP was able to simplify and speed up the process of responding to comments and messages from the community—a process that had previously required numerous touch points across multiple channels.

Prior to using Hootsuite the RACGP’s workflow consisted of logging in and out of multiple channels to review the comments, any questions were then emailed to relevant stakeholders to draft a response, this was then emailed back and the response could be made. This process, on average, would take more than 24 hours. By using Hootsuite Inbox, the RACGP team were able to streamline this process by assigning messages directly to the relevant stakeholder so that they could handle the query directly.

Since signing with Hootsuite, RACGP have received 22,200 public and private comments across Twitter and Facebook. Through the use of Hootsuite Inbox they were able to respond to users in a timely manner, decreasing their first response time by 16 hours.

Coordinating social content to support a broader strategic plan

At RACGP, content is now added to Hootsuite workflows by many teams—events, advocacy, practice management and technology, standards, and policy teams, to name just a few.

It’s easy to imagine that the central social media team might find it hard to prioritise which content to share to avoid overwhelming their audiences. That’s where the team’s content strategy comes into play.

“The content volume is there—the challenge for us is to make sure everybody has a voice and that we channel their content in the right way,” explained RACGP. “Our strategic plan guides where our focus should be.” The plan outlines our key content pillars and details key areas to prioritise on social media.”

The team can get a holistic view of all content in the workflow and schedule content in advance in the planner, ensuring all key content pillars are covered.

Training contributors to produce better social content

To help encourage high-performance content from content creators, the Hootsuite team delivered extensive training that focused on writing engaging social media content, as well as on the nuances of creating content for individual social media channels.

“The content training with Hootsuite was great,” said RACGP. “It has given the content creators the tools and knowledge to write more compelling social media content aligned with our brand voice. This cuts down on editing cycles, creating even more efficiencies.”

The content experts at RACGP have gained a deep appreciation for the role social media can play in promoting their work. Today, these experts are incorporating social media into their own content workflows and communications plans.

The content training with Hootsuite was great. It has given the content creators the tools and knowledge to write more compelling social media content aligned with our brand voice. This cuts down on editing cycles, creating even more efficiencies.

Using social listening and analytics to inform company strategy

In the past, the RACGP had no way to track social media campaigns effectively. With Hootsuite Enterprise and Brandwatch, the team can now tag posts and campaigns easily, monitor conversations using social listening, and provide regular reporting to stakeholders across the organisation.

When the RACGP held its annual conference online for the first time, the social media team set up a campaign for the event and trained its content experts to tag each post on social media. With the ability to collate all content performance metrics into a single report, the team noted a 20% increase in conference mentions compared to the previous year—a huge victory, considering it was their first time hosting it digitally.

RACGP also uses Hootsuite and Brandwatch to monitor crisis situations like COVID-19, track competitors, and tune in to health-related trends. For example, in 2020 the team monitored over 2,000 mentions of “telehealth” across platforms.

“We already knew that GPs felt this was a component of care that they needed to continue providing to patients,” explained RACGP. “We provided our social listening insights to validate that the wider general practice community felt the same way.”

The results

The RACGP has seen a substantial increase in its audience engagement and follower numbers. In the first year, engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn increased by 87%, 130%, and 370% respectively, and follower numbers on LinkedIn grew from 17,000 to 24,000. Instagram is a newer platform for RACGP, so it’s too early to report on these metrics, but initial results are positive.

The RACGP’s first year with Hootsuite was all about building content strategies, onboarding content experts, and empowering people to use the platform. What’s next for RACGP? The team plans to extend its social listening strategies further to inform better content.

Products used in this study

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