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Over the past two years, UW Medicine has become a leading healthcare social media presence in the Pacific Northwest region, increasing its followers 49.5% from 86,262 to 129,089 followers and gaining 152 million impressions (the number of times a post is seen across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn).

The two-person team in charge of UW Medicine’s social accounts and content helps educate and engage with the pubilc and represents the approximately 35,000 employees and faculty at UW Medicine — a responsibility they don’t take lightly.

“Our job isn’t to create stories, it’s to highlight them, and we want to highlight as much of UW Medicine as possible,” says Eder Reynoso, social media specialist. “We want to share the great work people are doing at all levels of the organization.”

With responsibilities ranging from tracking news trends to crafting posts to monitoring comments, no two days are alike for the social media team.

“Our goal is to build relationships with our followers and UW Medicine,” says Dom Lewis, senior social media strategist. “We share educational information about health and wellness on one side. On the other, we help people learn about UW Medicine by sharing the humanizing and sometimes lighter side of the health system.”

Each month, the social media team creates a calendar of posts that includes special events, health awareness and recognition days, and content requests. They then reach out to UW School of Medicine departments and UW Medicine hospitals, facilities and clinics to interview experts and collect images.

An Instagram story reads "A heart beats x tablespoons of blood per beat?" With the correct answer 4 highlighted.

Each week, the team posts a trivia Tuesday story on Instagram. This post is a fun way for followers to test their knowledge and learn fun facts about medicine.

The team collaborates with their colleagues in Strategic Marketing & Communications — writers, designers, videographers and marketers — to craft engaging posts that follow UW Medicine’s best practices and social media guidelines. Through their work, the team turns complicated medical research into easily understandable posts.

An early hand-drawn draft of a mask graphic is compared to the completed illustrated mask graphic post.

This is an early draft and final product of a post about masks. The social team started by brainstorming how to best share information on why it’s important to wear a mask (left image). This concept was then sent to the creative team to turn into a graphic. After going through review, the post was revised and polished, ultimately becoming the image on the right.

Throughout the pandemic, UW Medicine’s social media team has also helped inform the public on what the new coronavirus is, how it affects the body and how to stay safe. In addition, they’ve shared the stories of front-line employees who are working to protect our communities.

“During the early days of COVID-19, we were one of the first health systems in the Pacific Northwest to create graphics and push out essential information,” Reynoso says.

A Facebook post celebrating the work of UW Medicine environmental services employees.

This Instagram post celebrated the work of our environmental services staff and went on to receive 1,700 likes and over 100 comments. “One of my favorite types of content is highlighting people across UW Medicine. Each one of us has an important story to share and has a pivotal role,” Reynoso says.

For Lewis and Reynoso, working in social media allows them to celebrate the people that make up UW Medicine as well as play a role in improving the health of the public.

“UW Medicine is a leader,” Reynoso says. “I get to work with UW Medicine doctors to create COVID-19 content and then I see those same doctors on local and national news. It’s beyond belief that I get to be a small part of this big organization.”

Stayed tuned for Part 2 to learn social media best practices, tips and tricks.

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Editor’s Note: Updated total number of UW Medicine employees and fixed typo on Feb. 26.