Ten Adams

How Hospital Marketers Can Make Health Awareness Days Work

December 17, 2021 | Digital
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Don't let FOMO interrupt your social media content calendar, instead create a strategic, intentional plan that sets the direction for your whole year.

Holidays, recognition weeks and health awareness days can be a hospital marketer’s best friend; snackable, plannable content already driven by large hashtag communities. But, when it seems like every day is some sort of special day (Lookin’ at you, May), it can create pressure to participate in everything resulting in a daily scramble for content. As with all things marketing, there should be a strategy to it.

How to make health awareness days and social media holidays successful:

  1. Collect the most important recognition dates and execute them best.
  2. Relate awareness months and holidays back to your services.
  3. Deflect content production to internal teams.
  4. Maximize participation by publishing to different content streams.
  5. Tweak and repeat.

Collecting the most important recognition dates.

In healthcare, there are a few awareness promotions your brand will always participate in. Identify these days/weeks/months early and create your best content of the year. Since these moments are usually nationally recognized, the landscape is crowded and competition for attention is tough. Patient testimonials, provider spotlights, social media contests, profile frames, Instagram gifs; do it all and do it well.

💡 Smart Idea: Not sure how to identify the “most important”? Chances are they’re already a big deal in your organization, community and healthcare industry. They’re awareness days or recognitions that impact a large part of your workforce or community and likely have large national organizations spearheading their participation.

Some examples include:

  • Heart Month
  • Doctor’s Day
  • Nurses Week
  • Hospital Week
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Relating health awareness to patient volume.

Don’t offer transplant services that drive patients to your door? Then don’t feel pressured to participate in Donate Life Month. Instead, focus your attention to drive awareness of the services you do offer and the health conditions that impact your community the most.

💡 Smart Idea: Compare your services list to an awareness calendar and put special attention on conditions that disproportionately affect your community. For example, if diabetes is prevalent in your community and you offer endocrinology services, make sure to celebrate American Diabetes Month in November.

You can accomplish this by using a combination of content sources:

  1. Use social media to drive traffic to the related service line webpages or provider profiles.
  2. Feature providers who specialize in the condition and use a CTA to help patients connect with them, i.e. ask your PCP about a referral or make an appointment directly.
  3. Theme your consumer information around the topic: publications, health library content, articles, infographics, news media features, etc.
  4. Repurpose any Google or third-party reviews on social.
  5. Monitor UGC (user-generated content) and, after getting consent, share as mini patient testimonials.

Don’t forget to use the associated hashtag(s) and tag any related organizations in each post.

Deflect content production to internal teams.

We see this a lot— one team gets featured on a hospital’s social media pages and six other teams speak up wondering why they aren’t being featured. Cue the pressure and, at this point, you might be asking, ‘But how are we going to produce content that recognizes everyone?’

Here’s where marketing can put the responsibility of coordinating and producing content, like team photos, back to service line leaders. Basically, they send the photo and marketing will publish it. Create an open dialogue around expectations, appropriate content formats and deadlines. You’ll kickstart a content generation machine and publish posts that already have an expectant audience.

Tweak and repeat.

The great thing about this strategy is that once it’s set you don’t have to reinvent it each year. Just a few tweaks and updates will keep it fresh. Use social engagement data to determine best-performing posts against least-performing posts. Take the successes with you into the next year, brainstorm how they can be improved, experiment with new app features and leave behind what didn’t work last year.

Health Awareness and Recognition Days: Your Quick List

There are a lot of different resources that can help you collect a master list of days/weeks/months for your strategy, but here’s our take on the top healthcare awareness months, hashtag holidays and recognition days/weeks:


  • #NewYear / #NewYearResolution – to promote primary care services, weight loss, tobacco cessation and annual screenings.
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month / #CervicalHealthMonth– to promote women’s health and cancer services and providers.


  • Black History Month / #BlackHistoryMonth / #BHM – to celebrate Black providers who are making an impact in their fields.
  • Heart Month / #HeartMonth – to promote primary care related to heart health and cardiovascular services and providers.


  • Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month / #ColorectalCancer – to promote cancer screenings, genetic testing and cancer services and providers.
  • Nutrition Month / #NationalNutritionMonth – to promote primary care related to healthy eating habits, weight loss and dietitian services and providers.
  • Save Your Vision Month / #SYVM – to promote optometry services and providers.
  • Women’s History Month / #WomensHistoryMonth #WomenInHistory – to promote female providers who are making an impact in their fields.
  • Athletic Trainer Month / #ATsAreHealthCare / #NATM[YEAR] – to recognize athletic trainers, their impact on the community and sports medicine related services.
  • (6th) Dentist’s Day / #DentistsDay
  • (30th) Doctor’s Day / #DoctorsDay


  • Testicular Cancer Awareness Month / #TesticularCancer / #TSCSM – to promote cancer screenings, genetic testing and cancer services and providers.
  • Donate Life Month / #DonateLife – to promote transplant services and providers and celebrate organ donor and recipient stories.
  • Volunteer Week / #NVW / #NVW[YEAR]– takes place mid to late April. Recognizes volunteers, promotes volunteer programs, services and volunteer recruitment.
  • Children’s Hospital Week / #ChildrensHospitalWeek – mostly celebrated by Children’s Network Hospitals as a fundraising week. Celebrates and recognizes all employees of the hospital and the impact they have on children’s health.


  • Women’s Health Month / #WomensHealthMonth – to promote women’s health services and providers.
  • Mental Health Month / #MentalHealthMonth / #NoHealthWithoutMentalHealth – to promote mental health services and providers.
  • Melanoma/Skin Cancer Prevention Month / #MelanomaMonday (1st Monday in May) #SkinCancerAwarenessMonth – to promote cancer screenings, cancer services and providers.
  • Stroke Month / #StrokeMonth – use to promote stroke symptoms, cardiovascular, neurology and emergency services.
  • Nurses Week / #NursesWeek – to celebrate and recognize the Nursing workforce.
  • Hospital Week / #HospitalWeek – to celebrate and recognize all employees of the hospital.


  • Men’s Health Month / #MensHealthMonth – to promote primary care and men’s health services and providers.
  • Migraine and Headache Awareness Month / #MHAM / #MHAM[YEAR] – to promote neurology services and providers.
  • Pride Month / #Pride / #LGBTQHealth – to promote LGBTQ+ healthcare services and programs.
  • (7th) Cancer Survivors Day / #NCSD[YEAR] – to celebrate cancer survivor’s stories and experiences.


  • July doesn’t have a lot of healthcare awareness or recognitions days, or they’re very specialized. Instead, we like to speak to summer topics like firework safety/pool/water safety, outdoor safety and sun safety. Primary care, urgent care, emergency services and dermatology are all great service line CTAs.


  • Neurosurgery Awareness Month / #NeurosurgeryMonth / #NeurosurgeryAwarenessMonth – to promote neurosurgery services and providers.
  • Immunization Awareness Month / #NIAM[YEAR] / #GetVaccinated – to promote adult and pediatric immunization services.


  • Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month / #GCAM / #GYNCancer / #EndWomensCancer – to promote women’s health and cancer services and providers.
  • Prostate Health Month / #ProstateCancerAwarenessMonth / #ProstateCancer – to promote men’s health and cancer services and providers.
  • Childhood Cancer Awareness Month / #ChildhoodCancer / #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth – to promote pediatric cancer services, providers and celebrate pediatric cancer patient stories.


  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month / #BreastCancerAwareness / #BCAM – to promote women’s health, mammogram, genetic testing and cancer services and providers.
  • Epilepsy Awareness Month / #EpilepsyAwareness / #NEAM[YEAR] – to promote epilepsy services and providers.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month / #DownSyndromeAwarenessMonth – to promote specialty pediatric and adult care and celebrate patient stories.
  • Pharmacists Month / #APhM[YEAR] / #PharmacistsMonth / #ThankAPharmacist– to recognize pharmacy teams and promote pharmacy services.


  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month / #LungCancerAwareness / #LungCancer – to promote cancer screenings, genetic testing, tobacco cessation programs, cancer services and providers.
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month / #PancreaticCancerAwareness – to promote cancer screenings, genetic testing, cancer services and providers.
  • American Diabetes Month / #DiabetesAwarenessMonth / #NDAM – to promote diabetes related primary care and endocrinology services and providers.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month / #AlzheimersAwareness / #ENDAlz – to promote neurology services.
  • #GivingTuesday – to promote foundations and support funds.


  • (1st) World AIDS Day / #WorldAIDSDay – to promote sexual health services, blood disorder services and providers.
  • Influenza Vaccination Week / #NIVW – usually the first full week of December. Use to promote flu shot services.
  • This list is not comprehensive (Lookin’ at you again, May), and hashtags may change year to year. There may be other special awareness promotions that are important to your community and worth recognizing on your social media channels.

One final word

Most awareness days and months, especially the national ones, have a fundraising component. Hospital marketers can use these moments to also promote related foundations like a Women’s Health Fund or Cancer Support Fund.

💡 Smart Idea: Localize your awareness content with how your hospital’s foundation is making a difference in your community and encourage your fans to give locally.

Interested in setting this strategy, and others like it, by working with social media marketing experts (who also happen to be healthcare marketing experts)? Ten Adams offers all the services and expertise your healthcare brand needs to drive successful marketing strategies with proven results. Connect with our experts.

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