Five Things Every Hospital Marketer Should be Doing Right Now
Social Media in healthcare has seen a tremendous growth in the past few years. Still, it is well behind the curve of other similar sized-organizations. A little over one-quarter of all hospitals in the US have a social media profile, according to a recent study by DC Interactive Group regarding social media for hospitals. There are plenty of excuses, from staffing problems to technical dizziness. But none is acceptable anymore. Facebook has over a billion users. It’s time the healthcare industry goes with it. And the ideal person to execute this is the hospital marketer. Let’s look at healthcare consumers. About one-third of consumers use social sites for health-related matters. And these patients are sharing their experiences, with 44% of respondents saying they were likely or very likely to share a positive experience they had with a hospital. More notably, 40% said they were likely or very likely to share a negative experience they had with a hospital. So like it or not, patients are talking about your organization. Here are 5 tips every hospital marketer should be doing right now.
1. Tell Impact-full Stories from your PatientsPerhaps the greatest value of social media is the ability to quickly and easily connect with patients. From there, it’s up to the hospital marketer to make this connection meaningful. Often, the best way to accomplish this is by telling meaningful, powerful patient stories. Luckily for us, these stories already exist out there. We just have to find them. To do this, track any keyword or hashtag that relates to your organization. A third-party platform such as Topsy can facilitate this. If you don’t find much, start soliciting patient stories. From there, you can share them on Facebook, retweet them on Twitter, or write up a blog post, which you can then link to on Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, YouTube may be the best storytelling medium. There are countless ways to share positive patient experiences through social media. And the more often you do it, the easier the process will become.
2. Constant Innovating from the hospital marketerAnother benefit of social media campaigns versus traditional marketing campaigns is that you can afford to take more risks. If a marketing campaign bombs, you’ve wasted money on print materials and advertising space. But, in most cases, if a social media campaign misses the mark, you’re only real cost is the time it took to execute it. Besides, in social media taking a risk can pay off big. Here are some ideas to start innovating:
- Live-tweet a surgery
- Facebook fundraising experiments
- Set up weekly Twitter chats
- Use social media to attract new physicians and staff
- Ask a patient to live-tweet a “day in the life” at your organization