By developing and implementing a social media plan that is consistently targeted and focused on sharing your benefits (rather than your services), you can drive patient volume with social media even though other hospitals aren’t.
HealthLeaders story, Few Hospitals Use Social Media Effectively, Says Study, highlights the failure of hospitals to use social media to drive patient volume.
Nine in 10 hospitals use social media to some degree, but most of them say they’re having little luck attracting new patients with it, and only one in three has a formal social media plan in place, a new study by Greystone.Net shows.
“It is impossible to ignore the effect that social media is having on the Internet in general, and on hospitals and health systems specifically,” said Mike Schneider, executive vice president of Greystone.Net. “Organizations that have a formal plan to manage their social media interactions are more likely to be successful, and we expect more and more hospital Web departments to embrace this strategy moving forward.”
Other key research findings include:
- Monitoring social media is handled by relatively few people within a hospital’s Web department—70% report they have three or fewer people monitoring.
- Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are the most popular social media for hospitals, and also the most effective in terms of driving traffic to the Web site.
- Only 12.5% said they had had some success in attracting new patients
- Hospitals are struggling to find success with other goals of social media, with only small numbers reporting that they have been successful improving community relations (16.7%), customer service (8.7%), employee engagement (8.7%), and crisis management (4.5%).
What Can you Do? Follow these easy steps to develop your social media plan:
- Define your specific target audience
- Use specific messages to create points of differentiation
- Speak in your own personal voice
- Seek to be your audience’s #1 target
- Use your blog as the focal point
- Share your benefits and content more than your capabilities
- Systematize with clearly defined roles
- Manage with efficiency
- Be timeless in writing style
- Have an action point relevant to your target audience
By following these easy steps, you can be the first hospital in town with an effective social media strategy.