Newest way to Increase Patient Volume? Location Location Location using Social Media

Harnessing GPS enabled mobile phone technology has become the hottest new marketing idea on mobile devices – can it be a profitable new idea to drive an increase in patient volume?

Foursquare is a new “darling app,” the one that most marketers and tech people believe will bring huge changes in ways people interact with each other.

The basic premise is kinda like Twitter but it gives your location when you “tweet.” It is more game-like. You can actually become “mayor” of certain locations and earn badges by “checking in.”

This kind of thing is not really new. Loopt is a friend-locating app. Google has a similar product called Latitude. Yelp and Twitter have some location innovation going on and programs like Brightkite and Gowalla are competing in this category too.

But it is the game-like piece of this that is creating such a buzz for Foursquare and lots of savvy advertisers are seeing value in it: like Pepsi, or Zagat for instance.

Soon, users of Foursquare and similar apps will check their phone to see which friends are free tonight, suggest an activity or restaurant they all have said they’d enjoy, and set up a meeting for later with a group that is doing something at the place across the street.

How can we use new ideas to drive people to early detection and wellness events? How can we ” make a game-like experience around mammograms? With hip new apps, how do we make our maternity/OB program cool to couples and their friends?

I usually write about tried and true ways to drive high-incidence high-contribution clinical volume. But today, I just want us as hospital marketers to challenge ourselves to become better and more innovative about what we do. This is the kind of thing savvy marketers are talking and thinking about.

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