Just because someone jumps into the water, doesn’t mean they can swim. Many hospitals are figuratively doing just that, and finding out that there’s more to the social media ocean than what appears on the surface. There are, however, specific things that hospitals can do to successfully utilize social media in reaching distant lands of opportunity.
According to a recent study, most hospitals already have social accounts; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. YouTube has increased traffic to hospital websites by 119%.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that these platforms are being used to their full capabilities. In fact, according to professors from the University of Virginia and MIT, hospitals are commonly underutilizing social media, even heading in the wrong direction.
- Be Patient Focused. Have a patient-oriented focus. Use social media to touch individuals online with offered services, advice and tips. Providers can tailor their content to specific needs that affect their patients locally, as well as educating them on global concerns and innovations.
- Listen to Feedback. Recruit patients and their families to advise the organization. Review sites such as Yelp are ideal for this kind of input. Find out what past, present, and future patients need and look for in a healthcare provider. It is also an ideal way to respond in a more direct, and personal way that shows that even a large hospital can care about the individuals that it serves.
- Keep it Simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, by using only consumer-grade video cameras, even just a smartphone, and an organization can post in
formative and engaging videos on YouTube.
- Get Blogging! Blogs are all the rage right now, and everyone seems to have one. Not only is it a great way to post up-to-date news and announcements, but it also works towards increasing your SEO ranking.
- Mix It Up! Utilize different platforms. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Yelp, by standardizing the look and feel, a consistent brand identity is created. Try cross-posting information, articles, and videos across different channels of media.
- Be Visual! Impact people on an emotional level by using pictures and graphics to emphasize the information you’re trying to impart. The human brain analyzes images tens of thousands of times faster than text.
It may take time and resources to make full use of all available social outlets. However, what’s vital to realize is that online is where an increasing number of patients are spending large amounts of time. So, feel free to jump in; the water’s just fine!Click Here to see how hospitals in Denmark are using video!