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How Hospitals Can Amplify Their Social Media Channels

By Roman KniahynyckyjSep 10, 2010

hospital social media effortsWith the new health care reform law poised to create a more competitive health insurance market, hospitals will need to position their brand as the brand of choice for health care consumers. 

Hospitals, like many organizations, have begun to embrace social media. Ed Bennett provides a comprehensive list of social networking tools U.S. hospitals currently have in place.

If you are extending and amplifying your hospital's brand via social media, keep the below items in mind:

  1. Bring the providers to the people: As patients are always seeking to maximize time with providers like physicians, nurses, and physical therapists - a Facebook or YouTube video of a physician or other provider discussing a common treatment or procedure will help augment a time-pressed hospital visit. It also offers a provider the opportunity to refer patients to your hospital's social media sites
  2. Extend key physical assets into social media: whether it's a vastly expanded emergency room, a critical care transport service, or brand new scanning technology, be sure to feature your important physical assets in your social networking efforts through virtual tours, Google AdWords, tweets or even Facebook and smartphone apps. 
  3. Know your online audience and expand your payor mix: who is visiting your hospital's online properties? Do you want to target additional demographics? If you are a hospital that serves a larger Medicare or Medicaid patient set, you may consider optimizing your social media efforts to attract a self-pay population for services like plastic surgery or cosmetic dentistry. 
  4. Don't forget about basic blocking and tackling: if your patient satisfaction rates are low, or your clinic wait times are high, or appointments are taking too long to be scheduled, or your website hasn't been updated since the 1990's - don't worry about social media. No amount of tweeting or Facebooking will address (or cover up) core operational issues.

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photo: brykmantra

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