With nearly 75 percent of American adults using at least one social network—half of whom belong to more than one—there is no doubt that social media has ha (From Med School to Patient Care, Social Media is Changing Things Up in the Healthcare Industry:...
Every hospital engaged in Social Media should have a Social Media Policy along with other policies and procedures. This blog post discusses the team that should (Crafting a Social Media Policy in Healthcare: Who needs to be at the table?
As an experiment, I immersed myself in social media for the past three months. I started this blog, joined Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, bought a domain name, and posted on Facebook for the first time in years. Even within this short period of time, I reaped tangible benefits: I interacted with top physicians from across the …
A recent survey of cancer patients by Patient Power yielded amazingly powerful results. Almost 1300 patients responded to the survey, 72% from the US and the rest from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
Social networks are changing the way people manage their healthcare. Many healthcare consumers are using social media as a way to find information and make decisions about their health coverage options. This means they’re sharing their experiences with an extended, online network of friends and family—as well as their healthcare providers, making social networks important venues for health plan member communications.
Consider what two recent studies uncovered about social media and healthcare:
- 42% of respondents from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2012 Health Research Institute Social Media Consumer Survey said they are likely to trust health information posted online through social media by a health insurance company, and 24% have posted about their health experiences using social media.- 38% of 18-24 year olds and 28% of 25-34 year olds in the PwC survey indicated they would post reviews of medications, treatments, doctors, or health insurers, suggesting future growth and ongoing opportunities to interact with policyholders online.- Of the health plans ranked in EveryMove’s top 100 U.S. health insurance companies on how they engage with consumers to manage their own health via websites, apps, social media, and incentive programs, 97 used both Twitter and LinkedIn, 87 were on Facebook, and 81 had a presence on YouTube.
Whether or not your company is already engaging with your members on social networks, be sure to include these important components in your health plans’ social media strategy:
1. Defined Goals
Healthcare organizations are using social media sites to promote their brand and build loyalty, create transparency, share educational content, manage their reputation, and provide member service. What are your areas of focus? What are you looking to achieve as a result of your social media activities?
For example, you may have an organizational goal to increase engagement with the tools on your online member portal, so you set out to promote them with how-to videos posted to YouTube and shared via Facebook and Twitter. You plan to post one video each week for six weeks and hope to get 500 views of each video by the end of the third quarter, resulting in 25% more policyholders accessing the tools by the end of the year. With these targets in mind, your team can find the right balance of posts-to-clicks and determine if there is more they need to do (e.g. run a direct mail campaign) to experience results.
2. A Dedicated Team
Determine who will be responsible for maintaining your health plan’s social media accounts—creating a schedule, developing content, posting, monitoring, reporting, and evaluating, You may use your internal marketing communications department or hire an outside marketing agency with social media expertise, or maybe you will assemble a team from among various departments and elect one individual as the primary social media officer. Every employee involved in your social media strategy should understand your company’s objectives and grasp their role in carrying them out.
3. Written Social Media Guidelines
Not only does a formal policy cover legal concerns, but it keep employees on the same page. It’s critical that everyone at your company understands your organization’s expectations regarding appropriate personal and professional use of social networks, use of health plan name and logos, and procedures for managing comments and complaints. Of course, you’ll want to consult with a corporate lawyer and ensure you’re following best practices. Learn more about developing social media guidelines atSocialMediaToday.
4. Sharable Content
A cornerstone of social networking is sharing—so providing content your community will want to share with their contacts will help build your brand as well as boost your value as a trusted and relevant resource. You may want to mix things up with a combination of fun, educational, and more heavy-hitting items, posting a variety of content to appeal to a range of people. What types of content is appropriate for each network and audience? What can you share that supports your goals? What can be created in-house vs. outsourced?
Some examples of content your community might want to share: ebook containing healthy recipes, blog article containing tips for staying healthy while traveling, video explaining the benefits of immunizations, podcast about maximizing wellness benefits, questionnaire for new parents to bring to their first baby well visit, answers to frequently-asked questions, etc.
Technology changes quickly, and people follow. What’s trending today might become yesterday’s news. Keep in mind that your social media strategy should be nimble enough to accommodate changes. This could mean maintaining a readiness to join a new social network or having a plan for crisis control.
With a big part of healthcare IT devoted to consumer engagement, it’s a good idea to incorporate social media into your member relations. Not only are your members coming to expect it, but it’s a great way for your health plan to embrace a more patient-centric business model and ensure your company remains competitive and user-friendly for years to come.
After just three doses of an experimental drug, Josh Hardy -- whose parents had to launch a media campaign to get him the medicine -- is sitting up, doing homework and playing board games with his brothers, his mother said.
Dean Berg's insight:
Great story on the potential impact of social media in healthcare.
We often make the point that LinkedIn has a business and professional flare that is a “natural” for showcasing the expertise of doctors and hospital executives. LinkedIn’s newly expanded publishing feature presents even greater opportunity for content creation and reputation management.
LinkedIn began as an online executive resume/job board just over a decade ago. An individual’s biographical information remains important, but executive and business profiles are only part of a robust presentation of skills and expertise.
Personal publishing via LinkedIn generates content for their profile page and is widely available to nearly 280 other site users. LinkedIn new “Definitive Professional Publishing Platform” is especially well suited for physicians and health industry executives to create and present authoritative content for several reasons. Physicians and healthcare executives:
Have a credentialed expertise that can influence othersShare knowledge that extends professional reputationsAre often thought leaders in medical science and healthcare delivery
“LinkedIn is opening up our publishing platform to our members, giving them a powerful new way to build their professional brand,” the company announced. “When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile, is shared with their trusted network and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals ever assembled.”
LinkedIn has opened the doors of the previously restricted “Influencer” posts. “LinkedIn Influencer started in fall of 2012 and features top voices in business like Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and Bill Gates.
“The expertise they have shared through their Influencer posts has resonated in a meaningful way with LinkedIn members and is fueling business conversations. The average Influencer post drives more than 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments. By any measure, this is a remarkably high level of engagement for digital content.”
More than most other social media platforms, LinkedIn allows physicians and communications professionals to showcase the business side of their career and work. And ultimately, this enhances their personal branding and extends professional reputation.
Georgia hospitals using social media The Augusta Chronicle Emmy's treatment and recovery required an extended stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital.
As hospitals wrangle with the question of how to improve consumer satisfaction as a trend in healthcare, New York Presbyterian Hospital got some ideas by hosting a weekend hackathon. The challenge? Improve the hospital’s online patient portal, myNYP, which helps patients track health records and schedule doctors’ appointments.
About 16 teams responded to the throw down. They were guided by a set of criteria such as ease of use for patients, clear design, whether it’s a new idea and the usefulness to the hospital and patients, according to its website.
Recently, I wrote a post about Dr. Kate Burke, an emergency physician who uses video in her practice, shooting clips for patients at the end of an emergency room visit explaining the treatment and what to do upon getting home....
Wall Street Journal (blog) One Thing Drug Companies Won't Do On Social Media Wall Street Journal (blog) Tweet this: As drug makers experiment with the use of social media to engage consumers, they are decidedly reluctant to use these tools to...
It’s safe to say that social media is here to stay. Facebook recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and there’s no end in sight. Countless other interactive platforms are sprouting up on a regular basis, making it nearly impossible to determine where your time should be spent developing content and connecting with healthcare consumers.
The American Marketing Association’s Marketing News journal even refers to social media as “old-school.” Social engagement has transitioned from being a shiny, new object to a customer service and healthcare marketing necessity.
Many brands — particularly in healthcare — find social media to be intriguing, yet illusive. Valuable, but not quite sure how to successfully utilize the social networking websites. And how exactly do you measure success anyway? Algorithms are constantly changing. New Apps are developed at lightning speed. The rules of engagement are being rewritten every year.