Strategic Social Media for Health Care (#socialhc)

by Bradley Jobling on August 1, 2010

The Strategic Social Media for Health Care conference was held on August 26th. My contribution to this was I was “what’s hot and what’s not” in social media for health care.

Patient communications through Facebook and Twitter is hot. Patient online support groups are hot. What’s not so hot are the physician social networks. From anecdotal evidence, physicians aren’t using them. The conversations that take place on these networks seems to be as mundane as those on average bulletin boards. For me, the next goal with social media is determining a way to reach physicians within the online sites or services they use. The presentation that I gave is embedded below.

There were so many great lessons and best practices. It would be difficult to catch all of them. For a quick and easy summary I will try to bullet point these.

Lee Aase @leeaase – Mayo Clinic; Rochester, MN

  • Your social media message should be an extension of your institutions values and marketing efforts.
  • Facebook and Twitter may change, but social media is here to stay. It has overtaken the previously number one activity on the Web, adult entertainment.
  • HD Web cameras such as the Flip or Kodak ZI8 are a great way to capture social media content. Video sound bytes from doctors and patients are extremely valuable. These can be caught on the go without the need for expensive equipment or difficult to schedule executive appointments.
  • The Mayo Clinic Social Media Policy for Employees is a great start for creating your own social media policies.

Brett Pollard @bpollard – Alert Prescence

  • Facebook is great for employee morale. Positive comments from the patients serve as a reminder to and encouragement for the importance of any health care job, the patients.This is a great reason why organizations should not block access to social media.
  • Social media is all about humanizing the organization.
  • Since June 2009 there has been a 400% growth of hospitals using social media.
  • It is important to have people who understand health care and social media running your program. With all of the legal issues in the field, it’s easy to make mistakes.
  • It’s a good idea to add the social media manager contact information on your Facebook page. This is the ultimate in being social.
  • The maximum size for Facebook logo is 200 by 600 pixels. Since only the upper portion of this will show up on your posts, you want to design this in a manner so the top part looks good by itself.
  • Social media properties should be promoted across newsletters and all marketing collateral.
  • Women are the largest consumers of health care information and the main decision makers in health care.
  • Every employee can work in the marketing department. Empower them to be social media advocates.

Mark Miller @mmiller20910 – Children’s National Medical Center; Washington, DC

  • Employees are the key to social media success. It’s important to get them involved.
  • Childrens’ hospitals generate larger social networks than other health communities.
  • Money can be raised through social media. This does not mean that millions of dollars, yet thousands can be collected online.
  • The use of direct mail and email communications together encourages more generous gifts from donors.
  • The average online gift amount is $75.00

Eric Brody @ericbrody – Healthy Conversations

  • The blog should be the centerpiece of any social media strategy. Most hospitals do not have a blog. According to Ed Bennett’s Found in Cache, only 95 out of the approximately 4,000 hospitals in the U.S. have blog.
  • A blog is a low cost tool for marketing and branding.
  • Blogs build trust and attach patients to hospitals.
  • A great example of a hospital blog is Hospital Impact
  • The blog contents should be about adding value to your community.
  • Your blog entry titles should use the terms on which people search.
  • Having the correct content on your blog becomes more important as more and more online content is being created.

Vince Golla @vincegolla & Holly Potter @htpotter – Kaiser Permanente; San Francisco, CA

  • Kaiser services up 21 million lab results per year for their members. This is their most popular Web feature.
  • Kaiser feels that it is important to connect with people who have influence as opposed to focusing only on networks.
  • Kaiser uses an internal Facebook for employees with a document repository to facilitate employee-to-employee communication. This is another reason why employee social media access should not be restricted.
  • Organizations should make an effort to pitch to both traditional media and top bloggers.

Paul C. Cebulak – Yelp; New York, NY

  • Yelp was started because the founder wanted to find a doctor.
  • 5% of reviews on Yelp are health related.
  • Over 85% of reviews on Yelp are positive, therefore business owners have little to fear from user reviews.
  • biz.yelp.com are tools for business owners regarding their business information.

Susannah Fox @SusannahFox – Pew Internet; Washington, DC

  • People with chronic disease are less likely to be online. Yet those who are will be very engaged.
  • Many Americans are not on social networks, but it makes sense to plan for the future.
  • Mobile has breached the digital device as more people from all economic levels have phones with Internet access.
  • At least half of all people with heart conditions and diabetes look for information online.c For cancer this number is 65%.
  • Proctor & Gamble has cut down on it’s use of market research and surveys listening to social media instead.

Marie Mahoney & Thurston Hatcher – Rush University Medical Center; Chicago, IL

  • One of the most important things you can do as a hospital is to listen.

Brian Charlonis @BrianCharlonis – Danbury Hospital; Danbury, CT

  • ROI for social media is measurable. It’s important because that is what the finance managers understand.
  • There is a difference between soft ROI and hard ROI. Soft ROI deals with goodwill, re-tweets and positive posts. Hard ROI is new patients or extra services sold.
  • To measure soft ROI look for spikes in site traffic when social media campaigns or events are taking place. Hard ROI is measured by trackable results or entries.
  • Track the number of followers who come from Web sites or social media through your entire referral process.

Kevin Dean @kevinjdean – Priority Health; Grand Rapids, MI

  • $3.1 billion will be spent on social media in 2012.
  • Social media information should be integrated into your CRM systems.
  • Use OODA loops in your social media monitoring practice: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
  • Sentiment analysis is still too unreliable to be taken seriously.
  • The biggest cost of social media is the human capital involved.
  • Viral Heat is one of the best low cost social media monitoring tools available
  • 2/3 of all Web users will be on social networks by 2014.

Nicola Ziady @nicolaziady – Case Western Reserve University Department of Medicine; Cleveland, OH

  • SEO is important in the naming of your Facebook page. Also, use your Facebook page “about box” wisely.
  • Organic search is more important than sponsored search. People are skeptical of sponsored search.
  • Put the transcript of the video in the You Tube transcript field. This helps with search.
  • Put the word “Video” in the title of the video.
  • Keywords should be in the 1st sentence and last paragraph of any blog posts.
  • Google looks at the first 40 characters of Tweets for SEO purposes.

Melissa Tizon @melissatizon – Swedish Medical Center; Seattle, WA

  • Swedish Hospital has cut back drastically on traditional marketing and advertising.
  • Swedish held a cutest baby contest where previous “Swedish babies” were posted on their Facebook page. These pictures were then used to create a portfolio of babies on a Microsoft surface table that were placed in the maternity area of a local Nordstrom store.
  • Swedish has had excellent success with mob videos. This one was created for the hospital’s 100th anniversary.

There were some other excellent speakers who I unfortunately was not able to catch in my notes. Their contribution to the conference was invaluable.

  • Garrick Throckmorton @memorialcareers – Memorial University Medical Center; Savannah, GA
  • Andrew J. Snyder @stjoemed – Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center; South Bend, IN
  • Lindahl Wiegand – Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center; South Bend, IN
Brad Jobling

I appreciate all of the people who Tweeted about this conference using the #socialhc hashtag. I used this feed to recollect many of the great discussions at the conference. If I have made any mistakes, please feel free to send me a correction at @bradjobling or by using the Contact Me form on this blog.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brett Pollard August 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Thanks for the great summary, Brad. This is a very useful resource. I am planning on writing a brief summary as well today so I will link to this article.

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