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“Healthy” Social Media

blackboard-backgrounds-wallpapersAs with most trends, healthcare has been slow and sometimes hesitant to adopt social media best practices. We already know that not every social media platform is right for every business, or every person for that matter, so it makes sense for the healthcare industry as a whole to be hesitant. However, the times are changing and healthcare providers, organizations and vendors are engaging their customers and patients in this network of socializing, the need is becoming more prevalent.

The Mayo Clinic is a great example of healthcare organizations diving head first into social media. Their website was named the top Health Information Website in the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend survey. With a dedicated area, “Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media”, the organizations “believes individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and that it is our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices.”

Let’s take a look at how Mayo Clinic has built its success through social media…

Brand Recognition — Consistency is critical here. An organization needs to establish recognition among all its marketing channels – especially social media. Using the same profile photo and company descriptions is important to avoid confusing a follower or visitor when browsing the different channels.

Specific Mission & Values — Social media for a business organization must be done strategically. Content needs to be relevant and interesting while also being well timed. A purposeful mission is important to ensure that all activities are executed in the same direction and with the same core values being reiterated.

Patient Engagement — In 2012, It was surveyed that 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility and that parents are more likely to seek medical answers online, 22% use Facebook and 20% use YouTube. This goes back to knowing where your customers and patients are. If patients are actively seeking information online, it is important to be there for them to find you. It’s an age old concept – be there or be square!

Leadership Support — Support from the top of the chain is incredibly important. The executive level of leaders are the driving force in much of an organization’s strategies and goals. If an organization’s executive team(s) do not understand or support the value of social media being used, there is little chance for success.

Innovation — Mayo Clinic is willing to go where their patients are. With their Center for Innovation, the organization tries to stay fresh and engaging with new content through the use of video, graphics, quick posts and blogging.


Do you know of any other successful healthcare leaders in social media?

What have they done well or differently?

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