Welcome to day #15 of the blogging challenge! Today’s topic is: Why Healthcare Companies/Professionals Should Use Social Media
The healthcare industry has to be on social media because everyone else is already there. People expect to be able to access information at any time. Having a social media presence on Facebook is now as important as having a web page. It is expected.
Any trivial question can be resolved by a quick google search today. “Remember that TV show where this guy used to always say….” Yes, I look up stupid stuff like that all the time and so does everyone else I know. Now imagine something important is going on. Let’s say my son is about to have glaucoma surgery. You bet I’m online researching that!
|Tom got an iPad for his second birthday. Imagine what his generation will expect from social media!|
Now I don’t mean that I’m going to “friend” my insurance company, but I do want to be able to find them and contact them when I need to. Those in the healthcare field don’t necessarily have to be our best friends online but they should be there.
Social media is a vital part of your identity as a company. You can create real opportunities to connect with your patients/consumers through social media and there are many ways to do that.
What can the healthcare industry do with social media to engage patients/families:
- Online chats with experts/physicians. I would be wary of relying on Twitter for chats; recent studies show only 8% of online adults use Twitter. Personally, I prefer other forms of social media and just can’t be bothered with another at this point!
- Pinterest! I just love Pinterest because I can use it for promoting and educating people about this blog, as well as collecting recipes and learning about new products. Pinterest is hot and absolutely applicable to the healthcare industry. I helped a friend at a non-profit see the value of Pinterest when I shared my Blind Kids Are Awesome board with her. Now I am getting great ideas and resources from the boards she has created!
- Podcasts A podcast is a series of video or audio media that you can subscribe to or download. You can create podcasts to explain procedures, programs or a health education topic.
- Videos Put them on YouTube and then Pin it to Pinterest, add it to Stumble Upon…) I would love to see more educational podcasts about blindness and pre/post surgical information. Maybe I need to make a g-tube bolus feed video?
- Online Support Groups I belong to so many online support groups. This is where patients and families go for real user information. I use them on Facebook, Yahoo Groups, some individual websites, and a couple that are foundation based.
- Connect with Health Bloggers Maybe sponsor a blogging challenge like WEGO Health did by creating National Health Blog Post Month!
- The Usual Stuff Photo Contests, Giveaways…. People love this stuff!
What do you think? How do you use social media to manage your health/healthcare? What do you want to see?