Well, I took some time and figured a few things out. Social media is a big, big place that most everyone knows about. That idea got me thinking, "where is social media strategy under-developed and what industries are just learning about the powerful impact social media can have on a brand?" Then it came to me... Healthcare.
Best practices in social media are really best practices in business.
Using social media marketing in healthcare has many positive effects, like connecting with patients and consumers on a personal level. Using social media and updating it in a timely manner also allows a healthcare company to become a leader in news and research. This is done through sharing links and articles to new studies or popular health concerns.
However, there are also fears associated with using social media for healthcare marketing. The two largest concerns are HIPAA violations and negative comments. The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media provides information on best practices and what is acceptable to share on social media networks. Hive Strategies points out that the healthcare provider can receive negative comments without the company having a social media presence, so it is important for a company to make itself part of the conversation. This gives the company the chance to reassure consumers or to realize what they, as a company, can improve to maintain consumer satisfaction.
Before this class, I knew nothing about social media marketing in healthcare. Once I dove into the information, I got more than I expected. I thought social media use in healthcare would be minimal. The three largest social media sites for healthcare providers are Facebook, Twitter, and blogging sites.
My plan is continue my research in the UK and focus more on how to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing in healthcare. I'm looking forward to visiting We Are Social and speaking with Peter Fontana. This should give me insight on how to measure whether or not the healthcare provider is connecting with its consumers via social media networks.