Social media has more power than you might think. Not only does it help us connect with long lost friends, but it can also connect us to our favorite Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations.
Truth is, social media has come a long way since MySpace and AOL, with more than 200 social media sites, and more than 640 million users on Facebook alone. So why is this information important in the world of nonprofit healthcare?
Well, to begin with, you now have the power to expand your reach and make healthcare more personal. Having an online presence is a great way to:
A.) Advertise your brand, for FREE
B.) Connect you with other industry professionals and potential patients
C.) Lets you showcase your mission and gain a following.
D.) Interact with those you serve.
Today’s generation is very tech-savvy, and when they have a question about healthcare they immediately jump online, making it the place you want to be as well – giving you an opportunity to answer questions and build a following.
Facebook and Twitter for example, are two of the most popular social media sites out there, with Twitter overflowing with accounts that pertain to health and wellness. And with Twitter’s organized layout, it’s easy to see why people are using it for more than just social purposes.
Chris Messina invented the hashtag (#) for Twitter in 2007 as an organizational tool. It helps users find specific content that is categorized by keywords used after the hashtag.
So if you are interested in diabetes, all you have to do is search #diabetes and it will bring up the most current and relevant uses of that hashtag. It will also pull photos and different twitter accounts specifically about diabetes that you can connect with.
Another great thing about Twitter is their new addition of adding polls to your tweets. We recently tried this out for ourselves, tweeting a poll that asked what people do when they have a question regarding health or healthcare. Do they call and ask their provider directly, or do they google and search for the answers online? Our results showed that 75% of people who participated would google their health questions before picking up the phone and calling their healthcare provider.
Twitter polls are a great tool for nonprofit healthcare organization because it allows you to get immediate and honest feedback from potential patients and clients.
Live-tweeting has also been gaining momentum for multiple purposes. Some hospitals have taken to this technique by live-tweeting surgical procedures. This allows students the ability to follow along and learn the surgical process. Of course to do this, you absolutely must have consent from the patient.
Live-tweeting events has also been popular, especially for healthcare and health related conferences. Most health organizations have an online presence so they use their account, and the corresponding conference hashtag and tweet while attending. This is beneficial because it allows people to stay informed if they couldn’t attend and groups all that content in one place so it’s easy to find later.
The one thing you should take away from this is the fact that more and more people go online to find answers to their health related questions. So the best way to target those potential patients is to stay relevant and current, and you can do that by staying active on your social media.