Social Media matters for more reasons than you know.
How is social media relevant to Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations?
Social Media can raise awareness, help establish a brand identity, and even make connections. Social Media can also help a business grow by finding employees, driving traffic to the business itself, and eventually raising income because of company visibility. So, if this applies to most major industries, why should Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations be out of the loop?
What are the benefits?
Social Media benefits from having massive, reputable businesses (like major hospitals) using their networks, which in turn can promote the reputation of the networking site. For example: Let’s say that Ochsner Health System in New Orleans decides to get an Instagram account. Community members know that some of the best doctors and staff members work for that system and now think that since these community figureheads use Instagram, it must be pretty sound. Then, as they become members, the fan base grows, and word of mouth begins to spread like wildfire.
On the flip-side, NPHOs can benefit from Social Media by networking with other industry leaders and potential patients, showcasing their mission and greatest assets in a visual medium, and by helping to solidify their image in the minds of other Social Media users.
How does this effect you?
If you are anyone living within the borders of the United States right now, you are (or will be) directly affected by the healthcare industry. This industry encompasses anything and everything concerning the physical welfare of our nation’s citizens. It is staggering how much this industry will play a role in your day.
Who’s using this and what are they using?
You’d be surprised by how many healthcare-related companies are using Social Media. Not only is the industry utilizing existing outlets of networking, but they are also creating new networks and communities to meet the growing impact. There are communities created by pharmaceutical or healthcare companies for a brand or corporate effort, communities exclusive to physicians or nurses, and even networks created for industry observers. The business of managing the healthcare industry’s social media endeavors is a business in itself.
What about Hospitals?
Well according to The Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Health Network:
- 1563 Hospitals total are using Social Media.
- 717 Hospitals have YouTube channels.
- 1300 Hospitals have Facebook pages.
- 1005 Hospitals have Twitter accounts.
- 653 Hospitals have LinkedIn accounts.
- 1084 Hospitals have 4Square accounts.
- 211 Hospitals have their own Blogs.
- Popular types of healthcare social media:
- Blogs: DiabetesMine, WebMD, HealthMatters, NYT HealthBlog
- Microblogs: Live Strong, Stupid Cancer
- Social Networking: OrganizedWisdom, PatientsLikeMe, DailyStrength,
- Podcasts: Johns Hopkins Medical Podcasts, Mayo Clinic Social Sharing: YouTube, ICYou
- Forums: Revolution Health Groups, Google health Group
The Mayo Clinic Case Study
The Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, NPHO practice in the world. It is also a flagship for hospitals wanting to integrate Social Media into their brand image. Apart from the group’s go-to website, The Mayo Clinic also has a site exclusive for its Social Networking efforts. At http://sharing.mayoclinic.org/, visitors can check out The Mayo Clinic’s sprawling blog and find links to all of the clinic’s Social Media accounts. The site is interactive and designed for patients, families, friends, and Mayo Clinic staff to share stories and find support as well as integrate several blogs and research announcements in one central area.
Bottom Line: Most NPHOs are about connecting with people on an emotional level and the interpersonal aspects of care. Social Media is also about people better understanding one another. It’s the perfect place to reach people where they are.
Download our Social Media & Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations eBook and better understand how to implement social media within the framework of your organization.