10 Social Media Promotion Ideas For Hospitals (Part 2)

(Ideas 6-10 continued…)

6.  SHARING HEALTH TIPS – The Children’s Hospital of Alabama corporate communications department developed a social media strategy using Facebook and Twitter, and targeting both internal and external audiences. The hospital shares health tips and statistics on a daily basis, getting the community involved with its Health and Wellness campaign.  A key messaging tool is past patient testimonials.  “I think it is vital to a health care organization’s success to engage both their employees and the public in effective messaging,” said Rachel Olis, corporate communications coordinator for Children’s.  “Corporate communications departments can be the link between reputation, credibility and effectiveness. In today’s changing health care world, it is vital that the correct message gets to the correct audience — a communications team is the piece of the puzzle that can get that done.”

7.  NEW MEDICAL SOCIAL NETWORKING COMMUNITY – The MAYO Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has been one of the biggest proponents of Social Media use by hospitals.  Mayo Clinic Social Media Manager Lee Aase said, “for more than 100 years, the most important factor responsible for patient preference for Mayo Clinic has been word of mouth; satisfied patients telling their friends and neighbors about their experiences.” “We’ve had strong data on that point, and that news media stories and physician recommendations are the second and third most significant reasons for Mayo Clinic preference,” Aase said. “So in our case it wasn’t a ‘prove the value in advance’ situation. We emphasized that social media are just the way word of mouth happens in the 21st century.”  On July 11, 2011, The Mayo Clinic launched the first free, open social networking community.  With Mayo’s 500,000 patients and 50,000 employees and students around the world, the social community is aimed at “connect[ing] patients with each other and with others interested in learning more about Mayo Clinic or a particular health interest,” according to the Mayo website.

8.  VIDEOS ON MANY TOPICS – The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, has a YouTube Channel with a very large and diverse mix of videos primarily geared towards patients and consumers. A recent video shows one of their doctors explaining next steps for patients diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many of the videos address conditions patients may be dealing with such as liver cancer, warfarin and neuroendocrine tumors – with doctors explaining options for treatment.  One of the many fascinating videos is a brief overview of the milestones in stem cell research over the past 100 years.  To date, the hospital has 765 YouTube channel subscribers and 290,000 total upload views.

9.  CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS – Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, found a very unusual and somewhat terrifying way to use its Social Media connections for crisis communications during the Ft. Hood shootings in 2009.  Scott and White is one of the hospitals which provide services to Fort Hood, and on that day 10 victims of the shooting attack were immediately sent to their Emergency Department.  As the shootings were occurring, Scott & White began posting messages on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. This was followed by a continuous string of updates that included information on emergency room access, hospital operation status, re-tweets from the Red Cross, dialog with local reporters and other resources for visitors.  In addition to Twitter and Facebook, Scott & White used their Blog and YouTube to keep people informed.

10.  PARTNER WITH A SPORTS FIGURE FOR HEALTH – The Innova Healthcare System started an innovative Facebook page called FIT FOR 50, which includes a number of specific “challenges.”   FIT FOR SUMMER, for example, is an interactive page with former NFL Washington Redskins player, Darrell Green.   This web-based fitness program is designed to keep people fit during the hot days of summer.   Friends of the page are encouraged to register to gain access to exclusive health and fitness videos from Darrell Green and Inova physicians.   Also, people can set their own personal wellness goals and track their daily progress in their very own online playbook.