Social Media in Health Care: Tricks of the Trade

When the first signs of social media surfaced in the early 2000s, who would have guessed that it would serve as the platform for how public relations and marketing operate? The reality is that social media has truly transformed each and every consumer industry in existence, and that includes health care.                                              

We have come a long way from MySpace and chat rooms.  Now, Twitter can serve as a major news source, Facebook spreads the word about your business to your community, LinkedIn enables professionals to make networking connections to individuals they would have never seen as a peer and blogging has expanded the barriers of learning. 

The trouble with this social media revolution is that the train has been trucking along for a few years now, and the health care industry is just now trying to jump aboard.  It is funny, considering most people would suspect that the medical world would be rather technologically advanced, but it is quite the opposite.  Almost every radiologist that we have met with or spoken to has voiced their interest in getting involved with social media, but the problem is that they do not even know where to begin. No one wants to devote time and energy to something that will end up having little to no return on investment, which is where we have been able to come in and save the day.

social media growth

* [Taken from our Social Media Analytics]

The proof is in the pudding, though and the sheer amount of website traffic we have generated to our website over the past few months is a direct result of our efforts.  While there is no exact recipe to follow for social media success, Shama Hyder Kabani’s book The Zen of Social Media Marketing, can serve as a great starting point.  Since the book focuses on businesses as a whole, and the health care sector of business is it’s own unique niche,we have also created a basic checklist for physicians to determine where they are on the path to social media stardom, so please feel free to reference it as a guide.

If you are still skeptical of the benefits of online media marketing, simply take a look at any of the health care blogs that have been discussing the new trends in technology, you will see that patient-friendly and physician-friendly website applications and programs are having a huge impact on where care is headed. The new frontier of personalized health care, price shopping for services, and the entire patient experience and sense of control is being put directly into the hands of patients and providers alike, in the form of their iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and iPads. So run and catch that train to success folks.