Healthcare Goes Social Media

Hospitals have always been conservative marketers with very controlled messages. Medical Minutes. Health screenings. Warm and fuzzy t.v. ads.

Did you ever think you’d see a hospital using tools like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to help carry their message to their potential “customers.” Well, I haven’t seen it in Des Moines yet, but it’s getting close.

Alegant Health, a hospital located in Omaha has embraced social media marketing wholeheartedly. They have their own YouTube Channel where they have posted 59 different videos that have been watched 2,169 times. Their Twitter account has 248 “followers”. They have a Facebook page that has 248 fans. They also have two blogs, a podcast center and a separate video center.

A hand with a stethoscope to give an exam
A hand with a stethoscope to give an exam

Hospitals are quickly learning that their audiences are going online for healthcare information.If they want to build strong relationships with these people, they’ve got to be there too.

Is it a new trend? Sorta. Go to www.ebennett.org and you’ll find a list of 172 hospitals that are currently using social media – including 112 YouTube channels, 75 Facebook pages, 72 Twitter accounts and 16 blogs. And that’s a very unofficial count.

The best part about social media? When done well, I doesn’t have to cost much to make it work.

Author: Tom Flynn III