PRSA of Boston hosted a summit on social media yesterday. Presenters from various industries including healthcare discussed the current state of social media as a marketing tool.
1) Have an organizational strategy
All too often, we get caught in a discussion about social media tactics (should we do Facebook or Twitter?). On an enterprise level, a company has to be in agreement on strategy and the potential risks versus rewards. This is especially critical in healthcare social media. Bruce Weinberg, Marketing and E-Commerce Department Chair at Bentley University, presented his study on social media strategies, published in the Harvard Business Review. The study analyzed companies participating in social media and grouped them into 4 categories:
• Predictive Practitioner (Clorox, which gradually entered into social media by focusing on discrete business problems in a targeted way)
• Creative Experimenter (EMC, which was willing to experiment with various social media tactics before analyzing which would be the most effective)
• Social Champion (Ford, for its Fiesta campaign that put the power in the hands of the user)
• Social Transformer (Cisco, which took an enterprise-wide approach to social media engagement)
2) Amplify your content
Marketers are both interested and perplexed by how to “extend the reach” of social media content. If you tweet at the wrong time on the wrong day, does anyone see it? How can you extend the reach of that post, or a piece of earned media coverage? Tactics discussed included:
- Sharing reactions as content – if someone responds or reacts to your post, can you turn that reaction into more content?
- Syndicating content – typically a paid approach, content can be syndicated through Facebook ads, paid links on key web pages.
- Creating groups of stakeholders who are responsible/motivated to share your content (such as GaggleAMP) – this could be users, employees or other key stakeholders.
3) Consider your audience
In healthcare, the target audience is often patients. Rhonda Mann, Chief Marketing Officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shared some insight into BIDMC’s strategies to attract patients. Mann shared a statistic from the Healthcare Research Institute that 45% of consumers say social media sources would affect their decisions – and she believes this is not generational. BIDMC finds YouTube to be the most effective in reaching patients as it allows for creative and dynamic content to be shared, while still allowing for direct customer or patient response via comments. Mann did note that security is perhaps the biggest issue in healthcare social media.
healthcare PR, public relations, Schwartz MSL, social media
Which social media channel are you using successfully reach your critical audiences? Please contact us to discuss your social media strategy.
Posted by Lauren Arnold on May 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM