Hospital CEO's Social Media Strategy: Investing in Online Conversation

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Social media strategies can be less expensive and more cost effective than traditional advertising. Companies such as Pepsi have abandoned their Super Bowl commercials and launched social media campaigns in their place. The potential to reach beyond your current customer base and expand the reach of your hospital is exponential with social media. With the right dialog, you can convince them you are the provider of choice and they will spread that word. Millions of consumers are online, waiting for you to connect with them and harness their power.

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Hospital CEO's Social Media Strategy: Investing in Online Conversation

  1. 1. Healthcare CEO's: Social Media Strategy – Investing in Online Conversation Key to Your Success MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc
  2. 2. Introduction Social Media Technology is rapidly changing how healthcare organizations communicate, collaborate and engage with their community Social networks are an essential element of today’s social and business environments. Participation growth rates for the main social media tools are nothing short of phenomenal and significantly, this growth is fairly evenly distributed across multiple demographic groups as defined by age, sex, education and income. A significant portion of the population is now using online social networks; both in their personal lives and increasingly for work. In fact the 65+ age group has experienced a 55% increase in social media use over the past five years according to the Nielson Company. In addition this same group spent over 58 hours per month online. http://blog.nielsen.com Apart from the amazing growth numbers, social media is a tectonic force at the intersection of technology and media... shifting from traditional communications like newspapers, radio, and TV. Why is this so? Unlike those prior shifts, social media allows two-way conversation between people and between people and organizations. A conversational model is significant because it allows the development of personal relationships; and with those relationships offers the opportunity to build trust and influence opinions. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 1
  3. 3. Social Media in Healthcare is Growing http://ebennett.org Social media technology offers numerous opportunities for healthcare organizations. These include fostering hospital/community collaborative efforts, growing and retaining your customer base, boosting product and strategy innovation, improving talent acquisition and retention, leveraging customer input to develop profitable new business models, and lowering costs and increasing efficiencies for PR and marketing. And not least, by being a part of the on-line conversations about your hospital, you are in a much better position to manage the risks. Healthcare organizations that ignore the social media phenomenon risk being left out of these powerful consumer conversations. Choosing to begin the planning and implementation of a social media strategy now will enable your hospital to make the most of the competitive advantages that can be gained and boost your market share over the long-term. Delaying means increasing the risk that competing organizations will move first, thus gaining the advantage, losing customers as they engage online. Does your organization have a comprehensive strategy in place that can deliver specific healthcare solutions? Is your organization ready to move? Do you understand the ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 2
  4. 4. challenges involved? Do you understand the common mistakes and missteps others have made? Have you researched and addressed the special concerns social media has for healthcare organizations? Will you be able to measure your progress against your goals? We can help you answer these and other critical questions, recommend strategies, implement components and assist with integration issues. Four Critical Social Media Concepts Concept #1: Social Media is a Process Instead of watching a commercial or visiting a website, social media lets the customer engage, comment, and influence products and service. It’s interactive, an exchange of ideas, insights and collaboration toward a better patient experience. It is a long term process to build your community of users, friends and fans and develop their trust. It's investing in a long-term relationship through conversation- key to our connection to the customer. Be open to let the community-your customers influence your service. Concept #2: Marketing Shifts to Voice of the Patient The new online generation doesn’t read papers, they fast-forward through commercials. Why? Because they want to be heard, listened to, and help shape their world. For your business or organizations, this means shifting from pushing out your messages to participating in online conversations and shaping the messaging to incorporate the needs and desires of your customers. Social media then becomes an adaptive technology for your organization, letting you constantly poll the views of your customers and adjust your messaging as needed. Empower the patient’s voice – 0pen up to let your customers market for you. Most referrals in healthcare are word of mouth; satisfied patients tell their friends and neighbors about their experiences. Hosting a social media platform provides an additional venue for these word-of-mouth referrals. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 3
  5. 5. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 4
  6. 6. Concept #3: Social Media vs. Digital Marketing? Social Media Strategy EARNS on-line and off-line coverage whereas Digital Marketing BUYS on-line and off-line coverage. Digital Marketing like websites and mobile phone text messages push out to customers but do not invite customer comments, share their opinions about your products and services or allow cross-sharing of various media such as images and video with other customers. The message with social media is that you care about your patients and future customers. You are interested in their voice. Concept #4: Empower Patients with Medical “Shopping Skills” As shown in the chart below, recommendations from family and friends are the most powerful forms of influence, followed by experts and independent reviews. Why? It’s all about trust when facing health issues. Historically, birth, sickness and dying were community events where relatives and community gathered round these events for support. Everyone knew the town doctors. Today’s patients are vulnerable and face life- changing events often alone. Online patients gather support from others online who share in their same disease or health condition. They search online for information and often trust information from friends, family and even unknown sources of information. Lacking access to data, your consumers need you to arm them with expert resources so they can make informed decisions. Tell them how you would choose a surgeon for your ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 5
  7. 7. child. Don’t just refer your customers to available online statistics and quality measures such as Leapfrog or AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). Teach them what measures to look for and how to interpret data. You will soon become their trusted source for medical information. Source: Jan 2009, Asia’s Top Digital Brands TNS/Media Magazine (n=3001) Reduce Costs and Drive Business with Social Media Benefit #1: Become a Trusted Partner in Care Social media lets your healthcare organization the home for you to nurture this trust over time through online relationship building with your customers. You offer a home for patients and potential customers to come to find partners in their care. Benefit #2: Maximize Your Healthcare Marketing Efforts Social media strategies can be less expensive and more cost effective than traditional advertising. Companies such as Pepsi have abandoned their Super Bowl commercials and launched social media campaigns in their place. The potential to reach beyond your current customer base and expand the reach of your hospital is exponential with social ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 6
  8. 8. media. With the right dialog, you can convince them you are the provider of choice and they will spread that word. Millions of consumers are online, waiting for you to connect with them and harness their power. Benefit #3: Show Pro-Active and Caring Response to Patient Concerns Fear of what could be said on social media about your hospital may be holding you back. The problem is your customers are already talking about you in the church parking lot or at the local coffee shop. By being engaged on-line with your customers, you can stay on top of customer complaints and respond to issues and concerns quickly. Demonstrate how you listen to customers and respond to improve your performance to the greater online audience. Show how you are pro-active in safe, quality care. Benefit #4: Promote Your Revenue Rich Quality Centers of Excellence Promote your most profitable service lines; clinical specialties, new technologies, “star surgeons”, and more. Be the resource, the preferred hospital that the online community points to. Become your regions expert “Centers of Excellence.” Reposition less profitable service areas to meet under-served customer demands. Drive traffic to appropriate care venues. For example shift ER patients to clinic visits for flu treatment, bring MRI volume back showing you offer the best technology. Benefit #5: Market Research Stays Relevant and Current to Your Patients Social media makes market research inexpensive. In addition, you get information directly from your consumer which makes even more valuable. Consumer analytics lie within online conversation as well as web traffic data. Gather information by monitoring traffic to pick up new consumer trends and needs. Social media will provide your clinicians a window to their patient’s desires and health behaviors before and after care. Benefit #6: Preventive Health Information and Education Platform Help improve the general health of your community by hosting on-line groups, posting reminders for care/medication regimes for chronic conditions, presenting disease awareness and prevention programs, and more. Partner with public health resources and promote awareness of community resources. Benefit #7: Prevent non-reimbursement /payments by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Educate your staff using podcasts, forums and other applications that prevent adverse events, focus on patient safety, and lower medication errors through education, and best practices. Create awareness and educate staff to address CMS performance ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 7
  9. 9. standards. Give transparency to your performance for staff to motivate improvement and customers see your effort to exceed expectations. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 8
  10. 10. Potential "gotchas" for Healthcare Executives Common Mistake #1: Focusing too much on social media tactics such as launching Facebook pages, Twittering Some organizations may get lucky and create buzz by launching Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc. However, there are risks without a well thought-out strategy. Social media is quite powerful if done by building trust, brand recognition, and demonstrating customer service. Social media needs to start with a well thought-out strategy, promotion and implementation. Sufficient resources, software and technical support and top level commitment are key to long term success. Common Mistake #2: Not building in the measures for success. Social media is a process – not a platform. Understanding the objectives and building the tools that will automate the collection of the data through automation is critical to the process. Tools and platforms are available to measure and monitor the activity to best understand what is working and refine what is not working will get the best return on investment. GETTING STARTED Getting started is relatively easy. Developing a strategy is the key to success. Here are a few things to think about as you get things rolling. 1. Develop a strategy that can go forward within the next 18 to 24 months. 2. Determine whether or not you have the skills in-house to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy. If you decide to bring in an outside consulting firm, it is critical to retain one who understands the healthcare business. 3. Use the 80/20 rule. First target those areas that will have high impact for your organization and that have high probability of success. 4. Remember to focus on developing process, structure and communications prior to implementing tactics. 5. Make sure all parties involved understand that building a community of loyal users, friends and fans and earning their trust is a long term process. 6. Ensure that risk management is an integral part of your overall strategy. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 9
  11. 11. STRATEGIZE AND PLAN Does your organization have a comprehensive strategy in place that can deliver specific healthcare solutions? Is your organization ready to move? Do you understand the challenges involved? Do you understand the common mistakes and missteps others have made? Have you researched and addressed the special concerns social media has for healthcare organizations? Will you be able to measure your progress against your goals? We can help you answer these and other critical questions, recommend strategies, implement components and assist with integration issues. The time to start is now. Ignoring social media opportunities cedes the advantage to your competitors. In addition to a significant return on your investment, you will reach a new generation and begin the process of building loyalty. The potential benefits are huge and the risks are manageable. About MyHealthCommunity (MHC) is a service and platform company. MHC is dedicated to serving hospitals and hospital enterprises with services and platforms to increase patient satisfaction, reduce costs, build your brand and provide patient education through social media. MHC has brought together healthcare and social media experts that understand the hospital industry. Our team is ready to help you get started with a social media solution. Sales@myhealthcommunity.net ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 10
  12. 12. Appendix A: Map a Successful Strategy Each healthcare organization has a unique set of factors to consider when planning a social media strategy. Cookie-cutter strategies lead to dead ends. However, a common process for designing a strategy can be applied with success. Use the following roadmap as a starting point: 1. Understand Social Engagement with your Customer/ Community. a. What it is, why it matters, who your customers are. b. Target which customers you need to build new or different relationships with. 2. Define your organizational objectives a. What are your desired results with an investment in social technology? b. What are the desired results that your organization wants to achieve? c. How should you incorporate your vision and mission statement into this strategy? 3. Understand and profile your customer a. Who your different customers are including your current relationships, engagement and levels of trust with each type of customer. b. Define target customer you need to build new or different relationships with. c. Which targeted customers will be best served by which social media? d. Who are the best initial targets for the first 6 to 9 months? e. What is the best way to engage with them? Match social media to customer needs. f. What services and information are they most interested in and how do they want to get it? g. Prioritize which customers to target first. 4. Match your Customer Communications with Customer Needs and Desires a. What do you want to communicate, to whom, in what way? b. How are you communicating today – phone, direct mail, face-to-face, and so on? How are measuring the success of your communications? What is working and not working today? c. Do you want to educate, inform, guide, motivate, connect, position, with your customer? d. Which social media tools are most effective for your purposes? e. What sort of messaging will best resonate with your target audience? 5. Select your social media platform and/or tools a. Do you need a platform, or just a selection of tools? b. How do you evaluate available platforms? c. Are there any platforms designed specifically for healthcare organizations? ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 11
  13. 13. d. How can you effectively use Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc? e. How does your social media strategy integrate with your existing web site? f. How much content control do you need, and why? What are the benefits and costs involved? Who will generate content? 6. Understand how HIPPA regulations may affect your strategy a. How will you protect protected patient information (PHI)? Advise and educate users how to converse with medical information and protect their privacy or patient’s privacy. Build guidelines and social media policy. Develop a process to protect PHI. b. What information will be posted? Who should post the information? Will there be checks? Will the rules be different for patient-specific clinical information vs. general health information? Require anonymous user names. c. What administrative tools do you need to protect patient information? Different user levels with assigned permissions? Approval process for content and tools. d. What are your liabilities and how do you mitigate risk? 7. Determine and address your potential legal issues a. What are the potential liabilities for your organization and how can you best mitigate them? b. Do you need to write up new member agreement, terms of use, and disclaimer documents, or will existing (web site) documents work? c. What issues are specific for your medical staff; for your employees? 8. Get your champions on-board a. Develop your champions with skills to connect with your target audience? b. Who are the thought leaders? Who are your superstars, “The Heart Doctor” or “Sleep Expert”? Researchers on the cutting edge of medical solutions? c. Can you identify healthcare champions and stakeholders in the community to partner with? d. Do you have staff that are both passionate and want to participate? e. What are the staffing requirements in terms of skills and time investment? 9. Develop your internal processes and plans a. What are your budgetary requirements? b. What are your short-term and long-term goals? Clinical areas projected to grow or losing volume? Consider which areas need to recruit doctors/staff to build expertise. c. What organizational impact will implementing social media initiatives have? d. What executive/board support is required? e. Who will be the corporate sponsor(s)? Will there be a social media strategic advisory group? Will there be medical staff and clinical representation? Who will run it and be accountable? ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 12
  14. 14. 10. Determine how to measure your progress against your objectives a. What information is required to measure results? What metrics will you use? b. What are your baseline measurements? c. What measurement tools are available? How will you quantify success? 11. Tactics a. platforms b. security c. process d. controls e. measurement The time to start is now. Ignoring social media opportunities cedes the advantage to your competitors. The potential benefits are huge and the risks are manageable. 12. Develop a strategy that can be carried out over the next 18 to 24 months. 13. Determine whether or not you have the skills in-house to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy. If you decide to bring in an outside consulting firm, it is critical that they have healthcare experience. 14. Use the 80/20 rule. First target those areas that will have high impact for your organization and that have high probability of success. 15. Remember to focus on developing process, structure and communications prior to implementing tactics. 16. Make sure all parties involved understand that building a community of loyal users, friends and fans and earning their trust is a long term process. 17. Ensure that risk management is an integral part of your overall strategy. ______________________________________________________________________________________ MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc, 135 Market St., Portsmouth, NH, 03841 603-553-2997 www.myhealthcommunity.net 13

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