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Social Media For Hospitals


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A quick overview of what every hospital communicator needs to know about social media and how to capitalize on it.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine

Social Media For Hospitals

  1. 1. What Every Hospital Needs to Know About Social Media
  2. 2. Goals 1.  Demystify social media 2.  Suggest ways to get the most out of social media
  3. 3. What is social media?
  4. 4. Social media is…   A communications channel   A conversation that happens online   Driven by advances in Internet capabilities   And by an evolution in Internet user behaviour   Enabled by a diverse (and sometimes confusing) array of online tools The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media - The Cluetrain Manifesto
  5. 5. Social media is not…   A communications strategy or tactic   A technology or an application   A fad   A youth trend   Solely for the techno-savvy
  6. 6. What is the value of social media?
  7. 7. Why it matters   More but smaller audience groups – diverse and distinctive   Connecting through mass media more difficult   Social media is common and, in some cases, ubiquitous   Audiences no longer want to be passive message recipients   Want to be ‘invited to the party’   Only true interactivity will satisfy them   Want to be heard, not just marketed to
  8. 8. What’s different   Unlike conventional advertising and most communications, you don’t completely control social media   Instead you create the conditions for it to happen and grow, like:   Building or participating in a social network   Providing content to a blogger   Uploading a video   The conversation may not involve you talking   It may simply be about you
  9. 9. Where it fits   Part of your marketing mix   Social media is a channel like:   Advertising – print, radio, TV, outdoor, etc.   Media content – releases, editorials   Static websites   Direct mail – print and electronic   Newsletters
  10. 10. Value for entire communication cycle   Research – understand your audiences   Planning – assess the communications environment   Implementation – engage your audiences   Evaluation – monitor and measure your success
  11. 11. Benefits   Greater understanding of your audiences   Deeper, more enduring connections   Potential to engage with hard to reach constituencies   Opportunities to enhance your visibility   Low cost publicity   Monitoring of communications success   How far your messages reached   How well they were received
  12. 12. Common forms of social media
  13. 13. Types of social media   Social networks   Blogs   Video, photo and file sharing   Wikis   Social gaming   Podcasts   Social media news release   Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
  14. 14. Some social media tools
  15. 15. Who uses social networks? 53% of 12-17 year olds monthly weekly daily 54% of 18-29 year olds 43% of 30-44 year olds 28% of 45-59 year olds 22% of 60+ year olds
  16. 16. How people use social networks   Connect with friends and families   Facebook   Entertainment   MySpace   Get information   Yahoo/Google Groups   Professional development   LinkedIn
  17. 17. Facebook   Highly interactive social network consisting of micro- websites for: People   Groups/organizations   Causes   Events     Instant page launch and update – no technical skills needed   Video, photos can be uploaded   Canada is 2nd largest user   200 million users worldwide
  18. 18. Hospitals and health on Facebook   Patient groups – “I was born at…”   Employee groups – University Health Network   Official hospital pages - CHEO   Causes – “Save ABC Hospital”   Foundations   Events   Disease advocacy and support groups – parents with children with diabetes
  19. 19. Facebook engagement options   Passively listen   Join groups and learn what people are saying and thinking about you and subjects related to you   Participate in conversations and supply information as needed to existing groups   Launch your own page   Link back from Facebook to your website   Explore potential for targeted advertising
  20. 20. Twitter   Micro-blog   Users ‘follow’ other members   Posts must be 140 characters or less   Example:   Men's Health Post: Vasectomies Up as the Economy Goes Down?: Reevaluating family in challengin.. cuha4o   Embedded URL enables links back to your website or other web content
  21. 21. Twitter engagement options   Use to monitor environment   Follow other health care organizations, opinion-leaders, patient advocates   Use as teaser   Drive traffic to your website   Publicize events   Maintain contact with audiences who choose to follow you
  22. 22. Blogs   Web-log  blog   Personal discussion forum/diary online   Can be news, opinion or blend   Can be professional – health care provider, administrator   Or personal – patient, caregiver   Off the shelf applications enable instant blogging – Wordpress, Google Blogger   Enables an informal conversation with audience
  23. 23. Blog engagement options   Create an ‘institutional’ blog using the voice of the organization   Build an ‘expert’ blog with commentary from CEO, chief of staff or other prominent opinion leader or use several voices to reflect diversity   Identify influential bloggers and cultivate them   Monitor relevant blogs to understand current environment
  24. 24. YouTube   Video sharing website   Users create and/or upload content   Opportunity to create ‘channel’ that users can subscribe to   Content can also be embedded in other social media   Blogs   Social media news releases   Social networks
  25. 25. YouTube engagement options   Monitor stakeholder groups – e.g. Ontario Nurses’ Association   Tone of messages   Influence - number of views, embeds   Post content as standalone videos Promotional videos   New conferences   Media coverage   Seminars/presentations     Post content as part of a channel – if you believe you will have frequent updates   Embed relevant content in social networks you participate in, especially content featuring your organization
  26. 26. Social news and bookmarking   Content ‘consolidators’ that enable users to gather, organize and share website URLs with those with similar interests   Popularity of stories and sites determined by user voting (‘digg’ a website) and comments   Value is that they help users quickly find related stories and sites – making surfing more efficient   Common sites:   Digg   Reddit   Delicius
  27. 27. Social news engagement options   Participate as a user, bookmarking sites you like and find useful – this will build your reputation as a thoughtful member of the bookmarking community   As you become a veteran community member consider inviting other members to look at your web content and recommend it   Add social bookmarks to your news releases
  28. 28. 9 basic rules Listen – pay attention to what others are talking about 1.  Be democratic – allow voices from throughout your organization 2.  to participate Let go of control – guide, don’t censor the conversation 3.  Be informal – social media speaks with a human, not a 4.  corporate voice Be useful – give people something they want so they have a 5.  reason to engage with you Be thoughtful – add to the conversation when you have 6.  something meaningful to say, not just to gain profile Soft sell – aggressive promotion will sabotage your 7.  conversations Find the influencers – a small minority of active people are 8.  responsible for much of the social media; cultivate them Be transparent – accept criticisms and respond honestly 9. 
  29. 29. 5 unavoidable facts 1.  Effective use of social media takes resources – human and financial, external or internal 2.  Just building a presence doesn’t create an audience – you need to work to cultivate one, or several 3.  Social media is only one channel – some audiences may use it less than others 4.  Just because you live and breathe health care doesn’t mean everyone else does – sometimes a dancing cat on YouTube will be more interesting than you 5.  Nothing happens overnight
  30. 30. Contact Paul McIvor Rosetta Public Relations Inc. T 416 516 7095 C 416 906 1276