A Guide to Using Social Media in the Health Industry
More than 1 in 3 people use social media to look forinformation on healthcare.It is more important than ever that healthcare organisationstake advantage of social media in order to better promotetheir products and services and build lasting relationships withtheir customer base.
Implement the networking tools in line with your medical trainingprogram. Healthcare training is a complex process Being able to leverage the power of social media can providesignificant benefits to the training experience. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and medical specificcommunities like Sermo give students and teachers a place toshare and collaborate on information As well as an opportunity to ask questions and increase theirknowledge. The live response nature of Twitter gives presenters the chanceto receive immediate feedback, useful if the information isunclear or if more guidance is needed. Social media sites also provide a platform for healthcareorganisations to share their communications and marketingefforts to a wider audience Make use of presentations, videos, slideshows and pictures.
More and more journalists are using social mediain order to source and break stories quicker Social sites are often ahead of traditional printmedia in being able to provide live stories andreaction to news across the world. Social media channels are a highly effectivemeans to generating media coverage and storieson the issues prevalent to your organisation. With global healthcare a widely discussed issue,this can be successful in getting the voice andthoughts of healthcare organisations out to awider audience. Make use of social network sites, blogs andforums to share information and enhance yourhealthcare PR
Healthcare and aid organisations are oftenpushed to the forefront during times of crisis. Natural disasters like floods and earthquakesplace hospitals and other healthcareorganisations at the centre. Social media allows for real timecommunications and updates to be provided toall those affected or concerned by the incident Social media ensures important informationreaches those needing it, in a timely andconvenient manner.
Social media can help in providing access tothe inner workings of healthcareorganisations. By giving the general public a glimpse ofwhat goes on behind the scenes, social mediacan aid in raising awareness for a healthcareorganisation or particular health issue. One hospital even went so far as to livetweet a procedure which drew in doctors andmedical students from around the world tofollow the event.
Close to 75% of patients use the internet to source medicalinformation when awaiting or following a medicalappointment. It is important for healthcare organisations to informpatients as often and quickly as possible. Social media can act as a further communication channel,allowing organisations and patients to share accurateinformation in a quick and convenient manner. Social sites and forums provide places for patients to sharehealth problems and concerns with genuine professionalsin a safe environment. Whether it is collaborating on ground-breaking research,keeping people up to date on the latest news or simplyproviding a more pleasant and caring patient experience,the benefits from social media are vast and can be a majorplayer in the communications and marketing of anyhealthcare organisation.