Healthcare doesn’t get social

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Social media is a marketer’s campaign fallback. When in doubt, tweet it! Post it! Social media seems like an obvious marketing platform, but it may not be as effective as you think in the healthcare sector.

Only 4% of healthcare industry leaders reported social media as “very effective” for helping marketing efforts, according to HealthLeaders Industry Survey 2011. The majority of respondents (53%) answered that they were “neutral” on social media’s effectiveness.

Maybe it’s information overload. Maybe it’s a form of A.D.D. Millennials are showing little interest in what marketers hav

e to say via social media. According to a Capstrat poll, more than five of every six respondents said they would not use social media for medical communication if their doctors offered it.

Or maybe the majority of healthcare marketers have no idea how to use social media and little appetite for trying anything new. Healthcare marketing’s true fallback–in other words: best practices–hardly exist in this new social world.

Think about this: how effective is your telephone as a marketing tool? (h/t) Tough question to answer, right?

Well, if “healthcare marketers” used the phone like they use Twitter or Facebook and just played a recorded message of the titles of their most recent press releases, that phone would have little value. But they don’t. There are people on the other end of the phone. People who answer questions, direct toward more information, and, ugh, make appointments.

This is dangerous is the age of phone trees and recorded messages. But try this: use social media like you use the phone. Be there when someone calls. Mmm, talk back. Or, call someone. Stop the automatic updates. Don’t be afraid to chat about topics unrelated to your organization’s health fair that you have been pushing on Twitter for the last twelve days.

People: this isn’t that hard, I promise. And run away from anyone who tells you it is. You can even jump in with both feet before policy, privacy, and other traditional healthcare excuses get in the way.

Call me if you need help.

image via here

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