Mark Zuckerberg wants you to “get on the bus.”
His bus, of course, is Facebook. And Mr. Zuckerberg aimed his comments squarely at companies that have, so far, resisted using social media. His words of encouragement may be a tiny bit self-serving, but with 500 million members, and 250 million daily users, Facebook is a clearly a social media force. What’s more, Facebook is the current leader in display ad impressions, according to Q3 data from comScore.
Traditionally conservative hospitals, medical groups, healthcare businesses and others doing healthcare marketing and advertising appear to be getting on board this big bus in increasing numbers. And the public and the news media are taking note.
The Southeast Missourian carried an extensive roundup article about how doctors, hospitals and others are using social media in that part of the nation. Cape Girardeau (MO) hospitals use Facebook and other Internet channels to communicate with patients and employees. The content includes events, news, articles, videos, fitness tips, and other information. Facebook also provides the facility with feedback from the community.
Other providers in the area see the value of a personal connection through Facebook. Regional Eyecare’s Dr. Scott McDougal is quoted in the article: "We have a professional office, but we also get to know many of our patients beyond their eyes," says McDougal. "We like to hear what their kids or grandkids are doing and where they spent their vacation. The new reality of health care doesn't often leave much time for chatting about these things but we try to make room to know our patients. Facebook seems like a logical extension of this relationship."
Concerns remain, however, regarding how and when social media tools are appropriate in hospital, medical and healthcare marketing and advertising.
We’d like to know what you think, and if you’re using Facebook, let us know what’s working for you.
And if you’d like more information from us about using social profitably, visit the Healthcare Success website.