Over the past two days, I attended the 4th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. This conference is put on by Ragan Communications, and is a leading conference on social medial in health care.
I will admit, going into the conference I was a part time user of social media. Yes, I am on Facebook, and I have dabbled in Twitter (@JoelCessna) a bit, but am not a consistent tweeter. I’ve even subscribe to a blog or two. This conference was an eye opening experience for a variety of reasons.
First, social media is an incredibly easy and low-cost (or free) method to reach out to your prospective client base. This is true whether I’m promoting EVALIA online assessments, or if a hospital marketer promotes their events and services. Whether via Facebook or Twitter, it is important to maintain a presence online and be active in building brand identity. A key takeaway point was that social media is not meant to “sell” a product or service, but rather to promote a brand. Nobody wants a sales pitch via social media. But you can make yourself known as a health care expert, for example, enhancing your brand.
Next, social media is a great way to reach out to other communities and experts for additional information. During the conference, I observed a panel discussion was on how social media gives patients a voice. The panel shared four inspirational stories about challenges they were faced with and how social media was an outlet for them to learn more and to inform others about these challenges.
A story of a mother, Melissa Hogan, whose son was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome, and her social media outreach can be found at www.savingcase.com; Patti Koblewski shared her story of chronic pain (@ChronicPainGPS); Susan Steel’s story of her battle with Melanoma was inspiring; and Lindsey Miller’s story of being diagnosed with pancreatic nueroendocrine cancer in her early 20’s and using a You Tube video to connect with others demonstrated how different channels of social media can help. All four of these discussions emphasized how important social media was to their cause, making people aware of health issues and helping connect patients looking for advice.
Lastly, social media is about creating relationships. It is amazing how much you can communicate with just a short tweet or a Facebook post. While at the conference I started following more people, and likewise others followed me. In a minute’s time, I increased my network of people that I can learn from, and I can hopefully provide helpful information back to them.
Are you using social media yet? If not…start! It is not going away any time soon, and you are missing out on an easy way to connect and communicate.
As VP of Sales for Medicom Health Interactive, I am responsible for managing sales and assisting in the development of our EVALIA Personal Health Profiler product line. These are programs targeted towards hospital clients which allow visitors to their website to assess their risk for various conditions, and captures user contact information in which the hospital can use for increasing patient volume and procedures.
Call me with any questions you may have at 800-971-0785 x32.
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