Today we launch the Hive Strategies blog. This specific project has been nearly a year in the making. But in reality, it has been in the works for more than two decades.
In 1988 we started helping hospitals market their services, and in the 22 years since, we have added numerous physician practices and a Medicare health plan to our client list. We have immersed ourselves in the healthcare culture, discovered the keys to linking patients to services, navigated the strict parameters of HIPAA and entered the brave new world of HCAHPS and physician ratings.
In the past year we’ve been watching as your patients have been stampeding to social media. The digital revolution is turning traditional marketing on its head. The people hospitals need to reach are accessing news and information in new ways – TiVO, online media, and blogs among them. They’re looking for trusted sources and researching all aspects of healthcare. Subscriptions to newspapers are plummeting and Facebook pages are skyrocketing. To reach patients where they live, social media is becoming essential.
As a result, more and more hospitals have become interested in integrating social media into their marketing strategies. Although there clearly are some challenges to reconciling the open, sharing world of social media with HIPAA and other regulations, those hospitals who have learned to walk that line have had great success connecting with patients.
The thing that caught our attention, intrigued and motivated us, was the potential that social media has for breathing heart into our marketing and outreach efforts. Healthcare is big business, and every decision a hospital makes, of necessity, is informed by facts and figures and profitability. Social media brings a promise of connecting with people in a genuine way that communicates caring and compassion.
So we have changed our focus from a full-service advertising firm, to a firm that helps hospitals engage patients through social media. In some ways it is a leap of faith. Will hospitals respond to our service offerings? Will we be able to help them transition to this new world? Where there is a fit, where we speak the same language and share common goals, we think so.