Nielsen Data May Provide Kindling for Your Hospital’s Social Media Fire

If your hospital has been slow to adopt social media, the recent report released by Nielsen Wire may just be the kindling for your social media fire. Nielsen, which gained credibility with its TV rating system, now measures online activity… and social networks and blogs have taken the top spot. In just one year, time spent on blogs and social networks increased from 15.8 percent to 22.7 percent–nearly ¼ of the time spent online.

Another big gainer – online videos. More than 10 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) videos have been streamed, and the average American spends 3 hours and 15 minutes a month streaming online videos.

Eight out of ten Americans now have Internet access and 57 percent of adults go online when seeking health information. Considering these statistics, it’s no wonder that adoption of social media has increased. What Nielsen’s report offers is a peek into users’ online habits, which can help you decide how to structure your online strategy. Let’s take the two big winners…blogs and videos. How can they be used at your hospital?

Blogs can lend a human voice to your hospital, but we know that’s because there’s a human behind them spending time creating and maintaining the blog. Time is a precious resource. However, our clients have had success with team blogging. Consider gathering a group of nurses from a Birthing Center or a team of physicians from the Cancer Center and have them all contribute to the same blog. Team blogs are a creative way to structure a hospital blog program so that you can add credibility and conversation to your website, without over-extending your experts.

Videos also are another way to engage people on the Internet, but hospitals can sometimes be hesitant to use video – unsure of what content is helpful to their patients and community. Although each plan should be unique, videos can be a great asset to help ease new patients to a level of comfort prior to having a procedure or treatment. That’s how our client Salem Hematology Oncology used video on their site. For patients and their families who are facing cancer treatment, peace of mind is a great gift, and their video achieved that. [INSERT VIDEO]

Knowing that people are migrating from traditional media to online media is important, but knowing how people spend their time on the Internet is one more important consideration as you develop your social media plan. View Nielsen’s complete report here.

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