The Power of Video as Part of Your Social Media Campaign

The power of video in healthcare is undeniable. We’ve seen many examples of this, one of the most notable being the Pink

Glove Dance of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, created by hospital staff to raise awareness of breast cancer. Since it debuted last year, it has garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube.

The number of online videos viewed in November of this year demonstrates just how important video is. According to Comscore, 172 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in November alone, totaling about 5.2 billion viewing sessions.

flickr: JVCAmerica

And because social media dominates our time spent online, now is when your hospital should tap into the market and engage your audience through video.

I like to watch videos for many reasons. First, they educate. Just the other day I watched a presentation by Robert H. Lustig, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. For an hour, I learned why sugar, specifically high fructose corn syrup, is so bad for us.

Second, they foster understanding. I stumbled upon several videos from Miami Children’s Hospital that feature family testimonials of working with the staff at MCH. Hearing their stories firsthand brought tears to my eyes and provided an emotional experience that a written story cannot mimic.

Third, they entertain. I get goosebumps and laugh every time I watch the Pink Glove Dance I mentioned above. Not only does it promoting cancer awareness, but it also shows the humorous side of the St. Vincent’s staff. How often do you see your cafeteria staff, administrators, doctors and technicians doing silly dances while wearing pink gloves?

The great thing about video is that it can be easily implemented. Here are three simple ways you can use video to strengthen your social media strategy.

1.    Post videos to your Facebook profile page.
Do you have a new physician or service you want to promote? Rather than simply post it to your website, post it to your Facebook page. After all, a new study reveals people spend more time on Facebook than on Google  searches.

2.    Start a YouTube Channel.
According to Youtube’s website, more than 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute. Join the millions of businesses capturing their audiences with moving (literally!) stories. You can find users with similar interests, share common-themed videos and use YouTube’s friend feature to create connections with your patients.

3.    Incorporate video into your blog.
This might sound more complicated than you think, and it does take a little extra effort, but incorporating video provides a richer personal experience than text or video. And you don’t have to have each video done professionally. You can use the webcam on your computer or a simple hand held device like a Flip recorder or iPhone. Just set it up on your desk and speak authentically to your audience. You can take it one step further by conducting interviews with hospital staff and use it as a guest blog.

Keep in mind that video should never entirely replace the written word. But, by supplementing your written copy with videos, you will engage more people and, with any luck, have fun in the process!

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