It’s now 2011 and the time of year where millions of people resolve to either start a good habit or stop a bad one.
That’s where your hospital comes in. According to the U.S. government’s official Web portal, nearly half of the most popular resolutions are health related.
This is certainly supported by many of the social media platforms I use.
I subscribe to Groupon, a great service that offers deeply discounted deals to local businesses. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s great. You can get discounts on meals to local restaurants, half price deals on tickets to performances and even services.
What I noticed starting on Jan. 1 is that most of the Groupons for my area include something having to do with health. One fitness club is offering a two-month membership for half the price it normally is, and another deal features a 59% discount for a 21-day weight-loss and detox program at a local health spa. And a yoga studio is offering a whopping 82% discount for unlimited classes for a one-month period.
These companies are catering to those who are focusing on health as their new year’s resolution, and as a hospital, you can no doubt reach many people who have set goals to get healthy.
So how are you using social media to reach patients with the resolution to get healthy?
There are many ways you can do this.
First, try a healthy tip of the day on your Twitter account. Send your followers a tip that can help them get on their way to reaching their goal, one small step at a time.
Post interesting ‘get healthy’ articles on your Facebook page to help motivate your followers. You can even poll your followers about their resolutions and offer tips and tricks to keep them. The best part is you can tie their resolutions to services your hospital provides, such as dietitian services, women’s health, or even joint care.
Use your blog to promote your nutritionist services, physical therapy, bariatric surgery, or even your joint center. You can invite physicians from various departments to educate patients. For example, you can invite your nutritionist to share some tips on how to resist the temptation to overeat, and healthy food alternatives. Or ask a physical therapist to suggest stretches patients can perform before working out that will help them stay safe before exercise.
E-newsletters are great for bundling information into one place and distributing it to a large group of people. Offer tips and information similar to what you post on your Twitter or Facebook accounts, and then encourage them to visit those sites and communicate with other patients for added motivation.
After all, you want to make sure your patients are getting the most accurate health information. So why not send them to the best place – your website – to get it? Provide nutrition information, exercise suggestions or even tips for how to quit smoking. And you know that because they are on your site, they’re getting the best information.
Even if you choose to implement just one of these ideas, your patients will see your hospital as a valuable resource for staying healthy, and not just a place to go when they’re not healthy. And social media can help you achieve this.