Today nearly 1,000 U.S. hospitals sponsor social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. That’s just 20% of all U.S. hospitals, but the writing is on the wall. The momentum is clearly growing, and it is just a matter of time until your patients demand and your competition requires your hospital to join the social media revolution.
The question is: Will you be a helper or a leader?
In a recent report, Career Path of the Social Media Strategist, Jeremiah Owyang of research-based advisory firm Altimeter Group presents some interesting research.
Dozens of social media strategists surveyed fell into two categories.
- 41% said they were deluged with requests and simply reacting to them, rather than getting ahead of them.
- The rest were developing proactive programs to stay ahead of business and customer requests.
The difference is profound in terms of position, prestige, career development and pure job satisfaction.
Based on Owyang’s recommendations, here are six keys to becoming your hospital’s social strategy leader — not just a helper.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for administration to come to you, or for leaders to catch up.
- Establish yourself as a program manager. Don’t simply evangelize social media. Start strategic discussions with key hospital stakeholders.
- Outline policies, procedures and requirements for expanding social media efforts BEFORE other departments ask for it.
- Be flexible in your role
- Develop scalable processes.
- Establish a hub and spoke or dandelion organization model now. Governance, process and continuous education are key.
If your hospital is not already engaged in social media, now is the time to position yourself as a leader, not a helper, in the social media revolution.