Hospitals: Update Your Online Stereotypes

flickr: MrMystery

It’s time to update your online stereotypes.

Who is on the internet?

If you still think of the internet as dominated by teenagers and twenty- or thirty-somethings, erase that image.

A survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project says that “key internet activities are becoming more uniformly popular across all age groups.” That means that Americans from 18 to 73 are online in almost equal numbers.

What are they doing on the internet?

Pretty much everything, says Pew, from email to shopping to following news to watching video to listening to music to online banking.

You knew that, but what you may not know is that searching for health information “is now the third most popular online activity for all internet users 18 and older.”

Wow.

What does this mean about hospital marketing?

First, you need a rich web presence. Start by making sure that all the expected information, such as contact information, hours of operation, physician, services, is accurate, user-friendly and attractively showcased.

Next, add plenty of interesting content about the health topics your patients care about, whether it is prenatal care, sleep studies, cancer treatment, or nutrition. Your website provides an excellent opportunity to become a trusted source, a place where people searching the web can turn for reliable healthcare information.

Second, you need to identify specific ways that you can leverage your overall marketing objectives through the use of online strategies. Invest some time and money to figure this out. If you use only traditional media to reach out to your community, you’re going to miss a lot of people.

Third, begin incorporating two-way communication tools, most commonly known as new media or social media, into your online presence. The most popular are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These give your patients – of all ages – a chance to have online conversations and strengthen your relationships.

Follow these steps to reach out to your online community – whether they are 35 or 65 years old. Those old stereotypes of kids dominating the online world are just no longer true.

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How we help

Hive Strategies helps hospitals engage patients through social media. We don’t manage social media. Instead, we help hospitals develop an effective social media strategy and mentor them through the implementation process. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.

 

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