No and yes. It depends completely on you.
If you think that you can just throw up a Facebook page and drive patients to your hospital, it’s a bust.
UbiCare, a company that provides social media content for healthcare, tracks Facebook activity at 991 U.S. hospitals and reports weekly on their Engagement Quotient. Between May 22 and 28, 184 of those hospitals did not make a single post to their Facebook page. For them, social media is a bust.
If you think you can bring in a summer intern or hire a college kid to launch and manage your social media effort, it’s a bust.
If you’re primarily interested in social media because you think it’s a cheap way to market your hospital, it’s a bust.
However, if you invest time, energy and resources to draft a clear internal social media/online policy, listen to the online chatter, bring your stakeholders together, understand the ramifications of HIPAA in social media, assess your resources, establish your goals and then launch a Facebook page (only if you really need one), social media can become one of your most powerful tools for building patient loyalty and growing your patient base.
Inova Health System, Swedish, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and dozens, maybe hundreds, of other hospitals are having great success leveraging the power of social media as part of their overall marketing effort.
If someone tells you social media is cheap, easy and guaranteed to bring enormous numbers of new patients to your hospital, walk away.
Boom or bust? It’s up to you.
To download your free e-book, “8 Steps to Launch a Successful Social Media Strategy,” visit our What We Think page.