Healthcare Marketing: Even the Most Traditional Institutions are Embracing Social Media

There seems to be a rush on high-profile, epic-proportion weddings as of late. Some royal and some not (as in Kardashian), but what do they have in common other than seven figure budgets? The use of social media to promote, organize and disseminate information of course! 

Even The Royal Wedding was a social media savvy event proving that even the most traditional institutions can embrace social media.

The British Monarchy is about as traditional you can get.  Established, stuffy, outdated, staid, clinging to the past and resistant to change would be some of the was you might describe the British Royals.  And it might sound very similar to your hospital.  And that’s why you can’t fully embrace and use social media.

But the Royal Wedding certainly proved even highly traditional institutions can embrace and effectively use social media.   Shonali Burke  outlined some of the ways the royal family used social media to promote the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

  • Clarence House (named for the official residence of the Prince of Wales) released a steady and strategically timed stream of information from who’s doing the flowers to photographs of those arriving for the event.
  • Created a hashtag to keep tract of wedding wishes coming to the bride and groom via Twitter.
  • Established a Facebook page where one can like the page by sending a RSVP to the wedding.
  • Their Flicker stream was constantly updated.
  • Live-streamed the wedding on YouTube and invited viewers to leave their own video message for the couple.
  • An official Royal Wedding website.

Quite an unexpected turnabout for the kings, queens, princes and princesses of tradition.   They obviously wanted to engage the public and they certainly accomplished that.  And they used the popular mediums of the day.   Certainly there was tremendous traditional media coverage.  That was a given.  But the extensive use of social media is certainly a lesson to learn.

So your hospital and its leadership are traditional.   Let the Monarchy set the example.  True, the royal family has the resources to do it well.  But with a little time, and not much money, healthcare marketers can choose a few of the social networking tools to build relationships and reach an audience that is getting more and more difficult to reach with traditional media.

Surely if one of the most traditional institutions in the world can embrace social media, even the most traditionally-minded hospitals can say “I do.”



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