Social media impacts nearly 40% of hospital or urgent care patients.
Out of 5700 hospitals in the US, less than 400 utilize social media, according to statistics collected by EdBennett. Yet a study conducted by Ad-ology found that social media impacts nearly 40% of hospital or urgent care patients and with more than half of 24-54 year olds saying they are influenced by it.
If the statistics stated above are accurate, there is a great underutilized opportunity available for hospital marketers. Current and prospective consumers of hospital’s services are engaged in social media. They are active and involved in various social media options. They cannot be ignored. Hospitals must begin to understand how social media is being utilized and join in the fray. Not in traditional ”sell them what we have” manner, but in forms and strategies consistent with the way social media is used by the consumer. Targeted online communities should be explored.
There are conversations going on about your hospital. In many cases, you should be involved in those conversations. These interactions can become become a vital and effective marketing endeavor.
Sure, there are lots of unknowns and potential pitfalls. And there are risks involved. But strategies should be pursued to engage in the mediums effectively while minimizing the risks.
The consumer is present in social media venues. They can be highly targeted. Hospital marketers should be there too. We can no longer expect them to come to us. We must go where they are.