Traditional Healthcare Media

Healthcare Marketing: Social Media Ironically is about Traditional Media

It’s amazing how much of the discussion in social media originates in traditional media. 

Social media is all the rave. Everybody’s doing it. Everybody’s talking about it. But what are people talking about on social networking sites? It’s ironic how much of what’s discussed is traditional media.  In fact, television still rules.  So much of what’s posted on social media sites has to do with what’s happening on television. Interesting isn’t it?

How much social media space is consumed discussing whom the finalists will be on American Idol?   How many posts were there about which girl should be chosen by the Bachelor?  Or what about Betty White being a huge topic on Twitter the week after her appearance on Saturday Night Live?  What about Justin Bieber being number one on Twitter after appearing on Oprah?  Much political conversation on networking sites springs from what Glenn Beck or Chris Mathews espouses the night before.

In discussing this same issue in an article in Ad Age, Simon Dumenco stated that despite the supposed seismic shift away from broadcast to web video, the reality is that just 2% of TV viewing happens online.  In fact, television consumption has actually risen as social media has exploded. Nielsen has tracked an all time high of 151–plus hours of monthly TV watching in the average American household while spending just 27 hours on the internet.

Even though the use of social is on a sharp incline, it has not dented our passion for TV.  Television is the original social medium. We watch TV for enjoyment but also because we want to experience what other people are experiencing and talking about.   We want to be “in the know” and be culturally relevant.  And we watch television to make sure we are.

As Dumenco concluded, “there’s something deeply, beautifully human about people using newfangled social media to share their awe about great moments on good old-fashioned TV.”


Hospital Branding: Does Branding Matter So Much In the Age of Social Media

myspace-logoExperimenting with social media does not minimize the importance of brand development and consistency.

More and more hospitals are joining the social media fray. It’s new, it’s fun (if you’re under 40), and it’s basically free (except for time). Some who have begun utilizing this consumer- controlled media have jumped on the bandwagon and have forgotten the importance of branding.

Though changing and less used, traditional media is still very reliable and important to establishing a brand. Brands are difficult to create using just social media. There must be context already established for the brand to make sense in social media. Brands are usually formed by using traditional media and a relevant website.  That is the foundation and context for effective use of social media.

Even with social media, there should be a brand strategy. The way you interact in social media should:

1.     Reflect your hospital’s core messages

2.     Differentiate you from the competition 

3.     Be delivered in a tone and style consistent with the brand.

Social media is used to engage in conversation, it is not to be used to promote or sell. So in addition to social media conversations, traditional media should still be used to sell your product or services.

In other words, the brand must be consistently integrated across all media.

Neither traditional nor non-traditional media operate in a vacuum; they must work together, in the same tone with the same overarching marketing objectives. With the proper brand coordination, each type of media enhances the other.

Social media? Yes. Forget traditional media? No. Consistent brand strategy and messaging across all media and platforms? Absolutely!