twitter for hospitals

Healthcare Marketing: Social Media Lessons to be Learned from Target

Target has 5 million Facebook fans….. here are 5 social media lessons we can learn from their success.

Target, the third largest retailer in the nation, has 20 million fans and added over 2 million fans in one month.  But they have more than just a quantity of fans.  They also have very high engagement levels with their fans.  Morgan Arnold, reporting for Social Media Today reviewed Target’s social media success and offered 5 of their best practices, which can be very helpful to healthcare marketers.

1.    Keep messaging and delivery mechanisms simple and relevant to the customer.

Target is constantly attempting to craft tools and applications that not only facilitate interaction among online friends but also actually create new opportunities for transactions with the brand.  They create win-win situations that are useful and rewarding to their fans but also lead to transactions and engagement with the brand.

2.    Use Twitter as a tool to create conversations.

Many organizations use Twitter just to dispense information.  It is an outstanding medium for that but also to engage followers in conversations.  Additionally it’s a way to build buzz and launch new services.

3.    Whenever possible, say it with pictures.

Track Social’s recent white paper Optimizing Facebook Engagement showed that photos are the hands-down winner when it comes to boosting engagement scores.  Photos should be an integral component of the content brands post.

4.    Community Engagement = Social Engagement.

Involvement in the community will increase engagement on Facebook.  Any community involvement should be documented on Facebook as a means to create consumer involvement.

5.    Think Global, Post Local.

Always localize healthcare issues and news.  Use healthcare issues of the day but always explain what it means and how it impacts your local audience.

Healthcare marketers could learn from Target’s approach to social media.  Be relevant and engage the social space in ways that are meaningful, creative and mutually beneficial.

Healthcare Marketing: Twitter is a Work in Progress

Twitter user numbers escalate but some are flying away soon after landing.Twitter Vogel

Twitter usage is dramatically increasing practically each day. While some do not understand or appreciate twitter, more and more consumers are taking it for a test drive to check it out.

Adults who have accessed Twitter have grown 200% in the past year. In 2008 there were 6 million adults who accessed Twitter at least monthly and that number has grown to over 18 million in 2009. And in June of this year Nielsen Media reported 21 million unique users. 

Those numbers represent 11% of total Internet users and that is expected to increase to over 15% in 2010.

Twitter is a rapidly growing phenomenon, and hospitals across the country are recognizing it, and therefore experimenting with it to find ways to use it effectively.

Perhaps the least understood social medium, Twitter is attracting greater audiences than earlier expected. Hospital marketers cannot ignore this fact. Ways to utilize the microblogging site must be creatively explored. There are already many effective uses of Twitter being utilized in hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Even though Twitter is experiencing exponential growth, the same research indicated that large numbers of users are abandoning Twitter after a short period of experimentation.

Twitter is obviously not for everyone. Some try it and leave it. But if it continues to grow at such a rapid growth, it cannot be ignored.

Twitter should be closely watched to determine if it has stickiness and staying power. In the meantime, marketers should develop strategies for its use in connecting with consumers. If you wait, you may find everyone has flown off without you.