Hospitals Embracing Social Media & Networking

by Celeste Bishop

in Healthcare Marketing

A growing cadre of hospitals in the U.S. are embracing Social Media and Social Network Marketing — as shown in the graphic below.

Hospital Social Media Marketing

Hospital Social Media Marketing

This information comes courtesy of Ed Bennett, Director of Web Strategy at the University of Maryland Medical Center, who is gaining renown for his research into the confluence of hospitals, healthcare and the Internet. According to his research, at least 402 hospitals in the US are using Social Media in varying forms to accomplish their goals.

Moreover, research conducted by Ad-ology Research’s Media Influence on Consumer Choice Study (available for purchase $495) as reported recently in Marketing Charts provides additional insight into the growing need for participation in these channels and establishing a robust website/web presence. Among their findings:

  • Almost 40% of recent hospital/urgent care patients said that Social Media influenced them.
  • More than 50% of the 25 – 34 year-olds reported that Social Media influences them. (Forums & Discussion Boards had a particularly significant influence on members of this demographic recently visiting for maternity.)
  • Hospital & Urgent Care facility websites most influenced 18-24 year-olds.

And yes, they did also find that a significant number of people were influenced by traditional media such as direct mail, television and newspapers ads (!!).

The growing influence of Social Media in hospital marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. When you peel back the stats represented here and start reviewing some of the creative approaches used by some truly innovative marketers, it really starts painting a “healthier” picture for healthcare marketing — and in particular hospital marketing — in a cost-effective, relevant way.

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