When I think of social media and healthcare, two big names come to mind – The Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. These are the powerhouse of social media and healthcare. They’re doing everything right, and for all the right reasons, which makes it even more amazing. Both of these massive organizations came into social media for one purpose, and it’s probably not what you’re thinking….
Mayo Clinic uses social media to get patients to become better advocates for their own care. Mayo Clinic’s philosophy of its social media is as follows: “Mayo Clinic believes individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and that it is our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices.”
Mayo Clinic did not initially get into social media to increase their patient volume; they launched their social media marketing department to empower all individuals with the knowledge to make their own healthcare decisions. This should be the purpose for every medical practice across the country to get into social media marketing. If you get started for the right reasons, the rest falls into place.
Here’s how Mayo Clinic is doing it right, and what YOU can learn from their success:
1. Building Your Brand
Mayo Clinic does a great job of brand consistency across all of it’s platforms, from television commercials to print, websites and social media. Everything is aligned, and when you see that Mayo Clinic logo or color scheme, you know it’s them. It’s no different than Coke or Starbucks brand consistency, and it is a key to social media marketing success.
2. The Right Reasons
As mentioned in the introduction, if you get into social media marketing strictly to increase your patient volume, and build your social media editorial calendar around that sole focus, you will fail miserably. I’ve seen it happen time and time again, and it’s a regrettable situation simply because the physician and/or business owner cannot see the greater good, the greater purpose of social media.
Let’s review Mayo Clinic’s statements from their Social Media Health Network hub:
Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Philosophy:
Mayo Clinic believes individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and that it is our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices. We intend to lead the health care community in applying these revolutionary tools to spread knowledge and encourage collaboration among providers, improving health care quality everywhere.
Mission of the Center:
Lead the social media revolution in health care, contributing to health and well being for people everywhere.
Vision for the Center:
Mayo Clinic will be the authentic voice for patients and health care professionals, building relationships through the revolutionary power of social media.
Do you see any phrases referencing ‘patient volume’ or ‘increased patients’ or similar? Absolutely not, and yet Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube and more than 550,000 “followers” on Twitter, as well as an active Facebook page with over 380,000 connections. With its News Blog, Podcast Blog and Sharing Mayo Clinic, a blog that enables patients and employees to tell their Mayo Clinic stories, Mayo has been a pioneer in hospital blogging. Coincidence? I think not.
Social media is not just a sounding board for your physicians to prove their worth and gloat about recent awards; it’s a conversation, and if you’re not engaging in that conversation you are failing. In a recent digital marketing & analytics article, they found that 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of healthcare provider. (Source: DC Interactive Group)
Whether you’re a large organization like Mayo Clinic, or a small neighborhood family clinic, engagement is the key to success in social media. Let your social media audience trust you, and build on that trust through social media engagement.
4. Don’t be Afraid of Change
Did you know that Google makes changes to it’s algorithm every single day! While Facebook and Twitter do not make changes that frequently, social media is an every-evolving medium. Whether it’s a new competitor in the field, a new platform to try out like Instagram, or a new advertising possibility, you cannot be afraid to keep up with the trends. DO NOT get stuck with daily news posts and boring status updates. Expand your Reach by trying new things, taking calculated risks, and reaching for the stars.
Need help with your social media marketing? Give Quaintise a call!