Using Social Media to Reinforce the Consumers’ Decision in the Hospital and Health Care System.
Reaching out to the public and creating an open line of communication allows a hospital to tailor services specific to patient wants and needs. By giving the hospital a voice, community members will learn that their opinions and concerns not only matter, but are being heard. Each interaction strengthens the image of the hospital and builds trust among patients. Connecting frequently through social media deepens the relationship and reinforces the patients’ decision. Almost all US hospitals now have multiple social media accounts. But are they hitting the target?
People love to talk about their experiences, good or bad. Rely on feedback from patient surveys, social media comments, and word of mouth to know what topics need to be addressed to improve public image. Don’t avoid harsh complaints. Listen to your patients and implement customer services initiatives. Being mindful of patient privacy, respond and comment directly to the individual who complained and let them know you understand their frustration and discuss what steps the hospital and staff are doing to correct the issue.
In addition to responding to comments, use social media to promote patient education and public health programs. Free clinics, job training, back-to-school immunizations and so many other programs are the heart of communities. By addressing the basic needs of everyday life, the hospital promotes long term health and wellness. Have a record turnout at a women’s health event? Posting pictures will not only enhance visibility of the program but 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
Patients often are searching for answers. They are also looking for something else rarely talked about: hope. They want to see positive outcomes, feel inspired and have a reason to feel good about choosing a hospital.
By opening the line of communication, the hospital becomes a friend that is by your side during life’s celebrations and can be depended on during emergencies. Healthcare marketing can be complicated but creating a well-executed social media presence can produce meaningful and measurable results and leave healthcare consumers deeply engaged with your brand while also feeling validated and heard.