I asked Denise Silber, founder of the Doctors 2.0 & You conference, for her comments on the use of social media in hospitals and the reluctance of many executives to get involved.
Thinking of Going Ahead with Social Media but Afraid of Loss of Control?
Well, in fact, when you have one-way communication, you have a false sense of security. You don't know what people think...Yes, of course, a few vociferous critics can create problems, in theory. But, in fact, that isn't what happens. While there may be some criticism, you will actually also get positive comments that you wouldn't otherwise have had. In either case positive and negative, these comments are things that the hospital can build on to improve service.
More importantly, being present on Social Media will help get more traffic to your web site, since you'll be able to place links with your latest news, where people are and are most likely to click. And - ultimately Social Media is about creating a new channel between your institution and the outside world, a channel that will reduce other marketing costs. As it becomes increasingly difficult to attract people's attention, developing a community of interested persons is indispensable. In any event, this is the direction that communication is going. Best to get on the train now.
What About the Manpower Cost Required to Manage the Social Media Accounts?
If you've got a communications strategy, it should be the guiding light for what you do in social media-so don't reinvent the wheel! We recommend a step-by-step approach. You can start by placing a share button on your website home page so that people can share the page to their Facebook wall or on Twitter. You can take those videos on your site and collect them all together on your own (free) YouTube channel. Does your organisation produce a regular newsfeed? That can be redirected to a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
Perhaps someone from within your organisation will be delighted to take responsibility for one or more of these accounts, because for them it's a very satisfying activity. As organisations get diminishing returns from traditional media and email, social media is looking good!
Doctors 2.0 & You takes place in Paris on May 23 - 24 and there will be a session about webtv and hospitals.
For more information, please visit: www.doctors20.com