“Healthcare Companies Still Don’t ‘Get’ Social Media” – But Neither Do Some Nonprofits

Great post today from Social Media Today community, detailing what pharma and Healthcare companies are missing in terms of social media. But what they don’t say is that some nonprofits are just as guilty. While many NPs have their own burgeoning online Health Communities, they often don’t take an active role in supporting and guiding that community to better health outcomes, and ultimately, better engagement and financial support.  The full text of the article is below: 

 

Social media is changing the nature of healthcare interaction, and health organizations that ignore this virtual environment may be missing opportunities to engage consumers.”

That was the very ominous and foreboding opening line from a press release announcing the findings of a report done by the Health Research Institute (HRI) at PwC US.

Anytime I see the words “engage” and “missing” I am automatically intrigued because as we all know it’s all about engagement: how to get engaged with your customers, how to stay engaged with your customers and how to ensure they stay engaged with you.

The report compared the social media activity of hospitals, pharma companies and health insurers to that of community sites and as you can see there is no comparison as community sites had 24 times more social media activity than corporate sites.

Image

This is very significant as the report aptly points out in that it has serious implications for “businesses looking to capitalize on social media opportunities.”

The report also includes findings from an HRI social media survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and 124 members of the eHealth Initiative and include the following results:

  • One-third of consumers now use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and online forums for health-related matters, including seeking medical information, tracking and sharing symptoms, and broadcasting how they feel about doctors, drugs, treatments, medical devices and health plans.
  • Four in 10 consumers say they have used social media to find health-related consumer reviews (e.g. of treatments or physicians); one in three have sought information related to other patients’ experiences with their disease; one in four have “posted” about their health experience; and one in five have joined a health forum or community.
  • When asked how information found through social media would affect their health decisions, 45 percent of consumers said it would affect their decision to get a second opinion; 41 percent said it would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical facility; 34 percent said it would affect their decision about taking a certain medication; and 32 percent said it would affect their choice of a health insurance plan.
  • While 72 percent of consumers said they would appreciate assistance in scheduling doctor appointments through social media channels, nearly half said they would expect a response within a few hours.
  • As is the case more broadly, young adults are leading the social media healthcare charge. More than 80 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 said they were likely to share health information through social media channels and nearly 90 percent said they would trust information they found there. By comparison, less than half (45 percent) of individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 said they were likely to share health information via social media

What Does It All Mean?

Well I am glad you asked…

What it all means, as the chart below demonstrates so well, is there is a golden opportunity for the hospitals, pharma companies and health insurers of the world to engage with their customers and prospects.

I realize the hospitals, pharma companies and health insurers of the world are very reticent to engage via social media for fear of all the rules and regulations that govern their every move but… at the very least you can engage people at a high level, yes?

Image

Sources: PR NewswireHealth Research Institute at PwC

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, Steve Olenskiis a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn or his website.

2011 Sparklight Successes (continued)

Client Rob Dugger and former Rep. Glenn Nye on CBS Early Show

A few weeks ago, we shared five of our top client successes in 2011.  We’re now happy to share the second half of the list.

5. Generated National Media Coverage – Several clients wanted to increase their presence in the national media this year.  By creating sustained relationships with a targeted group of national reporters, Sparklight gained top tier coverage for its clients. Epilepsy Foundation – Wall Street Journal Digital, CBS Early Show, ABC News.com, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and NPR.   Hanover Investment Group – Bloomberg Radio, Reuters, CNBC, FOX Business News, and CBS The Early Show with Rebecca Jarvis

4.  Grew by 500% –   Using a combination of message building across all communications channels including social media, web content, and Google Ad Words, the Epilepsy Foundation succeeded in having five times more people take the online “Get Seizure Smart” quiz in 2011 than in 2010.

3.   Secured Google Grant Funding – After securing a $10,000 Google Nonprofit grant for the Epilepsy Foundation in Spring of 2011, Sparklight project managed and created no less than 60 ad groups that moved the needle for the Epilepsy Foundation to its new coveted position at #2.

2.  Quadrupled Online Followers –  Social media is now one of the best engagement tools for the Foundation with Facebook now its third largest referrer to the main website, quadrupling the number of followers on both Twitter and Facebook, and increasing engagement 600%

1. Better Online Performance – Sparklight worked with Winners Lacrosse, Hanover Investment Group, and  Epilepsy Foundation’s National Walk for Epilepsy   to create a better visual and user experience for each of these clients web properties.

 

Should your intern run your social media? Maybe not.

When I was in Austin at the SXSW conference, I heard the fabulous communications expert, Peter Kim. In addition to other social media stories of a “fail,” this one was his best.  So when I saw this on his blog today, I had to replay here. It’s just too good to miss. You can follow him on Twitter, @peterkim.

Here’s what “fail fast” looks like

Earlier this year, Chrysler made a bold statement to the world, airing the Imported From Detroit commercial during Super Bowl XLV in February 2011. The ad created buzz in the ad world, political circles, and the entertainment industry, while helping drive a 191% increase in month-over-month sales of the Chrysler 200, the car featured in the ad. Unless you hate America, it’s hard not to feel proud of the United States and one of its core but beaten down industries after watching the full two-minute spot.

A month later, this tweet publishes one morning from Chrysler’s official Twitter account:

@ChryslerAutos errant tweet

Auto blog Jalopnik broke the story and here’s what transpired in rapid succession:

  • @ChryslerAuto tweets “Our apologies – our account was compromised earlier today. We are taking steps to resolve it.”
  • post to the corporate blog clarifies that an agency was responsible for the tweet and the employee responsible for the action was terminated.
  • News breaks that Chrysler fires their social agency of record.

The root cause here might have been technology failure, user error, lack of process (publishing) control, and/or temporary lapse of cultural connection.

Within the 48 hours, an iconic brand gets a black eye, an agency loses a major account, and a person gets fired: nothing good for those directly involved. So where’s all the praise for failing fast? 

The answer is there is none. This mistake could happen to anyone, but most likely to someone who much younger, and a little less experienced with your brand, your audience and your goals and objectives for your mission. So I ask you, would you let your intern run your social media campaign? Maybe not.


Here’s Why No One Visits Your Facebook Page

I have a great friend who is super smart.

Her name is Jacquelyn Kittredge and she trains organizations on how to optimize their Facebook strategy and create awareness. In her post, The 5 Biggest Facebook Page Mistakes, she discusses something you may not know:

Facebook uses an algorithm to determine what appears in each individual’s news stream. If you fail to interact with your fans, you will literally disappear from their news stream.”

This is why when I went to speak with one nonprofit today, the director was clearly discouraged. He said because a staff member had gone on leave, no one had had time to manage their social media.  As a result, the organization had not posted to their blog, Facebook page or Twitter feed for 60 days. As a result their website  traffic was down, their call-center volume was down and they could not understand why their recent advocacy efforts with greeted with a “ho hum” response.

Now they know.

Are You a Connector? Daniel Poneman Is!

Last week I got the following message:

“You all don’t have to believe me on this, but I just posted a ridiculous score. I knew I would crack the 100’s, and knew I was a connector, but didn’t realize my true social impact until taking this test… i got a 149.”

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes how he gave the test 400 times and only 4 people scored above 100. Daniel also has 4,079 Facebook friends (4,080 if he accepts my request).

What’s he do? “I feel blessed to say that I have never held a “real” job in my life and hopefully I never will have to. My job entails watching basketball, talking to people about basketball, providing basketball content for my website, and helping college programs find the best basketball players for them, and helping young men find colleges to play at. It’s a lot of fun.”

Are You a Connector?

Connectors are people specialists, those with a large circle and network of friends. Malcolm Gladwell writes about Connectors in The Tipping Point, his thought-provoking book on how information spreads.

“Identifying Connectors and getting them talking about your cause, company or candidate is critical,” said SparkLight Communications President Joseph LaMountain. “Since they know everyone, they can begin to spread the word and start to generate word-of-mouth conversations.”

Gladwell developed a simple 5-minute test to determine if someone is a Connector. He’s given the test to more than 400 people and scores have ranged from a low of 16 to a high of 108. I scored a 52.  Where do you fall on that scale?

%d bloggers like this: