Just 5 years ago less than 5% of all hospitals had a presence on Facebook, Twitter and their own blog. When you talked about social media and hospitals you often heard concerns about legal and compliance risk, human resources, brand management and how would social media reach anyone over the age of 25. It’s funny how things change.
Today, few question social media’s importance. The more relevant question today is how can health care organizations thrive without the technology. A recent survey reported that 44% of all American consumers now use and trust social media as a source of health information, and 52% will prefer a hospital in the future based on social media engagement.
The question that comes to mind for me is – why? What is it that makes social media so powerful, how can social media create a shift in the way consumers make health care decisions? I’ve thought a lot about it and I don’t think there’s a shift at all.
Social media is the new coffee shop! It used to be that if you wanted to know what was going on, you visited the coffee shop. You’d go there to see familiar faces, share vacation photos and get advice. Social media is the same thing only exponentially larger and instantly accessible.
Before the internet, 40% of consumers considered a friend or family their best source for health related information. That has not changed. What has changed is the number of “friends” we now have at our fingertips.
Jessie, Leslie and Kelly in GVMH’s Marketing Department realize the importance of social media in connecting with those we serve and you can see their commitment through their efforts to increase GVMH’s presence in social media circles. If you haven’t checked out GVMH’s Facebook, Twitter or Blog lately it’s time you do. Besides, who doesn’t need a few more “friends”.