GroundFloor Media works with a number of clients in the health care arena. As with all of our clients across widely varying industries, social media is a big topic of conversation with the health care groups we advise. However, health care organizations face a number of somewhat unique challenges when it comes to social media – including HIPAA (privacy) and security concerns, as well as making sure that any medical information shared online is understood to be general information as opposed to specific medical advice. Therefore, it is very understandable when health care organizations have reservations about jumping into the world of social media.
With this in mind I am always on the lookout for best practices and articles related to the use of social media in the health care field. I recently came across a couple of interesting reports regarding the use of social media – Experian Simmons’ 2010 Social Networking Report and another by the Nielsen Co. research firm – both of which reinforced for me how important it is for all of our clients – health care or otherwise – to find ways to overcome the perceived barriers and engage in this “brave new online world.” Both studies cited impressive numbers regarding the continued rise in popularity of social media sites. For instance, according to the Experian Simmons study:
• 66 percent of online Americans use social networking sites today, up from just 20 percent in 2007.
• Two-thirds of all online adults today have visited a social networking site in the last 30 days, up from 53 percent in 2008 and 20 percent in 2007.
• 43 percent of those who access social media sites report that they visit them multiple times per day.
And according to Nielsen:
• The number of global consumers visiting social network or blog sites increased by 24 percent in the last year.
• The average visitor spent 66 percent more time on these sites in April 2010 than in April 2009, almost six hours in April 2010 versus three and a half hours a year ago.
There are several outstanding examples of health care organizations that are really setting the bar when it comes to the use of social media. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of those is the Mayo Clinic. Under the direction of Lee Aase, Mayo Clinic’s manager of social media and syndication, Mayo has developed a very impressive social media presence with numerous blogs, as well as a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
However, Mayo is by no means the only great example. Two colleagues recently shared the following examples of health care organizations getting it “right”:
• Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center’s “Love Versus Cancer” campaign
Both highlight how health care organizations can get really creative – and make a big impact – with social media. Do they spark any ideas for you?