Hospitals In Social Media

As the social media craze goes into high gear, we’re taking a lot at how various industries are using social media. Last week it was the financial services industry. This week, it’s the healthcare industry. Specifically, we want to look at how hospitals are using social media and whether or not it is effective.

Hospital have a specific need for patients. The factors that most influence hospital selection among Western New Yorkers are:
1.      The best doctors

2.      State of the art equipment

3.      Neat, clean, comfortable surroundings

4.      Best nurses

5.      Accreditation

6.      Safety

Each year, Buffalo Spree publishes a magazine on the best doctors, but for the most part, this is a subjective claim that comes from the perceptions of other people. The best doctors get the best word of mouth. And the new word of mouth is now social media.

With that said, Western New York hospitals aren’t very active in the social media. WNYers are not being early adopters. Some that may show a slight interest in social media is Catholic Health which has a bookmark and share button so that people could share the page on various sites to promote. Also, Olean General Hospital has an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed that allows updates on classes and events to be sent to a standardized format.

These tools do show some capability of the hospitals marketing it self through social media but it is not enough. Bookmark and share and RSS feed are basic ways of forwarding messages. But one cannot simply rely on forwarding a message because it does not always receive acknowledgment.

According to the Hospital Social Network List many hospitals around the country are active in communicating with patients through social media. In the state of New York there are 136 hospitals using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or Blogs. And throughout the country, 1,527 hospitals are currently active in social media. These tactics give the opportunity for patients to post what they experienced at the hospital through its social networking page. Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Canton, New York, had a patient recently comment on its Facebook page as her experience at the hospital as being absolutely wonderful!

Some hospitals Twitter accounts, such as Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, have up to or even more than 900 followers, which do not only consist of employees. The real question that needs answering is “How are these hospitals getting patients to sign up and speak about their experience through these social networks?”

The truth maybe that people feed off of what other people think; one perception gives off a sense of thought to another. Another reason would be asking. What better way to ask someone to post a comment of their experience in a hospital than to simply approach and ask?

An Internet slide show guideline gives some useful advice for hospitals wanting to be a part of social media such as the best ways to connect with people on Facebook and how launching videos of the hospital facility is of use to the hospital. The main point that the slide show focuses on is for the hospital staff to know what the patients would like to see and the best way to do so is through collaborative communication on the web.

Eclipse ‘The Twilight Sage’

After exposing the “dying to see for” clip of the up coming movie Eclipse (third film of the Twilight Saga) at the MTV Video Music award on June 6, 2010, there is already a scare for when the movie hits theaters on June 30, 2010, or is there?

The Twilight Sage is a series of four books about a human, Bella Swan and a vampire, Edward Cullen who fall irrevocably in love with each other. Since the exposure of the love that they have for surfaced in public, complications started to arise between the vampire, wolf, and human world.

Who would have thought that a dream could be turned into a multimillion-dollar movies series? Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga, explains on her website that the idea of writing the book was from a dream that she had back in the spring of 2003. Six months later that dream was published.

When the movie Twilight came out in late 2008, it had a rating of 5.7 out of 10 which was averaged out by over 100,000 IMDb users.  For the squeal, New Moon, even though the movie did make lead the box office as the third highest opening grossing of all time, critics rated the film a 27% out of 100% on the Tomatoemeter. Some explained the movie to be centered around three main points “don’t leave me”; “i can’t live with out you”; and “make me a vampire”: which seems to be the overall gist of the love between Edward and Bella.

Producers of Twilight want to keep its fans interested in the movie squeals, so they do so by using different types of social media. Myspace is not as popular as it used to be but still has a great amount of young users. Marketers of the Twilight Saga created a Myspace page to show trailers, photos, and also able to purchase advance tickets of Eclipse. The Twilight Saga also has a Facebook page with over 21,000 likes and a Twitter account with over 300,000 followers.

How Financial Advisors Use Social Media

Social media is an excellent tool for presenting expertise, which is something that’s valued in a financial advisor. Therefore, financial advisors are trying to understand how social media can lead to more leads without trying to conflict with FINRA, the Financial Investors Regulatory Authority. Below, we’ll take a look at how investors present what they know while still abiding to FINRA’s guidelines.

Social media gives financial analysts the opportunity to speak about current stocks and improvements within a company or the improvement of ones personal investments. They are also able to share how investments started and the approaches that helped that investment gain success.

Analysts are using different tactics to show off their knowledge for others to view such as Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and niche social networks that are designed for investment analysts.

  • For blogs, investors post up articles about current investments in stocks and recent news and events of financial advisors.
  • Facebook gives the opportunity for analysts to create a profile to show off what they have accomplished.
  • On Twitter, investors could link in links to tweets that can take followers directly to recent blogs and articles.
  • Videos of investments are posted on YouTube.

Those are the well-known tactics, however a whole sub section of social media sites have launched that allow investors to connect directly to analysts (and vice versa).

  • Seeking Alpha is a social network that handpicks articles from top market blogs, money managers, financial experts and investment newsletters. Investors or interested investors are able set up an account on Seeking Alpha to follow on recent articles by analysts who show off their personal approach to stock picking and portfolio management.  It also gives the opportunity for Seeking Alpha members to track stocks they follow and exchange investment ideas. Designed for investors, Seeking Alpha offers a collection of ‘potential leads’ for the investment industry.
  • Similar to Seeking Alpha, Covestor is a social network that lets investors create and share portfolios. Interested investors that may need help with their personal stock and trade could follow successful strategies from analysts.
  • Stock Twits is compatible to Twitter, whereas Stock Twits main focus is on investments. Stock Twits is also generated to professional investors sharing ideas that can be helpful to those who show interest in starting an investment.

Even though analysts are subjected to using social media to help gain new customers, some proceed with cautious guidelines to try not to go against any social media regulations towards investors.  For example, Putnam Investments decided to take upon the use of social media to expand its company but doing so was a risk to try not to conflict with FINRA.

As such, the CEO of Putnam, Robert Reynold’s has this warning on his Twitter page.

FINRA has recently updated their regulations to take into account social media, and new media. That said, as you can see from the Putnam example, many large companies are weighing into social media carefully.

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