Category Archives: Uncategorized

6.1 Social Media Landscape

The Roller Coaster Ride Called Social Media

Snapshots. Posts. Friends. Likes. Pins. Videos. You name it; we have said it and done it. To say social media is like riding a roller coaster over the past 10 years, is an understatement. I am sure that you realize that this roller coaster ride is not over yet. Social Media 3.0 is producing so many different niche sites that many of us probably will never hear of many and then one will jump off like a run away train and make someone really popular and eventually really rich!

The new social media trends are very simple: niche audiences, privacy, sleek and user-friendly designs and most important…mobile! We are now starting to see some recycled social media concepts reintroduce themselves. One of the latest to resurrect itself is MySpace. MySpace, the grandfather of social media, has begun to rethink its strategy and is becoming a more niche social media platform that focused more on musicians and young people. Since it has gone through a refacing in October 2010, profile creation has increased more than 3.3 million and mobile users has increased 4 percent. As the company continues to reintroduce itself, it has been integrating with Facebook (who knocked them off the social media throne) and will be working with Google+ to do the same.

Who knows what the future brings for MySpace! What we do know is that anything is possible. Before we know it, we will all need to adjust our social media strategies to include this platform that seems that it still may have a few lives left. Until then, MySpace will continue to be a place to find all of your favorite musicians! But watch out world, the young people my decide that it is time to knock Facebook off the throne.

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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


5.1 Outcomes


We all know the Mayo Clinic as one of the world’s most advanced health care providers. Many of us don’t know the clinic as the world’s most innovative health care provider when it comes to social media. They have set the bar for health care in social media.

The Mayo Clinic is one of the leaders in healthcare social media. The Clinic has created the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media in July 2010. This center is a “first-of-its-kind center devoted to application of social media to promote health, fight disease and improve health care” (Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media). Mayo Clinic has become the most popular medical provider on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. They host News Blog, Podcast Blog and the Sharing Mayo Clinic and has positioned themselves as a pioneer in blogging for the hospital industry.

The clinic uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Second Life to connect with their patients. However, they have implemented strict guidelines that limit the amount of information that the Clinic can answer patient’s questions. However, Twitter chats are used to get around this by offering these chats as a way to provide general medical advice to patients along with their weekly radio program. Now the organization has launched a new book Bringing the Social Media #Revolution to Health Care”. The book is available on Amazon and something that all health care marketing professionals should consider. Image

This is an organization that may have stumbled into social media but have found it as an effective way to communicate and engage their patients. They do a fabulous job of responding to patients on their Facebook page and Twitter. This is great to see since they have so many Facebook pages that they need to manage. However, as the world of social media continues to change, it will be important for the Clinic to stay on top of it.

It is hard to find an area of improvement for the Mayo Clinic. The Clinic uses several social media strategies to engage patients and employees, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Yammer, Second Life, Flickr, Pinterest, and mobile apps as well as internal and external blogs (CNN Money, 2013).

For example, they have a Google+ account but there are no postings. This is a missed opportunity for them. However, they have done such an amazing job in setting the bar for health care and social media. From Facebook to Twitter, to YouTube, Pinterest and so much more, they have provided quality content and engaging discussions. Their biggest challenge will be to keep the content fresh across all vehicles. I am sure that it will not be a problem for them. I hope to see more health care facilities taking on social media as a way to engage patients and share their expertise.


Hosenkamp, S. (2012). Inside Scoop: Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Journey and new launches. Health Care Communication News.

Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.

Social media superstars. CNN Money.


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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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4.2 Blog Trends & Utility

Can hospitals implement new trends in social media? Well, community hospitals are looking to social media to provide them with a way to communicate to their patients in a cost effective way.

untitledFor Saint Anthony Hospital (SAH), there are many trends that could be beneficial to improving their social media strategy. Healthcare may be the last to jump on the social media train but they are beginning to see the opportunities that social media provides. Some of the benefits that social media is providing healthcare is “enhanced community outreach, employee relations improvement, and insight into the competitive recruitment environment” (Sarringhaus, 2011).
The number of hospitals using social media is minimal – 965 out of 5,800 hospitals are engaged in social media. The 965 hospitals that are involved with social media – 777 have Facebook pages, 714 have Twitter accounts, 486 have YouTube channels and 120 have blogs (Sarringhaus, 2011).

Medical professionals need to take advantage of Facebook to share health-related tips and to have a 2-way conversation with their patients on healthy lifestyles. Social media is allowing for better interaction between healthcare providers and patients. However, these discussions can also work against hospitals as physicians and medical staff will need to understand what can and cannot be shared on social media. Hospitals will really need to focus on protecting information as they get deeper into social media. Protecting patient privacy is the challenge. Hospitals do not want patients or physicians posting information during procedures, sharing sensitive information about health issues or procedures. The largest challenge of Facebook is the speed that negative information can spread. Many hospitals will need to have PR departments who not only monitor traditional media but they will need to monitor social media.
untitled2Facebook is only one of the tools that SAH should consider. Blogging is a huge opportunity for physicians to show their expertise. Blogging will give physicians a voice and allow them to talk about a variety of topics separate from the hospital. Not only can physicians share their health expertise also hospital executives can blog sharing a variety of topics from health care administration to community topics.

Before either one of the tactics are implemented, SAH will need to implement a social media policy that clearly defines who can post on blogs and what types of posts are acceptable on the blog as well as Facebook. After defining the policy and educating the staff, SAH will need to recruit the bloggers and develop the content calendar. After these tools are in place the Facebook postings and the blogging can begin with some monitoring of course!

Promotion of both the Facebook page and the blog will need to be a priority – utilizing both to promote the other. It will be important to have the resources to monitor both sites to ensure that comments are responded to in auntitled1 timely fashion as well as monitoring any comments or feedback. These tools will not only allow for direct communication with patients/community members, it will also allow for a showing that the staff at SAH is aware of what is going on and responsive to the needs of its constituents.

Sarringhaus, Meredith M. Journal of Healthcare management. The Great Divide: Social Media’s Role in Bridging Healthcare’s Generational Shift. July/August 2011. Pages 235-44.

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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


2.1 Differentiation

Is social media appropriate for hospitals? According to a white paper by Healthcare Association of New York State, hospitals without a social media presence may be seen as sketchy as a legitimate company that does not have a website ( The white paper also states that hospitals are seen as more cutting edge when involved with social media. If this is the case, why are so many hospitals either slow to get onboard or not onboard at all.  For these hospitals who are not on social media, could mean larger losses of patient revenue? It could. Comparing two hospitals – Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, we will be able to see the differences in how they both take on social media in their perspective arenas.

Saint Anthony Hospital (SAH), a 151-bed, faith-based community hospital on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Saint Anthony has a Facebook page that has 233 likes. SAH joined Facebook in March of 2012. Since March, there has been inconsistent postings. However, it appears that when events occur, they upload pictures in a timely fashion.

With 17 followers on Twitter, SAH has not been able to generate a strong following. There has been 25 tweets which match up to postings on Facebook.

SAH doesn’t appear to have a YouTube channel but there are videos that appear on several other channels where they are either featured or mentioned.

Blogs also do not seem to be part of their social media strategy as there are no blogs for the hospital.

LinkedIn is being utilized by SAH for primarily job postings. There are 266 employees that are connected.

Either SAH is early in its stint with social media or they don’t have a clear strategy to provide them with the opportunities that are being left on the table. If a clear strategy is not established, could they be seen as an organization that is not cutting edge which could risk patient revenue?

On the other hand, Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center in Ohio is a highly recognized medical facility that offers highly specialized care. Is there social media reflective of the care that they offer?

According to many, Mayo Clinic is the leader in social media. The clinic may not be the leader in social media but it is quite obvious that they have a presence in all aspects of social media – blogs, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. It is definitely giving Mayo Clinic a run for their money with their multiple blogs that seem to be based on service lines as well as a blog from their CEO and some of their physicians.

The clinic has three Facebook pages totally approximately 270,000 likes. They have managed to post regularly to their main page. On the Cleveland Clinic In Your Community Facebook page, they do a good job at responding to comments. This page seems to focus more on the clinic’s engagement with the community through its foundation. The other page called Cleveland Clinic Wellness is specific to exercise, healthy eating and healthy living. There are postings regularly but not a lot of 2-way conversation. Then the general clinic Facebook with over 200k likes has significant postings with no comments on posts with questions. It appears that the Foundation has figured out how to engage their audience the best.

Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are all used regularly. Content tends to be different on all sites. This makes it apparent that the Clinic has a social media strategy that integrates into its business strategy.

After reviewing both hospitals I agree that having a strong social media strategy that supports the business strategy is the best way to increase patient revenue and visibility of the hospital services. More importantly, community hospitals will need to pay attention to what some of the larger institutions are doing with their social media to remain relevant in their communities.

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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


Virtual Communities…Is it the new face-to-face?

ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Member I...

ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group Meeting on Jan 24 2009 (3 of 3) (Photo credit: ALA staff)

Have you ever had an issue with a product and logged on to the company website and received valuable information about repairs and short-cuts you can take to improve? Have you used sites like Yelp to review discussions amongst customers about services or products that they have used? Well, these types of virtual communities are everywhere. From retail leaders like Amazon to colleges and universities around the world offering online classes to online dating sites like eHarmony, virtual communities are growing by the dozens and we are relying on them more and more.

As social media continues to grow, virtual communities will continue to evolve. Patients will communicate with one another in discussion groups to share experiences and ask for advice from other patients and eventually doctors. Consumers will continue to share their feedback by rating businesses and products. Singles will continue to use online dating services to find their future spouse. Websites like will allow individuals to share recipes, cooking secrets and short cuts as well as helpful hints to other cooks. We play games online with people around the world and don’t know who they are.

These trends will continue to grow as more and more people continue to leave busier and busier lives and utilize their mobile devices as their primary means of communications. I am not sure how virtual communities can grow more than they are already are and I am not sure of what triggers cause the movement. But what I do know is that you will be able to do almost everything in a virtual community. The only downside that I see is the next generation will lack social skills because they will rely so heavily on virtual communities. Face-to-face communication is becoming extinct.


Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Hospitals and Social Media…Is that a good combination?

There seems to be social media tools for every industry under the sun. Is social media truly the next best thing next to sliced bread? Well of course, it depends on who you ask and whether or not their social media strategy has been successful or not.

The hospital industry has slowly moved into the social media realm. I know it is hard to believe that this industry that has so many privacy laws can be successful with social media. But there are some success stories out there.  

  • Using Twitter and Facebook for an OB practice to educate patients and encourage patient to patient interaction
  • Scripps used Twitter to turn angry patients into loyal ones
  • Children’s Medical Clinic in Dallas tweeted about a kidney transplant from father to son

Learn more about these and other success stories.

But what about garnering new patients? Can social media help hospitals do that? Well, according to an article entitled Patients pick Hospitals for their Social Media Presence stated that 57 percent of consumers said that a hospital’s social media connections strongly affect their decision to accept treatment at that particular location.

Would social media presence persuade you to choose a facility or doctor over another? 

While there are many success stories, there are also much risk. According to Social Media Usage by Staff Complicates Hospital Risk Managementmuch of the risk stems from doctors “friending” patients, doctors posting information about a patient and using Twitter to pass along information during surgery. I don’t know about you but I would be a little concerned about my doctor tweeting while he is supposed to be performing a surgical procedure.

There has been so much change within the social media world and hospitals are starting to catch on. Does this new trend mean that hospitals not engaged with the right social tool will lose ground and patients? Or will we see an increase in lawsuits and new laws being put into place to prevent too much information sharing online. We don’t know what the future may hold on these issues. Only time will tell.


Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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