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Still Afraid of Social Media? Follow the Numbers

December 16, 2013

Social Media Marketing

This morning as I was perusing my morning news I stopped on a title that instantly caught my attention: Should Hospitals Be on Facebook…? I mean, obviously I answered the question quietly to myself, and laughed at the audacity of the title. But, or course, I had to click through the article to see what the author was getting at. Here’s the breakdown…

A survey of 1,060 U.S. adults by the PwC Health Research Institute found that one-third of respondents considered social media platforms appropriate for the discussion of healthcare. The Journal of Internet Medical Research found that 60% of adults surveyed used the Internet to access medical information. This is a major opportunity – it’s time to get ahead of the curve.

Fear seems to play a huge part in why many hospitals will not engage or even entertain the idea of social media marketing. At Quaintise, we are no strangers to this fear that many physicians and specialists maintain when it comes to social media marketing in healthcare.

But if you stick to statistics within the healthcare social media marketing field, as this morning’s interesting article pointed out, there is really nothing to be afraid of.

According to, posts made by healthcare companies, including hospitals, were analyzed for effectiveness. Here’s what they found:

We found that healthcare audiences engaged most with posts containing images.

Social Media Marketing in Healthcare

Here are some of the most engaged-with Facebook posts from our surveyed healthcare institutions over a 30-day period.

Surveyed Healthcare Institutions offers these insightful best practices to getting involved with social media marketing in healthcare:

  • Make your data available. Allow your ratings and reviews, as well as error rates within your database (if applicable) to be made public.
  • Educate your employees on social media policies. Make the risk of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) clear, and prohibit posting inappropriate information about doctors or patients.
  • Implement privacy settings. Be sure to safeguard personal information and content.
  • Avoid using social media channels to communicate with patients on sensitive issues. Advise them on a secure, personalized server.
  • Enlist at least one author, editor, or reviewer on every piece of content that you publish. Include references or links to the source of your content, and date it whenever possible.
  • Include an “About Us” or “History” section on your website. Present information about qualified staff, services, and facility as well as your purpose, goal, or mission.
  • Ask for audience feedback through surveys and questionnaires. Make your contact information easy to find, and encourage your audience to get in touch via email, Facebook, and Twitter. When they do reach out, respond promptly and thoughtfully.