Use of Social Media by Hospitals/Health Systems

Jan. 27, 2010

Jan. 12, 2010 – ATLANTA –  Nine in ten hospitals or health systems are currently involved in Social Media to some degree, while only one in three currently has a formal Social Media plan in place, according to new research released by Greystone.Net. The research was conducted over a two month period using Greystone.Net’s research panel of over 100 hospital and health system marketers.

“It is impossible to ignore the effect that Social Media is having on the Internet in general, and on hospitals and health systems specifically,” said Mike Schneider, Executive VP of Greystone.Net.  “Organizations that have a formal plan to manage their Social Media interactions are more likely to be successful, and we expect more and more hospital Web departments to embrace this strategy moving forward.”

The research also showed that budgeting for Social Media, including hiring Social Media employees, is still relatively rare among hospitals and health systems – although many respondents commented that this is likely to change in the near future. Other key research findings include:

  • The challenge of monitoring Social Media is handled by relatively few people within a hospital or health system’s Web department (70% report they have 3 or fewer people monitoring).
  • Twitter, YouTube, and FaceBook are the most popular types of Social Media for hospitals and health systems, and also the most effective in terms of driving traffic to the Web site.
  • Despite the fact that nearly all respondents (92%) originally got involved with Social Media to attract new patients, overall they have not seen results in this area (only 12.5% said they had experienced some sort of success).
  • Hospitals/health systems are struggling to find success with other goals of Social Media, with only small numbers reporting that they have been successful improving community relations (16.7%), customer service (8.7%), employee engagement (8.7%), and crisis management (4.5%).

The research was conducted as part of Greystone.Net’s ongoing efforts to stay abreast of key developments in the industry. Results were made available to all survey participants. To request a copy of the research results or to join the Greystone.Net research panel, please email [email protected].

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