While Facebook may still be the champion when it comes to social media, Twitter is definitely a close second. Using Twitter often doesn’t even occur to many of those who are in the health care services industry, but this tool can be a powerful method to not only recruit more patients, but to help improve the health care system as a whole.
Phil Baumann brought up an interesting point that there are specific challenges when it comes to health care and micro-sharing sites like Twitter. He lists some of the most unique challenges as:
- Professional oaths to do no harm
- Litigation concerns
- Patient dignity and privacy
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability and Accountability Act of 1996)
Not following these standards could potentially lead to civil and criminal penalties that could cost one $25,000 or more.
Not exactly a bill I’d want to pay.
But even in the face of these challenges there are many ways in which Twitter can be used to your benefit. Here are some of our suggestions here at IMPACT:
Use Twitter to provide Supportive Care
Of many of the different industries out there, the health care service industry has the duty to provide more support and care to their patients than other industries. A shoe company shouldn’t care about how badly a pair of spike heels made a customer’s feet hurt, but you as a health care service provider should be acutely aware of how well your products or services are helping an individual.
Open up your Twitter to allow patients and family members to contact you for additional advice and assistance as needed. It will go a long way in creating leads, customers, and even brand loyalists.
To Take Surveys
Twitter is great when it comes to asking people to voice their opinion. Why not use Twitter to take a poll of opinions from your current followers? You can easily provide a quick link back to your site. You’ll learn more about your customers and be able to provide them with more of what they want. This is great for the customer, and great for your business.
To Share Health-Related News
Is there a new drug safety alert from the FDA? Or have you gotten your hands on a groundbreaking study that shows a new break in the cure for a particular disease or illness? Why not curate that content, put it on your blog, and then post it to your social media accounts? We go more into depth into this in our Ebook “Social Media Tune-Up”, but advertising blog content on your social media is a great way to build trust, gain authority, and boost your lead and customer count.
Maintaining and Monitoring Patient Health Records
Twitter can be a great way for patients to connect with health service providers. They suddenly have a quick and easy way to provide information such as:
- Blood glucose results
- Dietary and nutritional tracking information
- Mood tracking
This will help both the patient and a professional in the health care industry keep tabs on a patient’s health and change any management plans are necessary. Try to come up with a strategy that will allow them to provide results to you in a way that they feel comfortable with and that doesn’t conflict with any privacy policies or patient confidentiality.
More and more industries are using social media to recruit potential employees, and when you think about it, that makes a whole lot of sense. No matter what social media site you’re using, putting out a job placement advert to the public means that you’re potentially reaching hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people all at once. What does this mean for you as a company? That you’ll have the most options available when it comes to people to interview and fill the position, and that you’re most likely to find the best person for the job this way.
Recruiting employees online is also significantly less expensive than doing it by the more traditional methods of employee recruitment.
There are a lot of ways in which those in the health care services industry, and the people they help, can benefit from Twitter, such as:
- Employee recruitment
- Sharing health news
- To take surveys and polls
- To offer supportive care to patients and other people in the industry
If you’re a health service provider interested in maximizing your social media marketing efforts, contact us to schedule your free marketing analysis.