Let’s face it, social media has revolutionized the world of marketing and customer relations, yet healthcare systems, overall, have been slow to embrace it. 

Consider the following statistics, as listed in the B2B Guide to Social Media

  • 80% of all active U.S. Internet users are reached by social media networking sites.
  • 73% of the total U.S. Internet population is reached by Facebook each month.
  • 76% of businesses are using social networking for business objectives. 

Even more compelling is that fact that 80% of Internet users search online for health information, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project

Bringing this yet another step closer to home, Howard J. Luks, MD, chief of sports medicine and arthroscopy at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York,  in his Musings of a Patient Centric Orthopedist Navigating the Intersection of Social Media and Healthcare blog, states, “the majority of patients are researching their surgeon and their respective institutions prior to their visit to your office—they are checking your online reputation, and the message or image you portray.” 

Likewise, it isn’t a far stretch to assume that consumers are actively researching healthcare providers and hospitals online when determining where to seek healthcare. 

So the big question on the table is: Are you, as a healthcare provider, putting your best foot forward with an engaging online social presence, or are you being overshadowed by your competitors? 

While not as directly involved, healthcare design and construction professionals aren’t completely off the hook either, as they may be gleaning valuable lessons from their own social media endeavors, but are they sharing these insights with healthcare clients? 

Any thoughts? Please share in the comments below. 

Our next healthcare social media blog takes a look at how some progressive hospitals are successfully applying social media strategies to boost their image and connect with patients.