Should Hospitals Use Facebook?
Hospitals are flocking to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to attract consumer attention and to engage consumers in meaningful and ongoing dialogue. The attraction is obvious since millions of consumers turn to these internet communities to find information and local services. But special challenges are presented to hospitals on social media sites because of concerns about patient privacy and the limits participants have in controlling the dialogue.
In a recent white paper entitled "To Facebook or Not to Facebook: The question for hospitals today" the people at MyHealthCommunity Social Network, Inc. do a great job of framing the issues and offering sound advice for hospital marketers developing a social media strategy. You can download the white paper here.
In their conclusion, the authors offer a series of recommendations on how hospital marketers should proceed. One of the points that sticks out for me is that you should “use Facebook as a place to find your audience and direct them to the appropriate platform for communication.” Those appropriate platforms include the hospitals’ own websites. DCP helps hospitals build out sections of their sites where this more secure conversation can take place.