Depending on which source one cites, there are anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500 hospitals in the United States. Of these, only about 240 are using social networking tools such as YouTube channels, Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs, according to Ed Bennett, director of Web strategy at the University of Maryland Medical System. Bennett was quoted this week in a story that the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune ran about the Mayo Clinic and Lee Aase, Mayo’s manager for syndication and social media. Thanks to Aase, Mayo has been establishing a strong social media presence via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and its blogs.
Internet marketing can provide very positive benefits for hospitals and the patients they serve. As we wrote about earlier this month, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s search engine optimization efforts helped make it the hospital of choice for a mother whose son has cerebral palsy. The Star Tribune’s story lists several examples of videos that have drawn viewer interest and attracted patients to the Mayo Clinic. And just last week, Ad-ology Research released a study which found that social media marketing has a significant impact on how patients choose a hospital or doctor.
If you’re employed at a hospital, medical clinic, or doctor’s office and are interested in establishing a stronger Internet presence, Molding Web’s Internet marketing and social media consulting services can help you to determine the right course to take, whether it be a blog, a forum, and/or social networking.