As with so many powerful tools, social media can be both a blessing and a curse. Your hospital will always have its advocates and its detractors. This happens in the real world and online. Social networks now give detractors (and advocates) new venues for sharing their opinions. Advocates are head over heels about your company; they’re your ultimate word-of-mouth marketers. Assassins, on the other hand, are brand detractors who will go out of their way to bash your hospital. Typically, they want to make sure that everyone knows about their bad experience with your organization (or with one of your physicians).
Advocates and assassins are definitely present in the healthcare industry, especially online. Access and visibility are two of the great benefits of being online; however, that same visibility can make you a target. Your organization’s reputation, and the reputation of your physicians, is always on the line. According to Tobin Arthur in a recent article published on KevinMD.com, “With the proliferation of information on the Internet, driven heavily by blogs and more recently “social media”, a physician’s reputation can get enhanced or dinged in a nano-second. “ That makes online reputation management and social media monitoring absolute necessities!
As Tobin points out in his article, online reputation management is very serious, and should not be ignored by any of us in healthcare, particularly physicians. To learn more, check out Tobin’s article here: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2010/10/physicians-care-online-reputation-management.html.
Post by Dan Dunlop with Stephanie Cohen, UNC-Chapel Hill Student and Jennings Intern