Using Healthcare Social Media to Create Word-of-Mouth Buzz

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Creating buzz about a new product or service in healthcare or any sector is hard.  You can have a gazillion Twitter followers or Facebook likes, but if no one is listening, does your following or like count really matter.   As the digital tools we have available to us become more refined and abundant, one might think creating Word-of-Mouth (WOM) would become easier, but does it?

In the healthcare community, the social media adoption rate hovers around 25% depending on what journal article or survey you read.  That means 75% of individuals in the healthcare community have little to no contact with social media for a variety of reasons.  Maybe it’s a generational gap or perhaps a physician or patient who doesn’t see the value in using social media, but depending solely on social media to create WOM about a service or product is absurd.  With that said, how can you get the most out of social media and make it part of your WOM campaign?

Identify your evangelists

Find the members of your community that really believe in your product or service.  While a retweet from Justin Bieber to his 33.5 million followers may sound lovely, do you think his teen fan base really cares about your medical service or product?

Leverage your loyal members

Now that you’ve identified your evangelists it’s time to put them to work.  Now, I don’t mean paying them for their voice, but I do think you should be able to ask for some support.

Get out and engage

This is an important idea.  A great deal of social media users tweet or post information, but don’t actually engage.  Engaging is not creating word vomit, it’s connecting with others and adding value to a conversation.

Use your physical space

One of the great things about having a physical space is the ability to create and nurture triggers.  Using hashtags as triggers not only raises awareness of a product or service, but can really help drive and create WOM.

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