In the age of tweets, re-tweets and live updates, various businesses are contending to leverage the power of social media to grow their businesses. The healthcare industry is also joining the bandwagon. Hospitals in India have started using social media as a tool to boost their businesses. Super-specialty hospitals like Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare and Max Healthcare are the forerunners in aggressively pursuing social media marketing. Let’s see how hospitals are using social media.
Apollo Hospitals is an integrated pioneer healthcare organization with owned and managed hospitals, diagnostic clinics, dispensing pharmacies and consultancy services in addition to the group’s service offerings that include healthcare at the patient’s doorstep, clinical and diagnostic services, medical business process outsourcing, and a host of other services. The hospital boasts of more than 100 video uploads on Youtube that include FirstAid, Patient Testimonials, Chairman Speak, Apollo Hospitals’ Initiatives, etc.
The hospital has a massive 706,657 likes on Facebook and actively engages its users through health quizzes, Tweetinar and activities that help users to win vouchers and exciting merchandise. It also has 3967 followers on Twitter. The objective of the Health Quiz (launched on 31st August 2012) was to reinforce the health awareness of users and reward those who fare well in the quiz.
Apollo Prism, the cloud-based online Personal Health Record (PHR) service, helps users to receive and organize their health information, track and monitor health and store their data securely. Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, has also tied up with Groupon to launch health check programs for all age groups, thus leveraging the web-based platform to enhance awareness about their medical services.
Meanwhile, Apollo Hospitals are building an incredible awareness campaign through their social media network and showcasing themselves as a social media savvy organization. The organization through its ad “Celebrating 5 lakh fans” on Facebook invited fans to join their huge list of 5 lakh friends by liking the page to participate. Users had to complete the phrase “Health for me is…” in 3-4 sentences and the best entries would receive gift vouchers.
Thus, the Apollo Hospitals’ celebration drives home its objective: to create awareness about health and build an online community for the long term.
The organization is also quite active on Twitter with regular quiz contests and tweetinars at the end of a month. Apollo Hospitals had recently held a tweetinar on sports related injuries where queries were answered by a qualified joint care specialist, specializing in Sports Medicine.
Fortis Healthcare, a leading, integrated pan Asia-Pacific healthcare delivery provider, has its presence in 11 countries. It has 647 video uploads on Youtube, 2420 followers on Twitter and 59,120 likes on its Facebook page.
The hospital also boasts of a Facebook application through which a user can book an appointment with a doctor anywhere in India. On the occasion of Holi, it launched Fortis Balloon Pop challenge on its Facebook page and Twitter and also includes interesting cartoons depicting human body facts. The hospital’s blog is a wonderful example of the hospital extensively markets its services and offers and reaches out to patients through Health Check Screening, Patients Education Series and Get an Appointment.
Max Healthcare, one of the best hospital chains in India, has around 200 video uploads on Youtube and includes testimonials as well. The leading healthcare chain has an impressive 80, 895 likes on Facebook, 1419 followers on Twitter and even a substantial presence on Pinterest with 179 pins and 10 boards. The hospital has a vibrant presence on Facebook with Pink Connect, a breast cancer initiative to inform and educate women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, along with a forum for discussions and interactions.
Enlighten – on Facebook provides an interactive forum that offers educative and support services for obesity and bariatric treatment, along with success stories, and aims to create awareness about fighting obesity. Bundle of Joy, an interactive portal, offers parenting and mother and child care related information and advice on Facebook.
Max Healthcare’s fan page contains videos to provide information about healthcare to be taken during pregnancy, especially for women in their late thirties.
One of the best super specialty eye hospitals headquartered in Bangalore, Narayana Nethralaya offers the best service in eye care. It has 7600 fans on Facebook and has been actively using Facebook to promote campaigns like Eye Donation campaign and interactive posts like How good is your Glaucoma quotient?, Free Glaucoma screening for patients, Bangalore Glaucoma Walkathon, etc.
In keeping with its social responsibilities, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation funds KIDROP as its core belief is that “no child must go blind for want of financial resources.” KIDROP also has a substantial presence in Facebook and it uses the channel to create awareness about Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which is the leading cause of infant blindness in the world. The hospital also uses a SaaS-based social media tool, Simplify360, to competitively implement social media concepts.
Several recent surveys and reports confirm that the modern age patients seem to rely heavily on the results of their Internet search. People today log on to various websites to gather information regarding their health. While more than 60% of hospitals globally use social media platforms, Indian hospitals too need to cash in on the benefits of using social media by marketing their services and facilities effectively and utilize the social media platform for patient feedback and improving patient care. After all, social media is here to stay and is not a passing fad!
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