Of course, there are health systems that have jumped into social media seemingly fearlessly. Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System, which boasts multiple blogs, a strong Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube presence, has also used Google+ for some of its specific social media pushes.
In 2012, Baylor Health relied on the relatively new social media channel to host a hangout with one the breakout characters in its three-part documentary about cancer called Dallas Hope. Each 30-minute episode chronicled the lives of three cancer patients at a Baylor Health facility.
The aim of the program, which aired on a local ABC affiliate, was to increase awareness of the system's new Sammons Cancer Center complex. Promoting the show on its blog, on Twitter and Facebook, helped drive traffic to the show's landing page. The show's content definitely resonated with viewers. Baylor Health's Facebook reach doubled from 1,436 before Dallas Hope to 3,098, after the program aired. There were 200 #DallasHope Twitter posts, and 7,200 YouTube views.
Baylor Health's focus on social media paid off. An estimated 25% of the web traffic was driven by social media efforts.
Figuring out social media a destination—there‘s no real end point. Instead it's a constant process of learning what is working for a specific organization at a specific time to reach a specific goal. And whether you consider your health system or hospital a beginner or advanced player, there is still a lot to learn.
Lee Aase, director of MCCM, and Ashley Howland, social media manager at Baylor Health will participate in a HealthLeaders Media webcast, Mayo Clinic & Baylor Health Care System: Social Media Marketing Playbook, July 24th.