Most doctors have bulletin boards in their offices and health brochures in their waiting rooms, but now a number of doctors also post information about their practices on social sites. USA Today reports that the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs recently resolved to “study the issue of physicians’ use of social networking,” which indicates social media marketing could become more mainstream for the healthcare profession – and marketers may be just what the doctored ordered.
The success of one social campaign started by Texas-based MacArthur OB/GYN suggests that the medical community is well-suited for online campaigns. The practice’s @macobygn Twitter account includes posts on health industry news as well as medical questions and answers. It currently has more than 1,600 followers, and affiliated doctors told USA Today they have won patients through this effort.
It seems other private practices and hospitals are also looking to establish themselves as thought leaders and win clients through social media. Recently, there was a conference for medical professionals at the South Carolina Hospital Association entitled Social Media Revolution. One attendee blogged that “social media is no longer an afterthought when it comes to hospitals’ marketing strategies.”
Now that physicians and hospitals seem to be geared to move forward with social campaigns, they may be looking to hire marketers who demonstrate strength in social platforms. In fact, social network savvy will be an important asset for marketers in various sectors this year – B2B firms across industries will be increasing their social media ad spend by 43 percent in 2010.