Recognized for excellence in a variety of medical specialties and employing more than 2500 healthcare professionals, a leading St. Louis-area hospital approached tSunela for search engine optimization and social media assistance in 2010. The hospital was referred to tSunela by a colleague in the same healthcare system; the client was eager to learn more about the social media sphere and how to increase awareness about the hospital’s varied services online.
With this new client, comprehensive education about the social media arena and all the ways in which it can be effectively used to market a hospital were the main challenges tSunela needed to address. Because of this education deficit, illustrating a return on investment was even more important in order to secure a continued relationship with the client. How could social media outlets be used to routinely create awareness about the hospital and its services, and how could we refute the skepticism and highlight the business benefits to this new client?
After introductory meetings about the world of social media and the hospital’s marketing potential within this world, tSunela created a multi-pronged strategy integrating Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. They created a “Doctor of the Week” social media campaign to highlight primary care providers, and produced and optimized unique content to support the campaign. In addition, they posted health-related videos and photographs on YouTube and Flickr and optimized this content for search engines. The hospital now uses their social media presence to inform the community about healthcare events (diabetes screenings, learning expos, etc.), disseminate press releases, and to reinforce the hospital’s brand.
tSunela’s creation of a specific, targeted social media campaign centered on the “Doctor of the Week” initiative, search-optimized content, and a wide distribution to multi-media social media outlets yielded quick successes. In just seven months (May 2010-December 2010), the hospital’s YouTube monthly views increased 161% (from 170 unique views to 445) and their Flickr image views increased by 94% (from 69 viewers to 132). In addition, their Facebook monthly active users (an industry determinant for user base engagement) increased 150% (from 2,152 to 5,373). Plus, the “Doctor of the Week” page on the hospital’s website consistently ranks as one of the top-viewed pages on their site during the week in which a new doctor is featured. The client now understands the power of a uniquely conceptualized and strategically implemented social media campaign and is seeing much return on their digital marketing investment. More importantly, however, their target audiences have become more engaged with the hospital, strengthening the organization’s brand recognition and loyalty.
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