St. Louis-Area Hospital Utilizes Social Media to Raise Awareness about the Hospital and its Services
St. Louis Children’s Hospital is one of the premier children’s hospitals in the United States and is consistently ranked as such by various publications. With more than 3,000 employees, the hospital provides a full range of pediatric services to its patients. In 2006, St Louis Children’s Hospital engaged tSunela to increase their presence and ranking on search engines.
tSunela successfully created and implemented a search engine optimization (SEO) plan for the hospital’s main and affiliated websites. As part of a second-phase SEO strategy, tSunela recommended the integration of social media marketing.
Although in agreement with the increasing importance of social media to brand awareness, the client was concerned about confidentiality, liability, and adequately staffing this new marketing initiative. Who would respond to posts/discussions? How would they respond? Should a significant player in the healthcare industry open themselves up to public dialogue? If so, how can this discourse be managed and monitored?
tSunela comprehensively researched the online presence of others in the healthcare industry to determine how they were maximizing social media opportunities. They also explored past online conversations about St. Louis Children’s Hospital and its services, and followed various healthcare entities and causes on Facebook and Twitter to monitor organic growth and affinity group creation.
These efforts, in combination with their social media recommendations, resulted in a social media marketing strategy presentation to the client. tSunela addressed the client’s fears about entering this arena and presented a plan for how to execute a successful social media campaign. Recommendations included:
• A pan-department delegation system for questions and comments requiring responses
• Internal management of accounts to closely monitor for confidentiality and liability concerns
• Frequency of posts for each outlet
• The addition of a social media page on the website to market participation in this new medium
• Branding consistency across all social media sites
• Recurrent and continual monitoring efforts
tSunela set up, designed, and created initial content for all of the hospital’s social media accounts. They also helped the client navigate social media marketing until the internal professionals felt more comfortable with the process. tSunela continually monitors their efforts and recommends adjustments to ensure continued return on investments.
Now, more than two years since the plan was presented, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Facebook page has 6,000 fans and boasts many thousands of members to the hospital’s various cause groups. They have 2,400 followers on their main Twitter account and have since created others.
The hospital has seen an increase in traffic to their website directly from these social media accounts and their search engine rankings have improved as a result of this social media marketing effort. Most importantly, they now have an open and direct forum for communicating with past and prospective patients, an instantaneous way to garner feedback on improved processes, and an additional outlet for establishing their various areas of expertise.
Contact tSunela today for more information on our internet marketing services.