STUDY: Hospitals Miss Opportunities On Facebook

Hospitals are missing out on major opportunities to better connect with their community, interact with patients, and extend their brand on Facebook.

Is your hospital on Facebook? Chances are, it’s not fully utilizing the social network, if it’s on there at all.

Hospitals are missing out on major opportunities to better connect with their community, interact with patients, and yes, extend their brand on Facebook, according to public relations and marketing firm Verasoni AhHa and Simon Associates Management Consultants.

The companies conducted a study of 120 hospitals varying in size and specialties across the U.S., analyzing the number of contacts each has, the frequency and types of posts, and the use of integration tools available on the social media site.

“While the numbers clearly indicate that patients are on Facebook, it is the job of hospitals to find them, and engage them in a meaningful way. And, just because a hospital is on Facebook doesn’t mean that they are building a meaningful Facebook experience for both the hospital and the patient,” said Abe Kasbo, chief executive officer of Verasoni Worldwide, in the press release regarding the study.

The study found that children’s hospitals did the best job of using Facebook to engage with their community — they had the largest number of followers and appeared to be more “robust, engaging, and relevant.” Other findings included:

  • Only 8 of the 120 hospitals had more than 10,000 followers.
  • Less than 40 percent of hospitals posted daily, and those that did had many more encounters with current and prospective patients as well as caregivers.
  • Less than 50 percent used Facebook’s event calendar to promote health or hospital events.
  • Some 80 percent of hospitals did not use Facebook’s discussion board, and those that did were rewarded with a high degree of engagement, adulation and recommendations from members.
  • Pages of 76 hospitals had no unsolicited feedback or questions.
  • Some 38 hospital Facebook pages included unsolicited feedback from their Facebook members

Are you following your hospital on Facebook? If so, what can they do to better engage and inform you?