Until recently, I thought it was only organizations that were promoting their services that paid for distribution of their social media messages. If you’re not familiar with this, your organization can buy “promoted tweets” (see What are Promoted Tweets?), and ads on Facebook (see Advertise on Facebook) and LinkedIn (see Acquire New Customers for Your Business).
Imagine my surprise when I read about a disaffected business traveler on British Airways who responded to “poor customer service” (aka lost luggage) by the airline, by purchasing a sponsored tweet with the airline that read, “Don’t fly @BritishAirways…Their customer service is horrendous” (see Twitter User Buys Promoted Tweets To Complain About Lost Luggage On British Airways). That tweet, which cost $1,000 reached 76,800 Twitter users in British Airway’s New York City and UK markets. The shoe is on the other foot – unhappy customers using social media for their own “feedback.” That bites.
But, social media can also be an organization’s best friend. A great example of this technology being used positively in the health care field industry was reported on in The Wall Street Journal last month, More Hospitals Use Social Media to Gather Feedback from Patients’ Families. The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware has adopted a “virtual advisory council.” It is made up of the parents of patients, is focused on specific diseases or conditions, and is connected via a private social network. The hospital recruits council participants via “a Facebook page, digital hospital signs and contact information on business cards”, and refrains from “moderating” the online interactions except to remove comments that are “personal attacks, off-topic or otherwise inappropriate.” Parents are also kept up-to-date and in contact with hospital staff through MyNemours, and offered free access to some of the patient’s medical records (see MyNemours).
And, the University of Michigan Health System, has “e-advisors” that participate in online surveys and respond to questions via a Facebook page. These “advisors” participate in 35 online surveys a year, and these surveys are used to train hospital staff for better communication with patients and patient families. The system also provides consumers a 24/7 connection for important health information, and access to a variety of online services such as sending message to caregivers, and viewing medical records (see MyUofMHealth.org).
For more on implementing your own social media strategy, check out these resources:
Calculate Your Organization’s Social Media IQ all members
Using Social Media to Your Advantage all members
What is Your Social Media Plan? all members
Your marketing team needs to think about managing social media – and your on-line reputation. It can be your best friend – or bite the hand that feeds it.
For another free resource, see: How Much Do Unhappy Consumers Really Matter? all members