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Author: Walker Marketing, Inc.
This article originally appeared on Walker Marekting
Should a home care company use social media to build influence and gain market share? That question is still being debated by many top-level home care executives. The Leading Home Care Network group on LinkedIn recently had such a discussion, and opinions are still divided.
Yet, statistics show that more and more patients are turning to social media outlets for information. A recent report by National Healthcare revealed that 96 percent of respondents said they used Facebook to get healthcare information. The report also stated that 4 out of 10 respondents said social media was very likely or likely to impact future health-care decisions and 39% said they have a very high or high level of trust in social media. Only 6.2% claimed to have a very low level of trust in the growing social media world.
Some in the home care industry fall in that low percentile, but often those who are most opposed to social media are those who least understand it. A recent survey we conducted on behalf of a client revealed that the people who did not find value in social media were also the least engaged. Certainly, there are those who have dabbled in social media and later walked away, yet the prevailing trend is that nonbelievers who don’t participate in social media themselves have a harder time seeing its value.
That’s why home care executives should engage in social media themselves, to better understand its impact. Every home care CEO should have an updated LinkedIn profile and participate in LinkedIn groups. Executives must also examine Facebook Pages, comparing their Pages to those of competitors, to better understand what is going on in the social media sphere. And, don’t forget, Google+ is also emerging as an option and brand pages are expected to launch there soon.
Knowledge is the best approach for home care and social media. Don’t rely on the experiences of others in the industry, or something you may have read. Executives should test it out for themselves to gain the insight that can help shape a successful social media campaign.
How educated is your home care executive about social media? How has that shaped their opinion about its usage?