Background: Social media is a powerful tool for providing specialized information to large target audiences. Parents and teens now frequently turn to social media as a quick method of obtaining health information. Objective:Introduce a strategy for a hospital based integrated social media plan that is based on a flagship blog. Illustrate strategies to use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other marketing tools to promote the blog. Show how we embed relevant YouTube videos to accompany blog posts. Explain how we embed hyperlinks within the blog posts to drive traffic back to our hosptial website. Suggest strategies for physicians to work with media relations to develop such a site. Discuss strategies to communicate effectively with the public via social media. Discuss our successes and failures using SEO and other strategies to bring volume to our hospitalbased blog Open a dialogue on how to communicate safely and effectively, being sensitive to patient confidentiality and legal concerns. Describe our success in collaborating with local television stations to promote social networking efforts and further public education.
A social media team was formed consisting of thirteen pediatric hospitalists and the manager of media relations. Our flagship hospitalbased blog, www.childrensMD.org, was designed by an external vendor with oversight and support from media relations. Articles on topics of public interest were posted weekly. Video content was created using an affordable flip camera. Multiple methods were used to promote our blog through traditional television media, search engine optimization, and dissemination through various other social media outlets. Blog traffic was analyzed using Google Analytics. Facebook and Twitter followers were counted through these respective sites.
Between Oct2010 and Oct2011, www.ChildrensMD.com went from 844 monthly page visits with 58% coming from search engines, to 2665 page visits, 82% of which came from search engine traffic. Crosspromoting the blog with the local NBC affiliate for a story about a food additive in a popular snack item resulted in a 700% oneday spike in page reads.
Social media is a rapidly emerging tool for public education. Hospital based social media offers high quality content that is well read by the public.
To cite this abstract:Ferman J, Berchelmann K, Ross K, Srinivasan M, Bhaskar S, Rives W. Twitter, Facebook and Medical Blogging: Using the Social Media As a Means for Public Educatio. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 97662. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012; 7 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/twitter-facebook-and-medical-blogging-using-the-social-media-as-a-means-for-public-educatio/. Accessed September 18, 2019.