I have been conducting market research on the mobility market on a client’s behalf. As part of this research I have looked at IT trends and forecasts. In addition to predictions that the mobile internet will grow faster and become larger than the “wired” Internet, I have also seen predictions regarding the growth and impact of social media. There appears to be consensus that social media will have a huge impact on how people interact and do business.
I have been monitoring use and adoption of social media by health sector. While an increasing number of hospitals are experimenting with social media, a recent article in HealthLeaders Media
indicates , according to a study by Greystone.net, that “nine in 10 hospitals use social media to some degree, but most of them say they’re having little luck attracting new patients with it, and only one in three has a formal social media plan in place“. While the study found that budgeting for social media is still relatively rare, Greystone.Net reports that many respondents stated that this situation is likely to change in the near future. The study also found that “Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are the most popular social media for hospitals, and also the most effective in terms of driving traffic to the Web site.”
Having been involved in the Internet since the late 1980’s and witnessed first hand how the Internet has evolved, I see social media as a “technology” that will have tremendous impact on how organizations interact with their stakeholders including “customers”. Hence, I encourage the health sector to take the time to figure out how to make social media work for them.