While as many as 90 percent of hospitals use social media, it’s still a part-time effort for most of them, according to a survey of small and large hospitals, and health systems in Ohio.
The Ohio Hospital Association and social media agency Mindset Digital conducted an email survey among OHA-member organizations last fall. Of the 84 hospitals that responded, only 15 percent said they had full-time personnel to manage their social media channels, and those tended to be large health systems. The Cleveland Clinic, for one, last year made some of its part-time social media staff full time. But most of the people doing this job at other hospitals are full-time employees with other duties. Six percent of hospitals said their social media manager was an intern and 4 percent said it was a part-time employee.
But is that necessarily a bad thing? Having multiple people within an organization working part time on social media might even be a good strategy for ensuring that it’s delivering a variety of fresh, interesting content across multiple channels.
It also doesn’t mean they aren’t focusing serious time and effort on building social repertoires. According to OHA and Mindset Digital’s report, A Healthy Dose of Social Media (PDF), about half of the hospitals surveyed said they are devoting more time and staff toward social media efforts in 2013.
As for the other half? Most said their efforts will be about the same. Only 2 percent said they were devoting less time or fewer staff. And unanimously these hospitals agreed that they would spend at least as much money, if not more, on social media efforts.
Most of that effort is going toward Facebook, which still remains hospitals’ top priority for social media, followed by Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Despite its popularity among consumers in general, Pinterest isn’t of particular interest here: 71 percent of the Ohio hospitals surveyed said it was not a priority. That makes sense given that the hospitals reported their top priorities with social media as building community relationships, sharing hospital news and building a local reputation.
The infographic below summarizes the survey results. Or you can check out the whole report here.