The real power of social media in healthcare, and beyond

The real power of social media in healthcare, and beyond

Scott Johnson, author of Scott’s Diabetes Journal and Scott’s Diabetes Blog, recently wrote a blog post titled A Patient’s Perspective On Social Media (see below). I read it on Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media site, and it referenced the importance of Mayo’s Center for Social Media.

It’s a very heartfelt post about the value of social media, in the context of living with type 1 diabetes. But more than that, it speaks to the real power of social media. The power to truly engage and inspire. To bring people together around their passions, concerns and causes. To motivate participation and collaboration. And in this case, the power to help heal.

Regardless of where you compete across the health continuum – whether healthcare, medical devices, life sciences or personal care – you have the ability to enrich the lives of your customers by being the conduit for their conversations. To create marketing platforms that provide value, not noise. That focus on their needs versus your messages. That build relationships where all parties benefit.

Here’s his post. Would appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Social media gives me access to a world of people living with type 1 diabetes, just like me. Any hour of the day or night I can tune in to discussions on Twitter or Facebook, I can read thousands of blog posts written by people from all walks of life, all living with type 1 diabetes, and I can find YouTube videos that make me laugh and cry. I can find connections. I can find people who understand exactly what I’m going through. These people and their stories become an emotional lifeline. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone or isolated. In fact I often feel inspired and empowered by what I’ve seen.

Social media has helped me be a healthier person by showing me real-life examples of others living with diabetes. Unfiltered and unafraid, these people are sharing their stories. I hear first hand about situations they have experienced, and I can share in their successes and challenges.

The Mayo Clinic recently launched a Social Media Center to teach and train other health care organizations on using social media. Beyond just setting an example for organizations to follow, the Mayo Clinic is encouraging and teaching these organizations to jump in with both feet.

Instead of fearing and ignoring the Internet, the Mayo Clinic embraces the communication that social media enables. That is exactly what we want. We want communication, a chance to share our story, and a channel to provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t. We want to get to know the people behind the corporate curtain. We want to learn more about the dedicated people working to help us live better. We want to know that we are not alone out here.

As a patient living with chronic illness, social media has become a part of my health care regime, and something I’ve come to need as part of my survival toolkit.

I am excited to see that The Mayo Clinic has recognized the importance of social media as a means to connect with and provide additional support to patients. I believe the center will be wildly successful, and I hope to see other healthcare organizations make use of this resource to get involved with social media the right way.

Thanks Scott.

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, the specialist health & wellness branding and marketing agency using every moment as an opportunity to move customers, brands and businesses upward to a new destination.

9 thoughts on “The real power of social media in healthcare, and beyond

  1. Susan,

    Thanks for your feedback. Scott’s post really is very special. Doesn’t get much better in terms of exemplifying the power of social platforms to move and join people together in ways that one-way communications never can.

  2. Thank you for highlighting this post Eric, and for the great comment Susan.

    Social media is such a powerful thing for people living with chronic conditions such as type 1 diabetes. In our everyday world we often feel as if we are the only one having to deal with it. Having such accessible connections to others living with it as well is priceless.

  3. Scott highlights a good point here – Mayo Clinic’s willingness to embrace new technology. Because without doing so, we in the healthcare industry lose the ability to communicate correct and helpful information. Social media serves as a venue for us to demystify myths and provide health education. Kudos to Mayo Clinic for proactively engaging in social media communities.

  4. Megan,

    Thanks for sharing your comment. Mayo has been a great role model, and others are now following (albeit more slowly than we all would like). But social’s also provided the ability for people to share information, insights and learning with others (e.g. consider PatientsLikeMe) –– and healthcare organizations can provide this important opportunity as well. Regards, Eric