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Hospitals and Social Media

The trend of social media is hitting all industries, so it is inevitable healthcare will be impacted as well. Hospitals currently are way behind the social media curve; very few understand it at all. However, there are some marketing-savvy hospitals that do. Healthcare blogger, Tony Chen provides a few excellent examples:

1. Cleveland Clinic is on Facebook. I think you have to be a facebook user to see these, but you too could join the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Group (currently 111 members) and the Cleveland Clinic Group (55 members). Their group description: This group is for all employees, interns, volunteers, patients, or anyone who is associated with the Cleveland Clinic or the CCF health system. If you look around, there are other hospitals that are also dabbling with various groups. Do a search for other hospitals (try MD Anderson), and you'll find all kinds of different groups and people who are associated as employees/volunteers.
2. Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center is also on Facebook with fans. This is different than a "group." As of just a few months ago, companies and organizations can join facebook, and individuals can declare themselves as "fans." This is a way for people to show their friends what they're excited/passionate about. Viral marketing at its best (and worst).
3. Partners Healthcare is on SecondLife. Check out their website for how they explain SecondLife and why they believe it is important. Some folks may have heard of Second Life as a 3D virtual world for gamers and slackers. Obviously, this isn't the case anymore. Tons has been written about it recently - everything from the pros/cons of job interviews done on second life to why GM created a pretend virtual dealership. CNN even has a blog that solely covers second life developments.
4. Hospital CEO blogs - I think we are all already familiar with these. Just in case you aren't, check out Nick's Blog (CEO of Windber Medical Center in PA) and Paul Levy's blog (CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston)

Additional Resource of Interest:

California HealthCare Foundation Social Media Report

Michelle Myers is the Digital Gardener at Locomotion Creative

Want To Change Your Brand? Don’t (usually)

Two of the world’s best-known brands are wanting to change their logo. Why? Are they sick of them? Are they worn out? Neither is a good reason to change.The brand owner will always get tired of their own brand before customers will. Customers don’t live with your brand 24/7. They engage with the brand only when THEY want to. Consumers have plenty of other brands with which they can fill their days so they don’t focus on you all the time. You are only a small part of their lives until they want to buy what you’re selling.So my advice usually is to not change a brand or logo. Customers are familiar with it. Why not take the money and spend it on developing a stronger relationship with your customer. That’s money better spent.

Best Buy New Logo

Founded in 1966 as Sound of Music and renamed to Best Buy in 1983, the consumer electronics giant, with over 1,000 locations worldwide, is one of the largest electronic retailers of its kind. BEST BUY opened a 45,000-square-foot in Minneapolis’ Mall of America on August 6 and with the grand opening, they rolled out a new logo.That’s right, BEST BUY is changing its iconic logo as recognizable as McDonald’s golden arches. The “WOW” factor is totally missing from this new logo, compared to the old. Although much cleaner, it doesn’t seem to work as well. The whole idea of BEST BUY was to convey a price + value statement. Why do people go to BEST BUY? When we made our HD television purchase it came down to selection and price. I don’t understand the reasoning behind the change.Pepsi

Pepsi, one of the world’s best-known brands. Iconic in Karachi as much as it is in Kalamazoo. Where’s the logic in that? Seth Godin one of America’s Greatest Marketers, reminds us,

“... new logos can’t possibly increase your market share, and an expensive logo doesn’t defeat a cheap logo. Take the time and money and effort you’d put into an expensive logo and put them into creating a product and experience and story that people remember instead.”

S.A. Habib is the founder of Locomotion Creative.

Social Media Will Continue To Change Businesses

social mediaEven if your brand is blue collar and traditional, you'll need to take greater advantage of the latest tools in social media to continue to prosper.

Roughly 86% of respondents in a survey conducted by Locomotion Creative say they expect social media to impact the way companies do business and generate sales.

Additionally, 64% believe their competitors are probably incorporating social media into their strategic plans.

The survey, which explored awareness and usage of social media — including social networking, Wikis, podcasts, e-mail and blogs — was sent to Locomotion Creative’s opt-in e-mail distribution list. A significant percentage of these respondents represent blue-collar brands.

While not a scientific study per se, the survey gives us a good snapshot of attitudes held by business executives about the growing importance of social media.

And it reinforces the fact that companies must continue to give increasing emphasis to social media as part of their marketing plans.

Download the social media survey.

S.A. Habib is the founder of Locomotion Creative.