Guest Blog 2: The Social Web
June 1, 2011
It used to be the case that if you didn’t have a website, your organisation would be considered outdated and in danger of losing out to competitors who were online. Now, it’s not a question of simply being online, it’s also a question of what you do online.
Marketing agencies will tell you that you need social media, you need an iPhone app, an Android app, you need to be on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter - and maybe you do. But do you know why you do? Do you know what the implications for your organisation are?
What is the Social Web? Well, what it isn’t is ‘that thing that teenagers do on Facebook’. It’s now that thing that everyone who is online does to a greater or lesser extent, whether they realise it or not. It’s about networking, it’s about sharing, it’s about you and your identity.
Social has changed the landscape forever, and it can’t be ignored.
This is where the real challenges in digital marketing lie. When people say, “we need to be online”, my first response is “why?” They are right, of course, they do need to be online, but if they find it hard to answer why, it isn’t going to end well and they are going to spend a lot of money to find that out.
Maybe you offer something no one else can. Maybe you do what someone else does, but you do it better. Maybe you see an opportunity to make money. Maybe you just want to share information. Whatever the reason, your decision to be online must be motivated by something.
In the field of healthcare, that something isn’t always going to be helped directly by social media, but you’ll almost certainly find that ‘social’ comes into it somewhere.
If you’ve ever rated a movie or reviewed a product you purchased online, you’ve been an early pioneer of the collaborative nature of online behaviour. In healthcare, you can now rate your doctor, your hospital experience, your quality of care. What you say will influence the decisions of others and ultimately improve the standard of healthcare.
If you are building a website, building a community, or offering a service in health, remember that like the Web in general, the landscape has changed and you need to be at the forefront of the changes to remain relevant.
About the Author
Jon is considered to be one of Europe's leading digital editors in healthcare. He is the former editor of Doctors.net.uk, where he was responsible for content and the digital marketing strategy of the largest online network of doctors in Europe. Prior to this, Jon was editor of the Chief Medical Officer’s website at the Department of Health.
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