How Social Media can help your EHR Company
To say that Social Media has taken over mainstream entertainment, sports and news would be a great understatement. From Facebook to Twitter social media consumes everyday culture. It is the new outlet for people and companies to express their thoughts and ideas instantaneously. Newspapers and television are now yesterday’s old news and more and more people use social media to keep up with the latest and breaking news. It is now slowly creeping into the EHR world.
A column, written in an EHR, EMR open forum named “Healthcare Companies that Shouldn’t do Social Media” (Healthcare IT Companies That Shouldn’t Do Social Media) talks about how EHR companies should be careful on whether or not to use social media. I agree with the writer that an EHR/ IT company should be cautious when entering the social media world. Twitter and other media outlets can doom a company, if not handled and managed correctly. However, the benefits, if smartly implemented, can greatly outweigh the negatives of this particular medium. Not only does a utilizing social media forum such as Facebook and Twitter increase your company visibility, but it also provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships with current clients.
Now, as the writer indicated, using these outlets is an important aspect of networking with present and future clients. It is also important to point out the need to monitor the sheer volume of information put out in this manner as to not overwhelm your audience. Too many tweets and posts can drown out your audience and make your message is redundant and boring. There is a fine line to walk to attracting new followers and turning them off.
As mentioned above, social media provides a time-conscious method to assist with maintaining a fresh relationship with your current client base. Instead of picking up the phone or typing out an email that could take up to 30 minutes with every client that you may have, a quick post or tweet can minimize adding time to an already long day. Tweeting or posting something can go a long way to maintaining a presence in the industry.
The author points out that using social media can lead to a perceived atmosphere of not caring enough for your customer. Depending on how many customers the company does have a simple, “ Hey, If you need anything please let us know” or “ When you have time check this out…” can go a long way towards a happy and useful relationship. If needed you can always revert back to the emails and phone calls, some people think it is just an easier and quicker form of communication.
The EHR world is always changing, whether it is new enhancements or Meaningful Use measure, we work in an industry that is booming right now and evolving on a continuous basis. Articles come out almost every day about something that can affect the way you help your client out or just to see how other EHR companies might be dealing with the same questions you get asked. Instead of searching for articles for tips and tricks, you can send out a tweet or post regarding your thoughts about the current state of the industry.
Like the author alluded to, there are many reasons why a company should steer clear of the social media world. However maintaining and managing a social presence correctly, building and strengthening relationships and keeping on top of current EHR trends are just some of the reasons why more companies should look toward social media. At Galen Healthcare, we strive to do all these things including Twitter (@Galen Healthcare) or our Facebook group. We continue to share our ideas and products through these social media outlets as well as communicate with our clients. Every company can and should utilize the platform to give themselves a boost and differentiate from the competition in an otherwise crowded field.
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