Hospital Marketing Report Explores Social Media ROI

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Protocol examines state of healthcare social media marketing in 2012.

Healthcare marketing agency Smith & Jones released today the newest issue of Protocol, the marketing report for hospital CEOs and practice administrators, titled “Healthcare Social Media Marketing 2012.”

This issue of Protocol examines the state of social media in the year 2012: its promises, how it can and cannot convert healthcare consumers, and its future in the healthcare marketing mix.

At first, social media marketing seemed too good to be true. It promised to level the playing field and help smaller brands and those with limited budgets compete with the big brands. Like never before, social media put the consumer in charge. It empowered people to pick and choose the messages they received, and provided a channel for loyalists to spread the love for their favorite brands (or flame against brands that wronged them). Social media foretold the end of mass marketing; the imminent demise of traditional advertising, print and broadcast.

“In many ways, social media marketing was foisted upon us,” said Mark Shipley, President & Chief Strategic Officer of Smith & Jones. “Hospital leadership said, ‘Go figure this out. By the way, there’s no budget.’ Social media was an unknown, but new and exciting. We felt like we needed a Facebook page to compete. What would happen if we didn’t?”

Many jumped in without sound strategies, best practices or any understanding of how social media fit into otherwise integrated marketing communications plans. What choice did they have? It was join in or risk being left behind.

So, has social networking lived up to the hype? In a word, no. But social media does have a role to play in healthcare marketing, depending on who’s using it and why. This new issue of Protocol includes some of the insights gained on social media’s strengths and weaknesses.

Access “Healthcare Social Media Marketing 2012,” and subscribe to Protocol at

About Protocol
Protocol is the marketing report for hospital CEOs and practice administrators, delivering timely, relevant and practical information that healthcare leaders can apply to their organization’s marketing communications and branding efforts. The newsletter is published by Smith & Jones, an advertising and brand strategy firm that specializes in marketing for hospital systems and large physician practices. Learn more at

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