Twitter Brain Surgery? How One Hospital Uses Social Media

Do you smirk when someone suggests using Twitter or Facebook as a marketing media? I know sometimes when I suggest using social media to a more traditional client, they respond, “Why would I want to know when someone is brushing their teeth?”

Well, that’s not the only thing people talk about on Twitter.

Earlier this week at Henry Ford Hospital near Detroit, doctors used Twitter as an interactive media to connect with more than 1,900 people to answer questions during actual brain surgery on a 47-year-old man. Video of the surgery was uploaded to YouTube. And the story ended up on national news. Watch this video report from ABC News about brain surgery with doctors tweeting on Twitter here.

The marketing staff at Henry Ford Hospital know how to use media! Perhaps they’ve taken tips from a great healthcare marketing agency! This is a great way to communicate with the general public, shedding light on what surgeons do but also boosting their public appearance and perception as well. Besides Twitter and YouTube, the hospital uses news feeds, Flickr, blogging and an on line press room to enhance marketing communications.

Oh yeah. And they also have a website and a speakers bureau too. All of the sudden that seems so 90’s, doesn’t it?

What new tools are you using to communicate?

Besides trying to reach new customers, doesn’t your stakeholder group include current and potential employees, the community, families of your employees, your vendors and suppliers, competitors/collaborators in your industry, bankers, students, and the “general public” among others. So what’s the “right” media to use to connect with them?

Social media is the new media…

Hat tip to Ellen Weber’s Brain Leaders & Learners article about Brain Surgery on Twitter for inspiring this post!

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

10 thoughts on “Twitter Brain Surgery? How One Hospital Uses Social Media”

  1. Chris, I actually saw you Tweet about this story on Twitter! What an incredible and unique way for an organization to leverage the use of social media! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hiley:
    Thanks for the comment. Isn’t it fun to see things in “real” time happen on the internet! It all becomes so much more real and connected. I think that is part of the attraction of social media — when it’s not just cyberspace or the blogosphere, but much more real.
    Thanks for joining the conversation.

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