One of the biggest trends in healthcare social media is location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Britekite, Google Places for businesses, Google Latitude – and now, Facebook Places. Twitter also incorporates location sourcing as well as the online review site, Yelp!
Location-based social media channels are game-like apps that allow you to “check in” wherever you are – home, Starbucks, a ballgame, the hospital – to share your location and see where your friends are.
Retailers like Starbucks and Gap have jumped on the opportunity to offer benefits to those who check-in frequently at a store or entice those in the area with instant coupons. Sort of the ultimate in geo-targeting. Facebook Places also is gearing up for location-sensitive advertising.
As popular as these social media services have been, Facebook has just brought them to them to the masses – all 500 million members.
So, if you don’t already have a profile set up for your healthcare organization, you soon will – courtesy of your patients. That could be an important first impression for your hospital.
Check to see what listings may already exist in case they need to be corrected or enhanced. If none, here are some how-tos on getting your hospital set up:
- Facebook Places – You must claim your Place and validate your information. Per Facebook’s Help Center: If your business’s Place already exists on Facebook, click on it to visit its page. At the bottom left side of your Place there will be a link that says “Is this your business?” Click on the link and you will be directed to a claiming flow.
- Gowalla. This app is becoming a go-to channel for travelers, so take note if your hospital is near a major interstate or part of a tourist destination.
- Google Places
- Twitter Places
- Localeze. This company is providing some of the business listings for Facebook Places, Twitter Places and other search engines. You may want to check or set up your listing with them as well.
Location-based services help patients and families integrate your healthcare organization in their social media outreach. Imagine them sharing “baby’s on the way” or “headed to emergency surgery” or “last chemo treatment!”
We’d love to hear any other examples or benefits from social media geo-tagging or location listings.