How the Mayo Clinic Uses Social Media

For me, the Mayo Clinic is in the Buffett Zone - I will read anything about them, because I find their achievements so interesting. I was surprised to discover how extensively the Mayo Clinic uses social media, as Guy Kawasaki (who is great, by the way) describes in his interview with Lee Aase, the "syndication and social media director" for the Mayo Clinic.

I like how Lee Aase calls their approach to social media the MacGuyver Mindset because they used social media as a distribution solution for content and resources they already had (side note: what would the MacGruber Mindset be?). To me this is a different approach from the way you sometimes see social media discussed. Often a company will create some content in order to distribute it via social media and get them more visibility.

Their flagship blog is Sharing Mayo Clinic. Mr. Aase states in the interview that a flip video was really useful to the social media efforts because it let them get quick info straight from the doctors' mouths, without taking much time away from patient care. You can definitely see that play out on Sharing Mayo Clinic, with the quick but informative videos.

The Mayo Clinic's underlying message about social media which I really like is that they are listening to what their audience wants and giving them health care content on those subjects. As Mr. Aase puts it, "A video with 3.7 million views is a nice bonus, but it’s not the goal. The real power is being able to create niche videos that may reach only a few thousand views, but they’re seen by the people who are most interested."

I'm interested to hear if social media experts like C-Mac, Grace, Natalie, et al have a different reaction to this interview than I did.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, omg- there is really something called Social Media University, Global (SMUG)?? I knew that USC has a Masters in Community Management but it still shocks me that this kinds of programs exist.

    I agree with Lee's philosophy that "Social media combines the potential worldwide reach of news media stories with the personal touch of a friend’s recommendation." Which is what I meant on yesterday's post regarding the increasingly social way we navigate the web.

    But I would say that every business needs to combine branding and distribution in order to have a successful social media strategy. Using social media for one but not the other would under utilizing the platforms.

    Honestly, the only think I didn't like about the interview was his claim that the out-of-pocket cost was $0 for their campaigns because they never added new staff and the effort came out a passion for sharing the information. If you're going be chancellor of SMUG, then create a social media position within your organization and actually pay someone to run your campaign. Rant. over.