The results are intended to give hospitals clues for their social media strategies and their implementation. All of the organizations studied are active on social networks; some with a mature presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin and Tiktok, others more selectively and with potential for optimization. With a good understanding of the online behavior of the target groups, a strategy with clear targeting and a targeted media mix, the potential of social media can also be exploited by hospitals. The Hospital Report 2023 - Social Media Benchmarking shows the strengths and weaknesses, frontrunners and laggards.
Social media marketing has gained importance as a form of advertising - also in the healthcare sector. As opinion leaders and expert organizations, hospitals assume an important function in the rapid dissemination of reliable health information. Studies indicate that more than one million people in Switzerland follow at least one hospital on social media and use them as important sources on health topics, facilities and offers, as well as for entertainment. Social media has also become an important tool for professionals to collaborate and share knowledge. With around 232,000 employees (BAG, 2021), Switzerland's 276 hospitals are among the largest employers, and with well over a million hospitalized patients annually, they have a huge direct customer base. The majority of hospitals use social media for communication, information and interaction with patients, employees, relatives, the general public and other interested parties.
The channels of Les Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG), Inselspital Bern (ISB), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Luzerner Kantonsspital (LUKS), Universitätsspital Basel (USB), Universitätsspital Zürich (USZ), Ente ospedaliero cantonale (EOC), Kantonsspital St. Gallen (KSSG) were included in the benchmarking.
Own rating system
To do this, Lumina Health has developed its own rating system with 17 quality indicators weighted by relevance on the following four core social media topics:
1. reach, measured by followers/subscribers, views, posting cadence and frequency of posts, tweets, videos, and cross- and re-postings.
2. identity, evaluated in terms of corporate identity implemented across channels, consistent corporate design, and channel-specific characteristics.
3. experience, derived from the content, formal and technical quality of the user experience and content.
4. community, measured by the interactions between hospital, target groups and internal and external influencers.
Social media platforms are being used more and more widely, also to attract new professionals. Of the eight largest hospitals, three are represented on all six, three on five and two on four social media platforms. The University Hospital Zurich and Les Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève are frontrunners: Both university hospitals achieve remarkable reach and are extremely experienced in using the six social media channels studied. The frequency of posts is very high, with up to ten posts per day. The quality of the content and formats is also reflected in the fact that they are most frequently liked and shared.
French-speaking Switzerland seems to have a greater affinity for social media than German-speaking Switzerland An analysis by language region shows differences: Hospitals in French-speaking Switzerland have the most followers and subscribers relative to their size. Their posts are viewed most frequently.
Proximity to employees
All hospitals offer a rather good to very good user experience. The content is characterized above all by proximity to the employees. The USZ and Les Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève are again leaders with above-average target group relevance in the channel in terms of diversity, formats, authenticity, functionality, interaction and inclusion. Building an active community is one of the most difficult tasks in social media marketing, which is why there are also the greatest differences here. Once again, the USZ takes first place, followed by Les Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève and the University Hospital Basel. These hospitals involve employees and external influencers on all channels and formats and thus generate many likes, shares and comments.
In terms of social media identity, the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and the USZ secure first and second place across all channels, but for them, as for all hospitals, social media corporate identity and corporate design are among the topics with the greatest need for action.