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Mayo Clinic Leads the Way in Health Care Advice via Social Media

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The results are in – Mayo Clinic is leading the charge when it comes to providing digital audiences with health care information and current wellness advice via social media. Several polls have been making the rounds, demonstrating just how strong their online reputation is. Mayo Clinic was recently distinguished for a Harris Poll EquiTrend Brand of the Year Award as the top Health Information website. WebMD took second place, but that company’s social media metrics don’t even come close to the clout generated by Mayo Clinic.social-media

But what exactly makes Mayo Clinic so successful online? Well, like most things, the answer can’t be boiled down to a single answer. They excel in multiple online projects, such as diverse content generation, increased brand recognition, breaking into new verticals, and gaining extremely credible voices. It’s this blend of marketing savvy, social media adoption, and industry know-how that has propelled Mayo Clinic to new heights.

Sheer Numbers

Let’s take a moment to examine Mayo Clinic’s social media stats as of April 2014:

  • More than 506,000 likes on Facebook
  • A fan base of over 757,000 followers on Twitter
  • 17,400 YouTube subscribers
  • 10,000 Pinterest followers
  • Over 1.4 million Google+ views

It seems safe to say that Mayo Clinic is thriving when it comes to reaching a diverse audience online. One of the best things about these metrics is that they can be self-sustaining: once a brand is able to reach a certain level of exposure, engagement can snowball for each post. With an established audience base this large, even relatively unpopular posts can enjoy a large reach.

Brand Influence

Companies in multiple verticals can learn a lot from Mayo Clinic’s branding example. Researchers at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University made it a topic of their marketing research. They noted that 95% of Mayo Clinic patients polled over the telephone state that they actively promote the Mayo Clinic brand to others. This organization’s ability to convert so many people into marketers is likely responsible for the shift in their brand recognition. Mayo Clinic has become a modern household name when it comes to health information, patient engagement, and continued wellness program development.

Diverse Content Strategy

Mayo Clinic doesn’t just do one type of content well – they’ve got a hold on multimedia production through a variety of channels. Let’s start with their blog, since this medium is considered to be the cornerstone of most business content strategies. They currently have a dozen different blog offerings for some of the most pressing issues in health care today: Alzheimer’s, cancer, pregnancy, stress management, and diabetes. The editorial teams select stories from a broad range of voices, including patients, doctors, nurses, and operational teams.

And this just skims the surface of their content production. If you examine their podcast strategy, you’ll see that they have built a road out into diverse audiences. Message boards, forums, YouTube videos, and apps are other forms of content that not only provide information, but spark dialogue between users and health care professionals. These meaningful and literally life-changing discussions make the Mayo Clinic’s content strategy an indispensable part of many people’s lives. The best part about multimedia content is the potential for distribution. Channels like email marketing, social media calls to action, and viral posts can launch content to new and established audiences.

Their content strategy is augmented by a number of different email newsletters with a reach estimated in the hundreds of thousands. This infographic from email marketing provider GetResponse shows the optimal holidays and other occasions on which to send email newsletters. Mayo Clinic has taken advantage of holidays and other special occasions by tying their email newsletters to these events, often sending information about nutrition and healthy eating around the Thanksgiving season, and even alcohol consuming tips around St. Patrick’s Day. This strategic correlation of email content with holidays has helped Mayo Clinic develop an email newsletter subscriber audience that appreciates receiving emails, keeping them engaged and interested in Mayo Clinic’s content. Email newsletters have also been shown to amplify the reach of other content on a website, such as blog content.

Authoritative Voices

There is no shortage of medical professionals who want to contribute to the Mayo Clinic’s efforts. Just to give you an idea of the scope and breadth of their resources, take a look at their media resources page. This list was created for journalists who are seeking authoritative resources for their stories on heath-related issues and research. This database alone lists dozens of professional experts in specialty fields like ophthalmology, sports medicine, vaccination, and molecular medicine.

This organization also serves as a networking place for current health care professionals seeking referral systems, current research publications, and funding resources. It seems that there is no shortage of medical experts who wish to be included within the Mayo Clinic umbrella.

Multiple Verticals

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Mayo Clinic is that they’ve been able to break into a multitude of verticals, while maintaining a clear and direct company mission. Here are some of the industries the Mayo Clinic has been able to directly influence:

  • Patient care
  • Pharmaceutical data
  • Health care research and clinical trials
  • Undergraduate and graduate education
  • Research funding
  • Retail for medical products and publications

It is no surprise that Mayo Clinic is under positive scrutiny within the social media metrics community – they are carving new paths as role models and setting new content precedents. Their success shows what organizations can accomplish with a blend of content diversity, authority voices, influence, and client promoters. Serious online marketers should definitely keep this brand on their radar.

Image credit: Blogs.usda.gov (public domain)

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About Jenna Cyprus

Jenna is a freelance writer who loves the outdoors; especially camping while relaxing with her family.