We hear a lot about the pioneering efforts of social media maven Scott Monty at Ford Motor Company. He’s where the influencers are (even outside the Hilton at SXSW offering free rides). Forget what he’s doing for the Ford brand, his story alone makes business news. I’m a physician and I follow him.
So where’s the Scott Monty of health care? I’m still looking. It’s puzzling that more companies haven’t followed from the Ford example.
United Health Group, for example, the largest managed care group in the United States with over 30 million subscribers is virtually absent on Twitter (There is an account named UnitedHealth with 9 followers, following no one and without a single update). Why should the largest insurer in the US be talking? Well, just like everyone needs a car, everyone needs insurance.
Struggling no less than the auto industry with their reputation, brand and bottom line is the pharmaceutical industry. Yet a genuine, human presence is no where to be found.
And what about the doctors? The American Medical Association, an organization that has grappled with it image among young doctors is in a unique position to reshape itself around social media and connect with 21st century doctors. NAMC, an AMA organization, has identified the role of social media in health communication. State organizations such as the Texas Medical Association have a very visible SM presence under the passionate leadership of Steve Levine (@texmed). Organizations such as the TMA or NAMC should be leveraged to help the AMA gain a real position as health and conversation converge.
Who would have thought that one company within the troubled industry on the brink of collapse would spawn a new model of marketing. Makes me think that there may be hope yet for health care.