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Andy’s Answers: How Kaiser Permanente uses social media for customer outreach

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

With 167,000 employees, 35 medical centers and more than 8.7 million health-plan members, Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest managed-care organizations in the world. And like many big brands in the health care industry, it faces social media challenges with rules, regulations and employee training.

But despite the hurdles, it has seen dramatic growth in positive brand mentions since 2005 — and a big part of that has been the company’s development of a social media program that involves a lot of outreach from employees throughout the organization.

In his BlogWell presentation, Kaiser Permanente’s Vince Golla walked us through how the company built its program and what it is doing to expand it. A few take-aways:

  • Put social in the hands of more than the public relations and marketing teams. More than the folks you expect to represent a brand in social media, Golla and his team have gotten thought leaders such as physicians, dermatologists and even information technology professionals involved in outreach.
  • Make sure employees are ready for real engagement. Before you can participate in social media at Kaiser Permanente, the company makes sure you’re 1) Ready to talk about the good and the bad; 2) Willing to engage in direct one-on-one conversations; 3) Ready for the world to view those conversations; and 4) Willing to show that your organization can change or adapt based on these interactions.
  • Robots can’t do all of your monitoring. Golla explained that while the company’s automated tools for monitoring do great work, it’s the company’s 220 employees on Twitter who are doing the best job at reading sentiment and identifying potential issues before they become bigger problems.

Watch Golla’s case study. Slides are available.