Kaiser Permanente is one of the world’s largest managed care organizations, and it features 35 medical centers, over 165,000 employees, and nearly nine million members on their health plan. Since 2005, this nonprofit healthcare provider has seen a growth of nearly 500% in positive media mentions, and the agency attributes this success to the use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. By including social media into its business plan, Kaiser Permanente has experienced a variety of important benefits.
Improved Customer Service with Social Media
Vince Golla, a prominent member of Kaiser Permanente’s public relations team, was responsible for directing and training the organization to use social media in a smarter way. Improved customer service is one such area that the use of social media attempted to address, and the use of these tools has helped to improve the response rate of the organization to member concerns. Specifically, social media tools have served as an effective early-warning network to let customers and members know what is going on with the organization as soon as possible.
Using Social Media as a Research Tool
Kaiser Permamente has used social media as a research tool for their business plan. For example, the organization recently wanted to determine how well they were doing when it came to member parking. It had been suggested that the organization wasn’t doing enough to organize and construct facility parking spaces so that they were convenient and easy for members, so Kaiser turned to Twitter to get feedback. This site was analyzed for 30 days, and employees specifically searched for references to the Kaiser Organization and parking.
After examining Twitter trends over this time period, the organization was able to show that conversations on the social media platform about parking at Kaiser Permanente were twice as negative as overall brand conversations. Specific issues were identified, such as valet parking and whether or not it was an appropriate use of funding. This information was then taken to executives, where conversations have continued regarding how parking policies could be changed to better suit the needs of customers.
Better Internal Collaboration through Social Media
As part of their business strategy, Kaiser developed IdeaBook in order to boost internal collaboration. IdeaBook is a platform that supports blogs, chat, and Wikis, and it is a place where virtual groups and cross-functional work teams can gather. People engage in conversations within their particular area of expertise and can also learn about other areas in which they may be less familiar. This platform also allows employees to have conversations about how the organization does business. Kaiser Permanente is a great example of how social media can be included in the business strategy of an organization. By using a social media business strategy, you can work to strengthen your business and the relationship with your customers.