In the recent past, social media has been making some big waves in the marketing industry. It’s easy to see why, with over 16% of the Indian population currently using social media, up from about 11% in 2014, and the numbers keep growing. But what is the impact of social media on healthcare?
Sources say that over 40% of consumers claim that social media influences the way they handle health related issues. People between the ages of 18 and 24 are twice as likely as older generations to engage in health discussions online. And while 90% of millennials say they would trust medical information shared by their social contacts, people are more likely to trust information that comes from a reputed source.
This is where social media in healthcare marketing comes in. There is a demand for educational content across social platforms to accurately inform people about the health issues faced by our generation. It is thus important for healthcare professionals and brands to actively involve themselves in on-going social discussions, to stand out and gain the attention of the public.
Social Media in the Healthcare Industry
Looking forward, we know the scope of social media for healthcare professionals and brands, hospitals and clinics is immense. Now let’s take a look at the role that is already being played by social media in healthcare.
- Online SearchesMore often than not, when people fall ill, they take to the internet in search of information or medical professionals. Creating a strong website and using your social media channels to publish quality medical content can go a long way not only towards obtaining more leads, but also towards keeping people well informed on medical matters.
- Social SearchesWith a large percentage of the nation’s youth on social, it’s important to have a presence that is both active and informative – one that caters directly to the needs of your followers. People want to be up-to-date on the happenings in the health industry, and an educative approach to healthcare and social media will help make your brand trusted in the community.
- Building Your ReputationAs time goes on and you consistently put out the kind of content that people want to see, your brand will go on to surpass all the misinformation present online. Investing in the creation of professional medical content and actively interacting with and engaging conversation with your followers can make your brand the go-to source in times of crisis. And as you gain more followers, you stand to gain more referrals.
- Controlled Dispersal of InformationPeople are often misinformed about various medical conditions or even disease break-outs affecting the population. It is a matter of responsibility for healthcare professionals to provide trustworthy and informative content to the population, and social media is the ideal tool for this.
Now that we’ve seen the ways in which social media can benefit the healthcare industry, the question remains – what should your social approach be? You can pick what you think best works with you brand idea and concepts, and come up with a social marketing strategy that will help you build a strong presence online. It’s a good idea to invest in quality content, and adhere to the rules set down by social media websites. Aim to educate your audience and try and address as many of their queries as possible, this will go a long way in helping you build a loyal customer base.