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Engaging Your Patients on Social Media NOW

December 10, 2013

Social Media for Healthcare Marketing

We’ve been spending a lot of time on the subject of doctor-patient communication and social media, and for good reason. In 2014, social media for healthcare marketing will rise to the next level, where physicians will literally have no choice but to engage in social media conversations in order to education, inform and simply communicate with their patients. This morning I came across two very interesting healthcare infographics that I couldn’t pass up sharing.

"A hospital without an engaging social media presence soon may be viewed with the same suspicion as a business that has no website," according to the Healthcare Association of New York State, the Times Union reported. According to a white paper from the association, 81 percent of consumers say if a hospital has a strong social media presence, it is likely to be more cutting edge.

Read more: Only 16% of hospitals actively use social media - FierceHealthcare

Back in 2012, only 16% of all U.S. hospitals were using social media. More recent research puts that number closer to 23%. The good news is that more hospitals are utilizing the power of social media to communicate with their patients. The bad news is that number is not nearly high enough when you consider the potential health benefits that social media communication can offer.

Interestingly, many physicians are on social media for personal use (61% of respondents in the first infographic), only a small percentage of them are willing to use social media for professional use.


Healthcare Social Media


And while physicians are using social media for personal interest, patients are using Facebook to discuss health symptoms, causes, experiences, updates, even for tracking healthy symptoms and behavior. According to the second infographic, 28% of those on Facebook chat about health-related causes, which 27% chat about health-related experiences. With over 1 billion active users on Facebook, that’s a lot of health-related conversations.

Here are some other takeaways from the second infographic:

  • Social media users are most likely to trust posts by doctors over any other groups. In fact, 60% of respondents say they trust doctors on Facebook for health information over other patients, government organizations, fitness centers, and even nurses.
  • Patients are most likely to share information about their health through social media with doctors and hospitals more than other groups or people.
  • Mayo Clinic’s podcast subscribers jumped to 76,000 in just one month after the clinic started using social media.


Doctors on Social Media


As you can see from these really great infographics on social media and healthcare, there is absolutely no excuse for not having a strong social media presence in 2014. Call the social media experts at Quaintise for more information.