Nope, it’s not fake news: The role of social media in healthcare marketing is growing, as users become more comfortable navigating the various platforms. Statistics show part of the reason is 53 percent of physician practices in the United States have Facebook pages.
With almost half the world’s population now active on social media, it has become the place most people go when they need to search for recommendations or healthcare providers. Companies also connect with patients and other professionals on social platforms, which makes it a center of communications.
Here are some ways social media delivers effective healthcare marketing:
Enables Real-Time Patient Engagement
A primary benefit of social media in healthcare is facilitating deeper, more meaningful conversations in real time about patients’ interests, questions, and concerns. Platforms offer the chance for patients to connect with others who have similar conditions and discuss the issues they face.
Health networks can develop platforms where patients can get support or share stories, raise awareness and encourage donations. With 57 percent of patients making their choice of providers based on their social media profiles, practices simply can’t afford to ignore the medium.
Improves Patient Experience
Healthcare marketers use social media to improve the patient’s experience. For one thing, online review tools for providers enables patients to access better care, based on their research. Social media marketing enables doctors to share useful information with patients, support preventive care initiatives and empower the clients to identify the type of medical care they need. Practices can steer questions and complaints through social messaging mechanisms, which gives patients a direct, one-on-one line of communications with the practice.
Increases Brand Awareness
Social media marketing also plays an important part in brand awareness and online reputation management. Networking sites spread positive word of mouth through the use of testimonials and reviews, and healthcare practitioners and insurance companies can help to spread these by sharing. A study in the Journal of Pharmacy & Therapeutics highlights how the use of review platforms leads to:
- enhanced credibility for practitioners,
- stronger professional networks, and
- improved visibility of a brand in its target market.
While misinformation and bad reviews can cause permanent damage to a provider, these platforms nevertheless offer the chance for doctors to respond and tell their side of the story. In the hands of a skilled social media marketer, negatives can turn to positives without the need for magic.
For more information about healthcare marketing on social media, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.
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