Oct 03, 2011

Digital Marketing’s Impact on Healthcare: Social Media Marketing

In this second entry of a two-part series, I’ll look at how healthcare companies are using social media marketing to connect with patients and other medical professionals. Part one focused on mobile technology for healthcare.

 

Social media, from networking with healthcare companies to participating in health forums, presents a new media outlet and new challenges for healthcare providers and other health-related companies. The Internet provides a way to research information related to health conditions and share experience with hospitals and doctors.

Eleven percent of consumers use social networking sites to find or share health information.

 

Healthcare companies can take advantage of patients using social media sites by engaging with them where they are.

Examples of useful social media marketing for healthcare:

  • Tweeting live procedures from operating rooms – doctors, medical students and others follow along as tweets feature short updates of the procedure. Provides useful and interesting information for followers and helps create buzz about that medial center or hospital.  
  • Training medical providers – using twitter to create dialog and ask questions during conferences or presentations across the web and having the ability to create slideshows and video to share across social media platforms.
  • Accurate information for patients – According to the HealthCare New Media Conference, 73% of patients search for medial information before or after a doctor’s visit, with this knowledge in hand healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to provide accurate medical information online through social media networks. Providing timely information related to symptoms, diseases, medications and treatments, just to name a few, allows patients to gather information in an easy way from trusted medical providers.

Digital marketing provides opportunities across the board not only for healthcare companies to engage with patients, but also to begin to develop a more positive digital footprint about their practice, hospital or company through providing interesting online conversations and accurate medical information.