Over the years we’ve built a reputation as a healthcare media agency and have developed many product brands and medical websites. This is a fascinating sector and one where the trends are changing rapidly, especially when it comes to social media.
The healthcare industry avoided social media for years because of concerns about confidentiality and personal information. Now, however, healthcare organisations are actively embracing digital channels and social media for awareness, patient engagement and spreading accurate health messaging.
Here are five important ways that digital and social media can support the healthcare sector…
Learning about health issues
74% of us now use online sources to find health advice – and social media is an excellent channel to share positive information about specific conditions or illnesses. Diabetes UK, for example, has 72,900 followers and shares real life stories and research findings. British Heart Foundation has a similar sized following.
Other patients’ stories
Social media is also a fantastic source of support for like-minded people. Facebook particularly is a popular forum for people to share their experiences of a certain health condition. You can find groups for every health concern imaginable, from alopecia and obsessive-compulsive disorder to Multiple Sclerosis.
These groups present an opportunity for healthcare brands to reach and engage with their audiences – but should never be used as a sales opportunity.
Video is a powerful tool in reassuring and engaging with patients. Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital has an extensive YouTube channel and one of its most watched videos is a 360 degree tour of the hospital. Video is an excellent way to reassure patients and let them know what to expect.
Reviews on social media can influence on patients’ decisions to seek a specific provider. According to one survey, 90% of patients use online reviews to decide on healthcare providers, and 71% use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor.
Today’s researchers, doctors, nursing professionals, policymakers and most of the healthcare sector have grown up with social media. They are as confident in interacting with each other online as face to face. Teams in all disciplines use social media like Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook to interact on a daily basis, whether to discuss daily workloads and tasks or follow a new medical breakthrough.
The revolution is just beginning
The whole healthcare industry has undergone a revolution since the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly embracing the opportunities that digital tools bring in terms of safe consultation with patients, online conferencing and much more. The whole industry is now in a more confident position to find new ways to engage with patients and colleagues, that work for everyone.