Social media has changed the way that we interact with the world around us.
In many ways, it has helped to remove the barriers between people and the companies that impact their lives on a daily basis. We have grown accustomed to engaging with everything from transportation companies to quick service restaurants to apparel companies on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but what you may not know is that some of the most meaningful social media interactions that take place involve health care.
Here are 11 eye-catching statistics about the intersection of social media and health care that should encourage you to increase your presence on these crucial platforms.
Your Target Audience is on Social Media
The sheer number of active social media users in the United States is staggering. No matter what demographic you have targeted for growth, they are present on multiple social networks:
- 72% of all internet users actively use social media. Worldwide, this works out to 2.8 billion active social media users.
- 43% of Baby Boomers turn to social media for health information. If growing your Medicare patient population is your goal, then it’s impossible to overstate how important social media can be to your overall success.
- 19 million people over age 55 use Facebook. This broad group can encompass parents, family caregivers, and people approaching Medicare eligibility. As such, a variety of messages can resonate with this audience.
- 18-to-24-year-olds are twice as likely to use social media for health-related discussions. By and large, these may not be the most active health care consumers. However, they are interested in discussing their health and, by becoming a trusted source of information, your organization can create relationships that last a lifetime.
Your Audience is Seeking Health Information on Social Media
Social media provides a unique opportunity for people of all ages to have conversations around the things that interest them most. When it comes to health care, social networks play an important role in everything from information gathering to connecting with people going through similar experiences. Consider the following:
- 80% of internet users search for health information, and almost 50% would like information about a specific doctor. This means that it is not just important to provide guidance on health-related topics; it is also crucial to put a real face to your providers wherever possible. Share your doctors’ awards and recognition, as well as any prominent opinions they have offered within their disciplines.
- 60% of consumers say they trust doctors’ social media posts. Compare this to the 36% who trust posts from pharmaceutical companies. It can be difficult for physicians to find ample time to engage on social media, but when they do, people are likely to listen.
- More than 75% of Americans use social media to research their health symptoms. Be sure to not only discuss your specialties, but to weigh in on key seasonal health concerns and overall trends. Create the content that your audience is seeking, and they are more likely to turn to you in their research in the future.
- According to 41% of consumers, social media may impact their choice of hospital or physician. It is important to be seen as a trusted source of accurate health care information. Potential patients may select you – or your competitor – based on their social media experience.
- 32% of patients post about their friends and family’s health experiences on social media. In other industries, consumer complaints most often reflect their firsthand experience with a product or service. In health care, often you will encounter a comment or complaint on behalf of a family member or close friend. In these instances, it is important to ensure that your community management practices respect patient privacy guidelines while also providing an appropriate resolution to your patients.
- 29% of patients viewing health information through social media seek other patients’ experiences with their disease. Especially in the case of a recent diagnosis, it is important for patients to find connection points where possible so that they know they are not alone in their quest for treatment. Social media platforms offer several opportunities for people undergoing shared experiences to connect and form an important support system.
Social Media Advertising is Especially Effective for Health Care Organizations
Social media channels, specifically Facebook, possess powerful targeting capabilities that enable businesses to serve ads to the exact right audience for their services. Thanks to a recent multi-industry study, we also know that Facebook ads are an especially useful tool for health care organizations:
- On a cost-per-click basis, health care ads are 24% less expensive than other Facebook ads, and they convert more often than the platform benchmark. With most major social media platforms shifting to an algorithm-based system of delivering posts, social media advertising is a necessary component of any digital marketing plan. Whether you are a seasoned social media advertiser or you are looking to expand your efforts to include social media, Facebook provides an ecosystem where health care ads are highly successful as compared to other industries.
Are you ready to take the next step and expand your organization’s social media footprint? Our award-winning digital marketing team is standing by to show you how you can do just that. Contact Paula Yakubik at (702) 433-4331 today to schedule a discovery session.