Thought Leadership

The Increasing Importance of Social Media in Healthcare

Social media has become a vital piece in our everyday lives, and many businesses and organizations are utilizing social media to connect with their customers, clients and patients. Interestingly, few healthcare organizations are utilizing the dynamic two way conversations that social media offers.

The Increasing Importance of Social Media in Healthcare
To see the following stats in an inforgraphic format, scroll down.

Here are some interesting statistics that lend to the theory on why social media in healthcare is important:

  • Out of 5,724 hospitals in the country, only 1,501 are using a form of social media, which equates to approximately 26% (Jean, 2013)
  • Utilization of social media by hospitals increased from 79% in 2012 to 91% in 2013 (VHA, Inc., 2013)
  • 81% of hospitals said service lines expressed an interest in participating in the hospital’s social media strategy (VHA, Inc., 2013)
  • Only 22% of hospitals are using social media for reporting quality & patient experience information (VHA, Inc., 2013)
  • 72% of all internet users are active social media users (Bullas, 2014)
  • Baby boomers are jumping on the bandwagon with 43% using social media (Bullas, 2014)

Why Social Media in Healthcare is Important
Based on these statistics, it’s crystal clear why social media in healthcare is important to any marketing strategy or plan. The public is on social media in drives, and that means your target patient demographic is on there too, just waiting to interact with your organization. So, to those that ask the question, “Is social media in healthcare important?” The answer is a resounding yes.

How to Leverage Healthcare Social Media
There are many ways to leverage the power of social media in healthcare, you just have to know how to go about it. Think of social media as an open, two-way dialogue between two parties. A good example would be if you met a new acquaintance at a dinner party. What would you talk about? Would you spout non-stop business promotions and sales ads to this new acquaintance? Probably not. That’s where many healthcare organizations go wrong in social media. The key to a successful social media presence is having an open dialogue, listening to the other party (this could be concerns or positive feedback) and learning about their needs and desires. Crafting your social media marketing campaigns around these factors, which will influence all of your conversations, will make all of the difference in the success of your online marketing efforts.

Getting Started
You’ll not want to chart the unknown territory of healthcare social media alone if you do not have experienced staff. That’s where Afia comes in – we know social media healthcare. Contact us today to receive a complimentary social media proposal which includes information on we can best leverage your social media footprint and strategize your way to success.

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