The Importance of Social Media for Healthcare Leaders

Social media for healthcare leaders is rapidly changing at an incredible pace, and one of the major factors contributing to this dramatic change is the upsurge in the level of healthcare communication.

Some of the mind-blowing facts are mentioned here:

• 75% of the engagement on a Facebook post happens in the first 5 hours.

• 53% of interaction between Google+ user and a brand is positive.

• 44% of users on Twitter have never sent a tweet!

• 84% of women and 50% of men stay active on Pinterest.

• More than 2 users sign-up for LinkedIn every second.

• 23% of teens consider Instagram as their favourite social network.

• Weekends are the most popular time to share Vines.

• Number of snaps sent per day on SnapChat is 400 Million. (Yeah! that’s true)

• 40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile.

• B2B marketers using blogs generate 67% more leads.

Source: http://blog.digitalinsights.in/social-media-users-2014-stats-numbers/05205287.html

Social media for healthcare leaders can hardly be considered today as the latest buzzword, or a passing trend. Instead social media for healthcare leaders has created a global shift in the way patients connect with the healthcare industry.

Get access to valuable primary data

Did you know that social media for health care leaders can provide you with valuable data by analyzing, curating and segmenting healthcare discussions online to answer your most unique questions and needs?

Not only has social media for healthcare become the ideal place where you can go to find health information; but due to the nature of the social media platforms you can patients can communicate in real time dialogue between a vast network of health providers, other patients, clinics, and ever their local doctor and dentist thus creating the largest source of available health discussions worldwide.

Undoubtedly social media for healthcare leaders has fundamentally changed the traditional patient to provider and patient to patient relationship throughout the health industry by opening up a wealth of opportunities for the health industry to take advantage of by creating positive patient attitude and building a trusted support populace both patients and healthcare leaders can engage. Many health care institutions today are even using social media to leverage their brand equity to help build and maintain a proactive presence to effectively engage and resolve patient issues to not only increase loyalty but also satisfaction.

The strong potential to enhance outcomes

Did you know that most patients who have access to otherwise restricted information on healthcare providers could benefit from better outcomes regarding their health conditions?

Its no secret that the healthcare industry today has become a haven for disruption. Increasing reports from countless processes involving patient relations to the management of health records. Often you may see patients fitted with NFC identification bands, healthcare professionals wearing Google Glass and even nurses carrying the latest tablets and iPads. This has allowed social media to make an even greater contribution in provider efficiency, organizational transparency and most of all treatment efficacy.

A significant amount of doctors, dentists, patients, specialists and even family members use the social media in the health industry to effect better treatment and more meaningful healthcare. In a recent study it was discovered that more than thirty percent of consumers used the social media to find and share valuable information concerning medical treatments, health insurance and even healthcare providers.

Considering the vast impact that social media has on the health industry, it is predicted that healthcare will experience a similar disruption as that reflected in the mobile industry sales market. Many healthcare websites such as WebMD among a few others are constantly using social media to transform how doctors and patients interact and relate with each other.

Despite the occasional misuse of information, confidentiality, and security concerns generally associates with social media; social media when used in the healthcare industry can create a positive and beneficial experience for all the parties involved.

Social media users today becoming increasingly accustomed to sharing their personal information over the Internet. From commenting on their daily routine updates, catching a common cold, to being diagnosed with a terminal illness many patients are actively engaging by way of social media with other patients sharing information on just about everything, from prescribed medication, to which types of natural treatment offer the best relief and treatment for their ailments. On many occasions patients will often end up receiving advice from a genuine healthcare professional who just happens to be in their network. It is this hallmark of social media for gaining qualitative feedback about healthcare treatment and services that has caused this global shift in the health industry we are noticing today. This has led to several patients developing a wide range of niche social networks. Many of these websites allow patients, and family member to empower themselves in an unprecedented manner by granting access to forums, testimonials and a wealth of other information concerning a wide variety of illnesses and treatments as well as recommended healthcare facilities and reports on drug manufacturers.

Several healthcare providers and organizations have been able to transition from the traditional advertising techniques by actively use social media through marketing to connect with consumers in the health industry. Many patients and customers rely heavily on this information to connect with other patients by gaining leverage from social media platforms such as Vine, Twitter, YouTube Instagram, and Facebook among a few others to learn about similar health conditions and as a way to gain support.

Some of the ways healthcare marketers have been able to use the social media to improve healthcare marketing include:

• Gather feedback on information about medication by offering insight on how other patients are using and responding to it.

• Improve customer support by sharing experiences from a healthcare provider or hospital.

• Compare and improve healthcare quality by providing customer and patient feedback to certain medications as well as from patients overall census concerning techniques used in healthcare.

• Live updates during surgical procedures from the operating room.

One in four hospitals have a strong social media presence.

Did you know that over twenty-five percent of the hospitals within the United States have a strong social media presence? Not only is this a well-documented fact, but more sixty percent of the medical practitioners when interviewed stated that social media has helped them to improve the quality of care offered to their patients. In fact studies show that social media for healthcare leaders can enable the healthcare provider to not only attract more patients but also to allow the patients to better evaluate the healthcare providers.

With the number of patients today increasingly using social media as means of maintaining their overall health, in a recent study it was found that one in every three persons in the United States have used the Internet to gain the necessary information on a medical condition. In another study it was found that at least fifty-one percent of patients in the United States when surveyed stated that they gained a sense of importance when they were allowed some form of digital communication with their healthcare provider and indicated that at least forty percent of individuals felt that the availability to communicate with a healthcare provider would have an impact on their choice of providers. Yet regardless of the facts we still see that only about twenty-five percent of all hospitals in the United States participate in social media.

We must accept the fact that new forms of technology are everyday changing how healthcare operates on a global level. If we are to realize its full potential and benefits, stockholders must be willing work collectively to embrace the structure of the social media and contribute accordingly to this system to have a prospective future.

Khaleeluddin Shaik is a Certified Marketing Manager who has a track record of successfully streamlining and automating marketing processes to make them more effective He is an expert in both traditional offline marketing as well as marketing on the Web. You can connect with him at: Twitter – @khaleel997

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