Article | February 12, 2021
Social media has become a powerful tool to connect people with friends, relatives, family, and other loved ones. Worldwide, around 4.2 billion people are actively using the internet. Among them, 3 billion are regularly active on social media channels. Social media is not just about interpersonal conversations; at least 80 percent of users follow one business on Instagram. With all the ads on your Facebook news feed, you connect with various brands or become aware about many brands. But does social media in healthcare make any impact?
Almost all industries have started to realize the power of social media and how it can impact connecting with consumers. Various social media platforms help companies share information, increase brand awareness, and partner with industry influencers. Social media has overpowered traditional marketing strategies. Social media has become the wave of the future.
Regarding the uptake of social media, the healthcare industry has been a bit slower. However, the industry now has accepted the undeniable importance of social media in healthcare. The reluctance might have been due to the risks associated for the providers as well as patients. Privacy and confidentiality of patient information has to be maintained always. Those were the challenges of social media in healthcare. However, consumers can get information from social media faster than any other tool.
The Healthcare industry includes both the healthcare technology providers as well as the healthcare service providers. Whether you are a service provider or a technology provider, social media can impact your customers equally. This article discusses the positive effects and benefits of social media in healthcare, especially healthcare service providers.
Embraced by the Medical Community
The healthcare industry took notice of social media when government agencies and other business industries started to reap the benefits of social media. A recent survey revealed an interesting fact about the use of social media in healthcare. More than 1500 healthcare providers around the US have social media presence online. Hospitals miss key opportunities if they don’t use social media. These hospital systems have started effectively using social media to reach out to their past, current, and future patients. Social media in healthcare is an easy medium to share vital information with consumers and patients in the industry.
The survey also revealed that more than 30% of medical professionals use various social media platforms to network with their peers. Many physicians also use these social media platforms for multiple activities in open forums. Having an active online presence evokes transparency among clients and peers. Healthcare providers can join various platforms such as Twitter to become healthcare influencers. Through social media in healthcare, providers can make connections, engage the community, and explore the industry.
The Case of Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US is the best example of how social media can be used to reach out to patients, engage them online, and stay ahead of competitors. They have more than 2 million followers on Facebook, 1.9 million followers on Twitter, and around 5 lack followers on LinkedIn. They have very different and unique social media strategies. They do post about whatever happens on the campus, including doctors practicing in their respective departments and interactive sessions with doctors and HODs, etc. Also, they do provide health tips and information, general health advice, and updates on the latest medical technologies and treatments. Apart from these, the hospital also reaches out to patients for queries and feedback through social media and responds to them promptly. These effective social media strategies help them in building up a brand, reputation management, create a patient relationship and build patient loyalty.
Loved by Healthcare Consumers
To find advice and new treatments, healthcare consumers widely use social media. This creates an opportunity for providers to connect with consumers through various forms of healthcare educational content. More than 40 percent of consumers believe that social media in healthcare affects their wellness decisions and health. Among 18 to 24 years old, 90 percent of people trust the medical information they get on social media. This shows the importance of healthcare providers on social media channels.
Mobile healthcare is expanding as consumers depend more on the internet for information. Countless fitness and health apps are available online. However, many of them are not effective and do not cure diseases but can change behaviors. Having an app will help you increase your accountability, as a provider, among consumers.
Positive Impact of Social Media on Healthcare
The healthcare community is widely embracing the scope of social media in healthcare. Healthcare technology providers, hospitals, and other service providers are opening new accounts to create a consistent image among consumers. There are many ways to improve care by reaching out to patients through social media in healthcare. Some of the positive impacts of best practices for social media in healthcare are as follows:
Increasing Access Across Generations
Healthcare companies have almost stopped employing the traditional ways of advertising. Patients always need quick access to information to reduce the risk of getting flu or to find new providers, including baby boomers, every generation is online. According to Forbes, as of 2017, 9 percent of Facebook users were above 55 years of age. This present generation is very tech-savvy, they search online for local healthcare services and healthcare information. They use Facebook and YouTube. So, you need to create a marketing strategy that targets baby boomers.
Generation X also searches health-related topics online, which accounts for 1.5 billion views on YouTube each day. As they care for children and aging parents, they may search for the best long-term care facilities, how to soothe a colicky baby, and so much more. As millennials are focused on healthy living and being cost-conscious, they depend more on social media platforms for healthcare information. Ninety-three percent of millennials say that they do not rely on healthcare providers for preventive health information.
Thus, as everyone goes online for healthcare information, healthcare service providers should consider the role of social media in healthcare seriously. By providing reliable and accurate information, healthcare providers can engage with consumers and increase the patient experience through social media.
The days that the patients trust doctors blindly have gone. Healthcare consumers have become smarter and want to have relationships with providers who care for them. Allowing your tech-savvy employees to share videos and pictures of events or office helps have a human touch. It also improves patient engagement and overall patient satisfaction.
If patients know the people in your reception or nurses of respective departments, it helps them relax, engage, and makes them share their health history more openly. This is possible as they connect with those in the office through your social media in healthcare. It increases your authenticity.
Keeping an Eye on Competitors
Administrators and marketers keep an eye on their competitors through their social media platforms. They evaluate pain points, community involvements, service lines, and marketing strategies sitting in their offices. Hospitals and other providers can quickly get feedback on technologies and marketing strategies the competitors are using. This would help them if they want to incorporate these things in their care process before investing.
You can take note of the social media platforms where your competitors are performing well. This approach to social media in healthcare would remove the possibility of failure with your social media strategy, especially when you begin with it.
During emergencies and other situations, social media in healthcare allows you to communicate quickly. Social media updates can provide life-saving information, from crisis alerts to census notifications. World Health Organization (WHO) is an excellent example; they provide real-time information to the masses regarding any health crisis, warnings, and other critical safety information during disasters, using social media, especially Twitter.
Similarly, by providing real-time information to your consumers through your social media channels, you can increase your authenticity, authority, and dependency. Real-time access to information saves lives.
Patients often want to communicate with their doctors quickly. They may need to share something about a recent appointment or about a reaction they had to medication. Making patients provide feedback on social media helps you learn how they feel about their medicine and care.
You can get essential feedback that might help you improve your care. It also helps you recognize and reward the staff that the consumers recognize. As a provider, you can also get back to them for additional information after the feedback you get from them on social media. This possibility of social media in healthcare will work more to provide better care next time.
Social Media for the Future
Social media in healthcare is going to stay here and have advancements from time to time. Most of the modern consumers are tech-savvy and want to have everything at their fingertips. Modern patients have no patience. Therefore, social media works to engage patients and enhance the patient experience and satisfaction.
Whether you are a large service provider, a solo practitioner, or run a hospital, you need a social media presence. For engaging with your community, social media in healthcare helps a lot. It can make an impact beyond your imagination. Use these strategies to improve the quality of the healthcare you provide.
It may be a tiresome job to do it all alone. We, at Media7, provide social media services to engage your consumers. Whether you are a service provider or a technology provider, we are here to help you with our compelling social media strategies. We help healthcare companies generate leads, brand themselves, increase sales, and make them your happy customers. For more details about us, visit https://media7.com/.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media in health care?
When used cautiously, social media can provide clear benefits, such as clinical education, professional networking, and patient’s health promotion. However, there can be disadvantages too, including privacy and confidentiality of patients, resulting in formidable consequences.
How has social media influenced the marketing of health care?
For establishing public awareness and managing reputation, social media is practical means. As part of an effective marketing plan, social media has become an essential medium for healthcare professionals to interact with consumers and engage them.
What is the Importance of Social Media in the hospital?
By providing important and general information on healthcare, hospitals can make their presence more valuable to consumers. Encouraging patients to share their feedback and thoughts makes hospitals connect with them and improve the care process.
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Article | April 20, 2020
Healthcare is top of mind as the coronavirus hits hard everywhere. The inefficiencies of the system itself are on full display during the pandemic — where testing is hard to come by, diagnoses and treatments are reactive rather than proactive, and many people do not get the care they need, when they need it. Adrian Aoun, CEO and founder of Forward, a tech-driven healthcare startup, told Karen Webster that it’s possible to build a completely new healthcare ecosystem, beginning with primary care — and the overhaul needs to leverage data and artificial intelligence (AI).
Article | December 8, 2020
The one clear consensus that has emerged from this doubt and anxiety-filled time is that our society will be forever changed by COVID-19. In the recent days, we have seen a general movement toward telecommuting and digital solutions to accommodate the drastic changes caused by this global pandemic. The healthcare industry, which is arguably impacted the most, is no exception to this trend. But while the movement to digital healthcare started well before the outbreak, it has been a slow journey, fraught with many regulations that have slowed its market penetration.
With the current system so overwhelmed, a transition from the face-to-face model of care to a digital model has become vitally necessary, forcing it to happen sooner rather than later. Places that have already embraced the digitalization of healthcare practices have demonstrated the benefits of updating the old-fashioned model. A digital approach to healthcare can have unlimited applications, from telemedicine to a digital system for tracking available hospital beds. All of these applications not only save time but also potentially peoples’ lives by eliminating unnecessary contact between infected and healthy patients as well as their caregivers.
Article | March 3, 2021
Is your health technology company publishing content online? Not sure how to make your health tech content marketing effective?
Each step taken in the process of content marketing matters. Skipping essential steps may negatively affect the whole process. The following steps are critical in your content strategy:
• Defining your ideal buyer
• Gathering insights about how they make decisions
• Documenting how your content will address their needs
Lately, health tech companies are facing too much competition. Thus it would be wise to equip yourself with a good marketing strategy, including a clear content marketing plan. This blog focuses on making your health content marketing more effective, overcoming challenges, and eliminating the chances of failure.
Content Marketing challenges for Health Tech Marketers
Heath tech brands face multiple obstacles with health tech content marketing. They must deal with many challenges such as content proliferation, uncoordinated and inconsistent content creation, and difficulty in reaching out to customers and prospects with relevant and timely content.
A lot of hard work and time is required to create great content. Let us have a closer look at the challenges faced by health tech marketers related to content marketing.
Determining Content Marketing ROI
Many of the health tech content marketers are struggling to show ROI from their content marketing efforts. They cannot claim a specific conversions rate from a channel or a piece of content. Often digital conversion paths of the health tech industry cannot be analyzed or tacked.
Some other biggest challenges of health tech content marketing are tying content to conversions, defining appropriate and relevant metrics for measuring and evaluating the impact of the content marketing efforts on its bottom line.
Figuring Out How to Feed the Content Beast
Including health tech brands, many brands spend too much time thinking and worrying about creating compelling content. Or they worry about making content thattheir boss, salespeople, or other stakeholders need. The goal should be creating content consistently that is necessary for the client's journey. Your health tech content marketing should focus on your target audience searching online for your product and business.
Proving Credibility and Authority
Many health tech marketers struggle with defining a credible and authoritative voice for their brands. They fail in the process of cutting through the noise and grabbing the attention of their target audience for this very reason.
A health tech content marketing strategy should maintain the brand’s identity, improve its authority, and boost ROI. Here, thought leadership has a role to play. Use your people, their expertise, and their passion effectively to share what they know about your product with your target audience. Trust and credibility will follow.
Maintaining Volume, Quality, Speed
Another significant challenge of health tech content marketing is developing compelling, engaging content fast without compromising on volume and quantity. For many marketers, a big pain point is trying to stay agile and nimble within a large corporate structure.
The marketing landscape is ever-changing. It means health tech marketers have to dedicate themselves to learning throughout their life.. They also have to reinvent through innovation to avoid extinction. Primarily, health tech content marketing needs constant innovation and learning. Everyone is trying to navigate the learning curve. It is very challenging for marketers to train teams and update them with the latest marketing practices.
Another challenge faced by most marketers in their health tech content marketing efforts is identifying influencers to amplify content. Creating great content is just the first step. Having an effective promotion strategy to reach your prospects with your content helps.
Reasons for Health Tech Content Marketing Failure
A study by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) on health tech content marketing shows a vast gap between results and goals. Is there discontent in health tech content marketing? Eighty-five percent of the survey participants said they have a content marketing strategy, but only 4 percent only said their content marketing strategy was effective.
So, it's clear that something was not working for them. Here are some of the key reasons:
The Absence of a Content Strategy
Except for some large tech companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce, most vendors do not have a content marketing strategy. For many tech companies, content marketing is part of their overall business strategy. So consider building a health tech content marketing strategy to have a leg up on your competitors.
Lack of Sponsorship
Creating compelling content is a low-priority task for most B2B tech companies. A small marketing team usually takes care of health tech content marketing with limited resources and budget. It results in content that does not align with your market positioning and business strategy.
Content marketers need quality content for marketng. For this, subject matter experts (SME) should be involved in the process of content creation. SMEs, most often, are too busy to participate in the process. As a result, the content may turn out low in quality and might not be consistent
Lack of a Content Distribution Strategy
Unless you promote high value content on all the digital and social media channels, no one will hear about your health tech brand. Most B2B health tech companies fail to promote themselves through effective health tech content marketing on multiple digital and social media channels.
B2B health tech companies want instant results. The survey by in 2020 HIMSS points out the minimum time needed to fetch results from content marketing programs. A health tech content marketing program launched in this quarter will not bring you any developments in the same quarter.
Effective Content Marketing Plan for Health Tech Marketers
The global pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital marketing. Many healthcare technology marketers focus on pure sales collateral and product-centric content instead of thought leadership and human-centric content.
Here are five areas that deserve more attention in your health tech content marketing plan. These should be top priorities in your content plan.
Planning the Process and Setting Reasonable Goals & Objectives
Data shows that most healthcare technology companies do not have an effective health tech content marketing plan. It is not surprising that these companies, accelerating ahead everyday, do not have the time to plan or enough resources to execute it. There are three reasons behind it:
• They never made planning a proper priority.
• They realize they don’t have the time.
• The team doesn’t know where to start.
Good planning with realistic goals and expectations solves this issue. Quality content marketing is a long-term investment, not a short-term performance vehicle.
Benchmark the Market & Your Competition
Investigating your competition may get you down. Analyzing every aspect of your competitors’ content, including approach and strategy, will help you learn many essentials things. You will get ideas to improve your health tech content marketing from your competitor analysis.
Do not get confused between your sales competitors and content competitors. Your sales competitor is the one who sells your exact product or service. Your content competitors are companies ranking on search engines for the same content that you want to ranked for on search engine result pages. In addition to pure sales competitors, these content competitors can include major publishers such as trade associations and newspapers.
Fine-Tune Your Messages, Themes & Topics
It is effortless to come up with a long list of content ideas. It is vital to understand the themes and topics, which will work better for your business goals. The topics should be worth the time and effort you put in. Your themes, topics, and other content ideas in your health tech content marketing plan should support your core health tech messaging.
People usually tend to create content randomly and wonder why their content marketing does not work in the end. Fine-tuning your themes, messages, and topics and making sure they are all unified in the process is a big part of ensuring your content succeeds in the end.
Address All Four Content Distribution Channels
Creating great content is just a first step to your health tech content marketing. You may have to think of the content distribution channels: owned media, internal channels, earned media, and paid media. All of these channels have multiple options for content distribution. Depending on your company’s business goals and particular situations, you can choose the best-suited application from these channels.
Get the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Efforts
Maximize your health tech content marketing investment with the three Rs: refresh, repurpose, and repromote.
Refreshing means updating old content that performed well in the past. It may include changing the published date and updating the internal links to timely and more current information. Repurposing means changing the format. You can make a blog post out of a webinar or create an infographic out of a case study. Promoting and redistributing older content that performed well in the past is repromoting.
With content marketing, it is tough to have long-term success without a documented strategy and commitment. With a detailed process, you will have clarity about your goals and the tactics you will use to achieve them. If you do not have this practice, it's better to develop your strategy and write it down to improve your health tech content marketing's better effectiveness.
Content marketing is a proven way to connect with the tech industry audience, especially in health tech. Creating great content about your business, which the audience finds reliable and helpful, will make your company reliable and a trusted source to solve problems.
Doing it alone may be a tiresome job. We, at Media 7, provide all the assistance in marketing technology products online. We have the right solution for all your demand generation, lead generation, sales, and marketing problems. Media 7 converts leads and turns them into your happy customers forever. To know more about Media 7, visit: https://media7.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is content marketing important in health tech?
Content marketing is crucial in health tech as unique content makes your target audience trust your brand and consider it a trustworthy source for solving their issues. Moreover, to build your brand, content marketing is a vital component.
How do you create a successful health tech content strategy?
When you create a successful health tech content strategy, an ideal buyer profile, buyer persona, customer journey, etc., should be considered. Along with that, you should have clear objectives and goals when you make a content strategy.
What is the essential step in creating a health tech content marketing plan?
The essential step in creating your health tech content marketing plan is defining your targeted audience and understanding the buyer persona. It will help you create relevant and audience-focused content.