Like consumers who discuss entertainment brands on social networking sites, there are also patients who discuss medical issues in social media channels as well. Deloitte Center for Health Solutions wanted to find out more, so they created a survey in April 2011 to research the e-patient (consumers who go online to find or share health information). What did the survey discover? See below.
Research firm, Russell Herder, wanted to take a closer look at e-patients, too. In April 2011, they studied which social media channels are used most often to disclose a medical diagnosis (40% are cancer-related and 16% are diabetes-related). Any guesses on which social media channels ranked the highest? The chart below shows the top channels.
What I found most interesting from Russell Herder's study was that these e-patients not only use the Internet to share their healthcare experiences and learn from others, the Internet also acts as a support system. This finding makes sense, especially given the popularity of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Facebook page. They have about 500,000 "likes.” Although Susan G. Komen for the Cure may have joined the social media movement, few healthcare firms have done the same (just 26%). Why the delay? Considering healthcare can be a privacy issue, many healthcare companies are playing it safe and waiting to receive the social media guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is not an exact date for the guidelines to be released, but we can all be sure that social media is not going anywhere. It is just a matter of time before the healthcare industry adopts the inevitable.
Are you considering social media marketing for your practice? ReachLocal offers the Mashable.com award winning social media service for SMBs (small and medium sized businesses). ReachCast combines social media marketing, reputation management, and search engine optimization to achieve web presence optimization. Web presence optimization means your business is found all over the web (not just your website). The goal of ReachCast is to publish more content in more places so doctors can attract new patients (web presence optimization in a nutshell).
After watching the video above, does your perspective match Dr. Ronald Marcum’s or Dr. Joanna Dolgoff’s? Why or why not? We would love to hear your feedback!
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
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