It might seem a little absurd at first, but social media and the healthcare industry are starting to come closer together. Social media users will talk about nearly anything. One of the things that people like talking about is their health. They will talk about surgeries, doctors and medications. While some hospitals are embracing this trend, the vast majority have yet to create a social media presence.
There are thousands of hospitals in the United States, but only a measly 1,501 currently have a social media presence. This represents a very small percentage, even though many charts and graphs show that people want to be social with their hospital of choice.
Of the leading social networks, Facebook and 4Square are used most often by hospitals. Twitter is a close third, but the other social networks aren’t used nearly as often.
There are many statistics that should show you that people want to engage with their favorite hospital. For example, Mayo Clinic’s website had 76,000 more podcast listeners after using social media for a single month.
Many people want to talk about their various medical problems to seek guidance, but they don’t want to spend the money to actually visit a doctor unless the problem is serious. According to various polls, about 47 percent of social media users are willing to speak to doctors online. About 43 percent are willing to talk directly to a hospital, and 40 percent will talk to a pharmacy.
There is also a level of trust that people have in doctors and the healthcare industry. If a personal trainer, health insurance company or government organization makes a post about health, then only 30 to 40 percent of people will trust the post. If a doctor, nurse or hospital posts the same thing, then that figure jumps up to 55 to 60 percent.
While a few hospitals are currently using social media to reach out to the public, people want a direct link with doctors and other workers in the healthcare industry. It would be a much better idea if more hospitals were willing to do this because it could increase the number of customers, and it will also make people trust that hospital more.
Source: Master of Health Administration