Why Social Media is a Boon for Healthcare Industry?

Why does a hospital use social media at all? Because you have to be present wherever your target groups are. With social media, the digital bridge is being created between the hospital and its target groups. As a hospital, you get the opportunity to enter into a conversation with patients and their families, students, and colleagues. How much better is that than being on the sidelines!. Give patients, family, students, and colleagues a place to meet the hospital. To show what lives and plays. How wonderful it is to help, support, advice and inform your target groups not only in the hospital but also outside the physical hospital.

Every target group has its own social media

Whatever you have to say as a company, there are always social media that are perfect for it. Both in terms of the target group that has an account there and in terms of how the content is designed.

  • LinkedIn: It is a perfect platform for B2B companies. It is the place where your business target group is. If you share something via your personal profile that has a large network, then it can quickly be seen by thousands of people.
  • Facebook: The great thing about Facebook is that you can target the audience in specific. In this way, you can reach exactly whom you want within the budget. This platform can be perfect to create campaigns for targeted audiences.
  • Instagram: It is ideal for visual content. Do you have a relatively young target group with a lot of control over the smartphone? And do your products lend themselves to making beautiful photos? Then Instagram is a great medium for your company. Or approach an influencer to promote your product.
  • Pinterest: It is often skipped but is very effective. That's because people store "pins" here for later viewing or for inspiration. In short: attention guaranteed! So make sure you create interesting/beautiful visual content that is worth preserving.
  • Snapchat, YouTube, Blogs, etc. are helpful depending on your specific situation.

Advantages of Social Media in the Healthcare

PILLARS OF ONLINE COMMUNICATION

Think about what the pillars of your online communication can be: offer help, give support, advice, inform, increase the image of your hospital? And so on.

How can you shape this? You may find it difficult to decide for yourself how you can approach this.

ROLE OF INTERNET

The role of the internet can no longer be ignored in healthcare. 84% of people visit Google before they go to their doctor. 57% of patients share their experience and that is also done on the web. Patients, referrers and relationships want to communicate with care providers in a new way. They no longer only want to receive but also want to share it themselves. Join the conversation. Social media in the healthcare industry play a vital role in this. Visitors want to start a conversation with the hospital via these media. Being able to send messages to the Twitter account, share an experience on the hospital blog, etc. The wish is to gain and exchange information. An interesting message is read on the hospital's blog and is then passed on as a tip to followers on Twitter. Because of all that input, you as a hospital know what is going on with the target groups. And instead of being proactive, an active response can be made if something is published about the hospital!

TARGET AUDIENCES

By also communicating via social media, does a hospital want to get more sense among its target groups that are being talked about? What is important to them? A hospital wants to be a valuable discussion partner and thus increase involvement and build a reliable brand. Ultimately, the correct use of social media has a positive effect on the operating result of the hospital.

Communicate more personally

The standard tips for using social media are of course also in this article. Logical, because not everyone who reads this article already has experience with social media. A lot is already happening in the field of social media marketing in the healthcare industryand it is inspiring to read these examples.

Doctors answering a question via a DM (Do-Message) on Twitter that the patient had forgotten to ask during office hours. Or a surgeon who explains a day before your operation via a personal message on Facebook how the operation works and where you can park. Or that you will receive a message via WhatsApp from the care home on the other side of the country where your father lives. These small personal messages are exactly what social media are made for. And there are a lot of options for applying them to healthcare. But then your organization must be ready for that. Your target group is already ready for it.

Challenges in the sector

Consumers have more and more choices in the healthcare market thanks to increasing competition. And it is also becoming more critical because he can look up all kinds of information online himself. In addition, healthcare organizations and municipalities are increasingly forced to do less with less and the consumer wants to stay at home for as long as possible. A social media marketing company can play a role in the challenges mentioned below.

  • Direct contact with clients
  • Internal communications
  • Exchange knowledge with colleagues
  • Increase professional network
  • Connect fellow sufferers with each other
  • Increase brand awareness and attract new clients
  • Find new employees

Think of private Facebook groups in which young people can exchange experiences with each other, where a youth worker coaches them and manages the group. Or a Facebook group in which mothers of an "intensive" child can express their heart, although they can handle the care of their child. Or the type of Tinder app that the Municipality of The Hague is developing with profiles of care providers. Young people and parents can then choose the counselor that suits them best.

Implement throughout the organization

There are plenty of ideas and possibilities. The most important thing is that healthcare organizations have a clear picture of goals, implementation, success factors, and measurement methods when it comes to Social Media Marketing Services. Sometimes there is also little capacity within the organization and employees must first see that it works before they switch. A pilot group can take care of this. This article  explains how you as an organization can best determine the policy for this and how you set up and implement a social media plan.

Brand awareness

Visibility ensures that you help people before they take anything from you. But you also help yourself. Because with that you attract customers in the short and certainly also in the longer term. You build a large network of potential customers and ambassadors. And there are also referrers in that network who have to think about you at the right time. Visibility, therefore, helps you with a continuous flow of customers and growth. Growth of your turnover. And that is allowed because more financial space helps you to realize your ideas - with which you once started your practice or business.

CARE ONLINE

There is often a realization that the internet can be used to improve care and contact with patients. However, the capacity, resources, and knowledge about it are often absent or too limited. What exactly is the use of the internet? And what can a hospital do with social media? The knowledge that a hospital has about the use of social media is already valuable for sharing online. In this way, users immediately experience the power of it. The use of cross-media is important in the use of social media as using social media alone is not enough. And using one medium via one channel either. It is about the right combination of media (cross-media), channels, and types of receivers.

The disadvantages of social media

The disadvantages of social media also should be highlighted. There is, of course, less room for nuance online than in a personal conversation because you miss the signals that you normally transmit through non-verbal communication. This can lead to negative reactions from clients, something that can quickly get out of hand on social media. In addition, it is difficult for older people, immigrants who do not speak the language well and people with disabilities to communicate via social media. Furthermore, privacy is an important issue. You cannot just discuss and show everything. Social media is therefore not the solution for everything.

Conclusion

Start with a number of social media accounts and set them up with great enthusiasm. Also, it is not much  complicated and you get results very quickly. Because health systems need to step up their social media strategy to reach target audiences, boost patient engagement, and improve health outcomes.

 

 

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