Social media has been around for over a decade now and has changed the way we socialise. It’s doing so in health as much as anywhere else. So, let’s take a look at how it is doing so.
1. Younger Users Talk More About Health on Social Media
People between the ages of 18 and 24 are two times as likely as 45 to 54 year olds to go on social media and talk about their health. This is important because the younger generation has shown that they are willing to embrace both social media and new innovations in communication. Health care professionals, then, must be willing to go to them and engage. They need to be on top of things, though, because if they do not move quick enough, they may not be able to make an impact.
2. Social Media Information Impacts Health Decisions
Over forty percent of consumers indicate that they use social media information to influence their health decisions. This is important because it shows that health care professionals must create accurate content to disseminate on social media that will help consumers learn about their health. People rely on the opinions of others to help them with their health, but the information they receive is not always accurate.
3. Health Care Organizations Need to Have Social Media Guidelines
Approximately thirty-one percent of health care organizations have created social media guidelines. It is important for organizations to have something in writing so that everyone knows what is going on and how they need to behave on social media. It also helps you run your organization’s social media account as well.
4. Social Media Users are Trusting
Nine out of ten people in the 18 to 24 age group said that medical information shared over social media would be taken to heart. This shows that the younger generation feels that they can trust their cohorts online, which provides an opportunity for health care professionals to get in contact with them in a meaningful way.
5. Patients Know the Value of Online Communities
A study recently indicated that more than half of all patients would be okay with providers using online communities to get information about treatment options. This is important because it goes to show that if a community is reputable and informative, patients will feel good about getting information from them. This is true even when it comes to a sensitive topic like health.
6. Health Related Apps Could be the Way of the Future
Almost twenty percent of smartphone owners have one or more health applications. In particular, apps dealing with weight loss, diet and exercise are the most prevalent. It is important to note this because it may be a good idea for your health care organization to think about creating its own health app. It is not necessary for all facilities to take this step, but if they do not, they should use this information to their advantage when it comes to marketing.
7. Social Media can Impact Health Choices
Just over forty percent of people indicated that social media would help them determine which medical facility, hospital or doctor to visit. This is important because it indicates that social media is powerful when it comes to personal recommendations. That means that health care organizations can use social media to help them get new patients (or even to keep existing patients). People get on social media and they talk about everything. They mention health quite frequently. Now might be the right time for your organization to get involved.
8. Social Media Can Be Used for Networking
Just over thirty percent of health care professionals network on social media. This is important because it shows that social media is about more than just reconnecting with old friends. It can also help with professional development, regardless of whether you are on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
9. Hospitals Need to be on Social Media
About one fourth of all United States hospitals are involved in social media. This is important because it underscores the importance of these organizations getting involved in social media. It allows hospitals to get in touch with current patients as well as those that they have seen in the past. It helps future clients to find them. While hospitals do have to be careful about what they post, social media can be a very valuable tool for them. Here are some tips.
10. Social Media is Helping People to Become More Transparent
About thirty percent of adults feel comfortable talking about their health on social media. Forty-seven percent feel comfortable discussing their health with their doctor, thirty-eight percent with the health care company, thirty-two percent with a drug company and forty-three percent with a hospital. This is important because it indicates that social media is helping people to realize the importance of being authentic and open about their health. That can lead to positive discussion going forward.