With healthcare access embroiled in confusion, people are driven to computers for medical information. Even more so, individuals are reaching out and communicating on various social media sites, chatting in forums and discussion groups, and even sharing information with doctors and health facilities.
Online Information Sites
Online resources for health related information used the most (according to source: Mashable) are:
- 56% searched WebMD
- 31% on Wikipedia
- 29% on health magazine websites
- 17% used Facebook
- 15% used YouTube
- 13% used a blog
- 12% used patient communities
- 6% used Twitter
YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% continuously. (source: Google’s Think Insights)
Watching videos is one of the most effective and easiest way to understand instruction and convey stories. Interviews and how-to tutorials are very popular as well as touching our emotional buttons when we see and hear patient stories. YouTube converts reading dry material into bringing the human element into the information.
This channel has long relied on sharing causes and showing empathy or commiseration with others who are going through personal struggles. With a click of the like button or thumbs-up, you are telling the commenter that you feel for them, and like or agree with what has been said.
More than one quarter of health-related conversations on Facebook are supporting health-related causes, followed by 27% of people commenting about health experiences or updates. (source: Infographics Archive) For many of us, it has become a part of daily life and a fabric of society. It’s overdue for you if you are not on the site yet.
Of more than 1,500 hospitals nationwide who have an online presence, Facebook is most popular. (source: WHPRMS) Knowing that Facebook is preferred over other social media avenues, is important so that you can focus your attention there, where the most impact is made.
Parents are more likely to seek medical answers online, 22% use Facebook and 20% use YouTube. Of non-parents, 14% use Facebook and 12% use YouTube to search for health care related topics. (source: Mashable)
People are obtaining more information about a loved one’s health online and on social media in record numbers. Care-givers are also seeking answers to their problems about their charges and medical options available. Answers are given about medications, drug interactions and symptomatology.
30% of adults are likely to share information about their health on social media sites with other patients, 47% with doctors, 43% with hospitals, 38% with a health insurance company and 32% with a drug company. (source: Fluency Media) Healthcare is slowly evolving into communal discussions and authenticity amongst people in regard to treatments and overall health. Posts by doctors and hospitals are trusted by 60% of viewers.
After the clinic started using social media, The Mayo Clinic’s podcast listeners rose by 76,000 (source: Infographics Archive)
The Mayo Clinic already had a weekly podcast but by blasting out information (and how to find it), the popularity of the podcast and The Mayo Clinic soared. It was a wonderful way to spread their message effectively. It also gave listeners the opportunity to chat, ask questions, share content and get involved.
Outlook of Social Sites
More than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. (source: Mediabistro) While opinions are often respected on social media sites, they may in fact, not be accurate. This is a great opportunity have a doctor-patient connection where the correct insights, and information is spread regarding various health issues.
Don’t get left behind in the computer age, take this time to jump in and get involved!
If you need help with setting up your sites, contact us for a free consultation at: Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com