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Prescribing Social Media Strategies for Healthcare Companies

cvsdigitalmarketing-750x750In a generation where people feel more confident going online to check any questions about their medical symptoms rather than calling to their doctor, social media is something healthcare companies can’t ignore. In fact, large healthcare companies have already started to use this to their advantage. Whether to educate their patients, to promote their services or products, or to serve as a way to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle with daily tips, healthcare companies are turning to the social channels to engage with their patients like never before. Some healthcare companies have even gone a step further, launching their own mobile apps to make their patient’s life easier when it comes to tedious tasks, such as ordering new prescriptions, setting up reminders to take the medication, or even changing insurance carriers.

With more than 53 years in business, CVS Health has learned how to adapt to the behavior of their patients and to provide a solution to a problem they may be having. CVS Health has been able to win their consumer’s micro-moments by excelling in three key areas: being there at the perfect time when their consumers need answers/advice, providing the right consumers with the right answers, and driving both brand awareness and bottom-line results with their efforts. And how have they’ve done that? By paying attention to their users. According to Brian Tilzer, Chief Digital Officer at CVS Health, the moment of truth for them came when they found that one in 20 Google searches is are related to healthcare information. With this in mind, they decided to create an app and to implement a new digital marketing strategy. Their goal was to  improve their users’ experience by simplifying the healthcare process, and by giving them the information that they needed when they needed it.

CVS Health began to use social media as a way to educate and entertain their consumers with light and engaging posts that would connect them with their target demographic.

CVS Facebook

They also created a new app for consumers to make a positive impact when it comes to healthcare. According to CVS Health, people using their mobile app are more likely to fill their prescriptions through CVS and are more likely to adhere to their medications.

As a result, CVS Health has increased their investment in digital by five times in the last two years.

With 30% of adults willing to share their health information on social media with other patients and 47% willing to do so with doctors, social media is slowly helping to improve the way people feel about transparency when it comes to their medical condition. While this is a positive change, the reality is that social media still presents a challenge for some healthcare organizations that don’t know how to approach this new scenario. Here are some social media trends in the healthcare industry and some tips to pay attention to that will enhance your services.

  • Keep Your Users Informed: Although search engines remain the main source that people use when it comes to searching for information online, some users have started to go directly to social media platforms instead. Because of this reason, providing your users with healthcare updates, creating a spotlight series for each of the doctors in a practice, or simply answering common questions they may have on a daily basis, can provide them with the accurate information they need. Doing so can determine their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility.
  • Improve Overall Patient Satisfaction: Today’s patients are more informed and savvy and are going online to share their health struggles and to connect with others going through the same health condition This presents a huge opportunity for healthcare marketers to engage with these users. Patients are using social media to assist in the selection of doctors, specialists, and hospitals to seek care, and healthcare companies should pay attention to this.  A great insight to know about this demographic is that the ones who are willing to share and openly talk about their health condition on social media are typically young women.
  • Empower Patients Through Positive Thinking: The main objective of people sharing their stories on social media is to empower other people with their happy and positive stories. People are using social media to share the happiness they’ve found in living with their diseases. With this in mind, marketers should include these types of posts in their strategy and share these positive stories from other patients that their target audience can relate to.
  • Live-Stream Some Procedures: This is where the controversial part begins, and where your organization should be careful about. While one of the main characteristics of social media is immediacy, you’ll have to always respect HIPPA guidelines to protect the privacy of individual’s health records. Some ways to do so are: distributing social media policies to your employees, avoiding patients discussions, posting your procedures and policies on all social media platforms, and not practicing medicine online by responding to offline patients.
  • Don’t Forget About Donations: Probably one of the most notorious trends is the power of social media to help fund-raise money for those expensive medical treatments or unique conditions that one person could be suffering from. In fact, thanks to social media and platforms like GoFundMe, medical donations have grown by nearly 6,000% since 2011. However, the power of one social media post well distributed has been able to help not only individuals but also organizations. The ALS Bucket Challenge was a social media campaign went viral and was able to raise $16 million in donations in comparison with $1.8 million for the same period  the year before.

ALS Association

Remember that patients want a prescription for their soul, not for their body! Social media can completely change the perception that your patients have of your healthcare organization. Putting into practice some of these tips will help you to connect in a meaningful way with consumers in the healthcare field. With that being said, it’s essential for medical providers to be active on social media, not only to connect with their readers but also to provide accurate information and to implement marketing techniques where applicable. If your organization has considered any of these and is willing to jump online to enhance their relationship with their patients, we are here to help! Only those healthcare companies that pay attention to these social media trends and tips will be able to win over patients.

Thanks for reading,