Three Ways to Drive Patient Engagement through Social Media
One thing that we focus on with our clients at Dodge is how to help them better engage with all generations of patients. While traditional media and external marketing campaigns have been typically used in the past, increasing engagement via social media is now a key way to communicate.
Why is social media so important when achieving patient engagement? A study from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that between 70 and 75 percent of U.S. consumers look to the internet for healthcare advice, of which 40 percent rely on responses from social sites. Based on this finding, we now know that social media is continuing to grow and adopting social media into patient engagement strategies is imperative for all healthcare companies.
Below are three ways that can develop and drive patient engagement through social media.
Communicate to them in the way they prefer. The Pew Research Center found that 87 percent of online adults in the U.S. age 18 to 29 use Facebook, with 53 percent on Instagram, 37 percent on Twitter and 34 percent on Pinterest. This means that social media has turned into their preferred communication method. It also shows that if you are able to spread your message across all of these social channels, you’ll be able to reach your target audience via social media. It’s important to reach your patient population in the way that they prefer in order to drive patient satisfaction and, in the end, drive a long-term patient engagement and retention.
Leverage your online reviews. Patients may leave reviews on social media channels such as Yelp or HealthGrades, and some reviews may be good while others aren’t. No matter what type of review it is, it’s important to respond to not only try and mitigate the situation, but to show current and potential patients that you are attentive to those channels. This is especially true since according to a study released by PNC Healthcare, nearly 50 percent of millennials and Gen-Xers use online reviews to help their decision in healthcare situations.
Address their concerns. While patients may not be able to have their medication questions answered via social media, they should be able to find some answers regarding their care. For example, if a practice has a lot of diabetic patients, that practice could leverage their social media channels to provide their patients with recipes, diets and exercises tips geared towards their chronic condition.
No matter how you define patient engagement, social media has become a major component for practices when it comes to driving engagement with their patients.
How has your company been leveraging social media to drive patient engagement?