Design
Marketing
Healthcare
Pharma
Development
Business

Social media and medicine - scaling medical SoMe accounts

by Aman Pal
by Aman Pal

Social media and medicine are a powerful combination until you bet on professional medical content creation.

There are now 4.95 billion total Internet users, with 4.2 billion being active on social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on SoMe channels every single day [1]. What do they do during that time? According to the Digital 2022 report, they primarily find information (61%), stay in touch with family and friends (55,2%), keep up-to-date with news and events (53,1%), and research how to do things (51,3%) [2]. Surprisingly, 80% of people on social media, including patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs), use it to search for health-related information [3].

HCPs on social media

It is no surprise that those 2 hours and 25 minutes of social media time and attention offer an unprecedented opportunity to scale your healthcare business account.

going digital

However, the mere social media presence is not enough to achieve these challenging goals. Since literally everyone has the possibility to post anything on social media, not all medical content available online is either reliable or of high quality. This problem has been recently highlighted by the pandemic-related misinformation wave, which has further increased the already significant level of the public's distrust of the healthcare industry [4], diminishing the efforts of Pharmaceutical companies to improve their reputation. . Your medical content has to stand out in the sea of content. The only way to do so is to provide professional medical content creation that effectively attracts your audience and makes your business trustworthy. Read more and discover how to efficiently use medical content writing dedicated to social media channels to scale your medical company’s account.

Social media, medicine, and target audience

Why does healthcare need professional SoMe content?

relying on social media channels

With the increasing number of patients and HCPs going online, healthcare businesses have to find an appropriate strategy to stand out from the crowd. Posting content that is neither professional nor engaging is just a lost opportunity for your company.

Medical content writing is more complex than other types of copywriting. Terms have precise definitions and frame complex concepts that should be presented in both an understandable and thorough way. Similarly, social media creation for healthcare businesses stands apart from “typical” social media creation. Patients and HCPs have specific needs, emotions, and expectations towards healthcare services. And this aspect cannot be overlooked when it comes to your social media presence.

HCPs and patients go digital

Healthcare target audience

Tailoring your social media content strategy to your target’s needs is the initial step of your successful digital performance. 

The healthcare target audience encompasses various groups, such as patients, doctors, pharmacists, medical staff, and pharma reps, that significantly differ from each other in terms of demographics, interests, expertise, and behavior. 

For instance, a survey of over 4,000 physicians found that more than 90% of them use social media for personal reasons, and 65% use it for professional reasons [5]. When they explore the digital space on behalf of medical practice, they most often join online communities to read news articles, research medical developments, consult colleagues on patient issues, and network [5]. On the other hand, one of the main reasons for which patients use social media is to bridge the gap between health information about their condition and everyday life [6]. To read more about patients’ needs in the tech age, check out our article, where we covered that topic comprehensively. 

Despite many differences between various healthcare target audiences, the common denominator of their needs remains the same - a demand for a reliable source of health-related information. The decreasing level of trust in healthcare since 2019 is yet another challenge that medical companies have to face [4]. 

Trust,  according to scholars, is of great importance to a well-functioning healthcare system [7]. A high level of trust enhances patient-doctor relationships, improves the reliability of medical businesses, and encourages interaction with them.

Thus, regardless of targeting patients or HCPs, healthcare businesses must build credibility and reliability among every target group. To emphasize, in the present-day social media environment, valuable health-related information is a prerequisite for efficient digital performance.

Professional content that your target needs

As we’ve agreed, healthcare target groups are particularly exposed to the lack of credibility of the social media content they consume. Consequently, in the unlimited stream of data, the reliable content based on irrefutable evidence is the star among the darkness. But how to turn your texts into high-quality, up-to-date medical materials for social media?

The answer comes directly from the doctor’s office, where, to offer the best medical help, the physician relies on scientific research rather than the individual experience. . This approach, well-known as Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), improves doctors’ decision-making process regarding the care of individual patients while “integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research [8]”. Owing to its high quality and scientific reliability, EBM has become widely adopted by medical content writers, who use it to turn their materials into expert content that healthcare target audiences need. To read more about High-Quality EBM Content Creation, download our e-book.

ebm content creation

Nevertheless, while keeping your content highly reliable, bear in mind that you’re still providing posts for social media channels that have to engage your audience. Achieving this goal requires appropriate language, tone, and, most importantly, visual framings. As the visual has dominated the social media landscape, it is crucial to combine your credible textual materials with attractive design solutions. Visuals should be user-friendly; for example, we can improve engagement using consistent and appropriate font size and style [9]. We can also simplify complex medical concepts by using infographics, charts, or tables. The tools that will significantly increase your content value are videos and podcasts. Given that the trend toward video content is continuously reinforcing, it is expected to overtake text as the most common type of content on the Internet. How to use it effectively? For instance, to keep your audiovisual materials high-quality, you can involve healthcare professionals as expert speakers in the field (Key Opinion Leaders, KOLs).

social media content types

Mixing the best evidence possible with social media attractive formats will undoubtedly increase your brand’s credibility and engage your audience more efficiently. It may also be beneficial to form a closed networking group for either patients or HCPs. According to recent studies, “the most popular social media sites for physicians are those where they can participate in online communities, listen to experts, and network and communicate with colleagues regarding patient issues [5]”. Besides enhancing your brand's accountability, the online community will give your audience emotional, informational, and networking support that they value so highly while communicating with healthcare companies [6].

How to create professional SoMe content?

Professionalism based on high-quality evidence should be the foundation of your medical social media presence. Once you recognize your target audience, with all its needs and understand the industry, you should begin preparing your content plan. Define the main objectives of your strategy that will guide you through your powerful performance. 

questions to ask

Once you gather the exemplary topics, jump-start your research and use the best 

evidence possible! If you’ve decided to build a video or podcast-based strategy, find HCPs that are highly respected in the industry to maintain your credibility. Besides, while writing, keep in mind the legal formalities that the industry has to follow. If you don’t want to get your account blocked, collaborate with professional medical content writers to ensure that your materials comply with industry regulations. Read more about advertising restrictions in the series of articles about Google Ads.

Scale up your medical business

As the healthcare social media landscape continues to evolve, it becomes more important for healthcare businesses to become involved in them. Do not waste the opportunity for your healthcare business growth by downplaying the importance of professional medical content on social media. 

To efficiently build your brand awareness and strengthen your brand’s accountability, provide high-quality content that meets your audience's needs and expectations. A perfectly-tailored social media performance has a powerful impact on educating patients and HCPs, building trust, and consequently, boosting your business’s sales. We’re here to help you achieve these results. Work with professionals specializing in communication with healthcare target groups, betting on high-quality medical content creation. Shall we start?

Let's talk

References:

[1] Newberry, C., How to Use Social Media for Small Business: 12 Simple Tips, https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-tips-for-small-business-owners/ [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[2] Hootsuite, The Global State of Digital 2022, https://www.hootsuite.com/resources/digital-trends [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[3] Clark, M., 50+ Social Media and Healthcare Statistics You Need to Know, https://etactics.com/blog/social-media-and-healthcare-statistics [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[4] Percentage of persons with trust in healthcare in select countries from 2021 to 2019, by sub-sector, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1071548/trust-levels-towards-healthcare-sub-sectors-in-select-countries/ [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[5] Ventola, C Lee, Social media and health care professionals: benefits, risks, and best practices, P&T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management vol. 39,7 (2014): 491-520. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103576/#:~:text=Social%20media%20provide%20HCPs%20with,caregivers%2C%20students%2C%20and%20colleagues [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[6] Smailhodzic, E., Hooijsma, W., Boonstra, A. et al., Social media use in healthcare: A systematic review of effects on patients and on their relationship with healthcare professionals, BMC Health Serv Res 16, 442 (2016), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1691-0 [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[7] Lewandowski, R., Goncharuk, A.G. & Cirella, G.T, Restoring patient trust in healthcare: medical information impact case study in Poland, BMC Health Serv Res 21, 865 (2021), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06879-2 [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

[8] D.L. Sackett, W.M.C. Rosenberg, J.A.M. Gray, R.B. Haynes and W.S. Richardson, Evidence-based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t, Br. Med. J., 312 (7023) (1996), pp. 71-72.

[9] Y.-L. Hung, C. Stones, Visual Design in Healthcare for Low-Literate Users – A Case Study of Healthcare Leaflets for New Immigrants in Taiwan, Conference Paper, (2014).

[10] Bulavea, E., Iljasova, A., Social media video content for the healthcare industry

Volume 30, Issue 1 - Social media, https://journal.emwa.org/social-media/social-media-video-content-for-the-healthcare-industry/ [last accessed: 08.04.2022].

exit icon

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics ON OFF

We'd like to set Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar and HubSpot to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. We collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how this works, please see our Cookies page.

Advertising ON OFF

We’d like to set Facebook Pixel to give you the latest information about Brandmed services by Facebook. For more information on how this works, please see our Cookies page.

Accept Close
We use cookies. Read more on our Cookies page.
Accept Settings
exit icon