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Social Media Marketing for Doctors: Pew Internet Survey

February 7th, 2013 | Latest Happenings in Healthcare

The use of social media to search and share health related information is growing slowly but steadily in the United States. The latest Pew Internet Survey finds that health information does have a steady social life of its own on the Internet. People not only make use of their social networks to look for health related information, but also for peer to peer support. Many social media users share health related stories and personal experiences to help each other.

According to the Pew survey, 26 percent of the respondents said they had read or viewed someone’s personal experience related to medical or health issues in the past one year. 16 percent of American adult Internet users said checked out the Internet in the past 12 months to look for other people who may be having similar concerns. The growing influence of social media in everyday life is something that healthcare marketing professionals should recognize and incorporate a social media promotion strategy into their plans while promoting medical and dental practices.

Another interesting trend that is taking shape is that a growing number of Internet users are looking at health related reviews and ratings with keenness. As per the Pew Internet survey, about 20 percent American adult Internet users are consulting online reviews, rankings, ratings and comments about doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers. However, only about four percent of Internet users post reviews of healthcare providers online.

In the Pew survey, two in five people said that they have posted stories or comments about personal health experiences online, 19 percent said they posted specific health related queries, and 38 percent said they posted both. Importantly, 11 percent of the respondents said they posted online specifically to receive a response from a health professional. These figures indicate the high amount of social interaction on health issues that is taking place online. Medical Internet marketing professionals should recognize the importance of social media and include social media marketing as a part of their overall healthcare marketing strategy.

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