Monday, December 10, 2012

Cashing in on the 6 things patients want from social media

Attempts at creating the next sexy and flashy social media craze seem to be everyday occurrences.  But, the real issue at stake is developing social media with functionality.  After reading this article on "6 things patients want from social media," we wanted to add our perspective for our clients to consider in their life science marketing strategies. 

The most important point is the first thing patients want (and need): to find information quickly! We are still amazed at all the efforts ongoing in the industry that SEO provides, yet when marketers hire agencies to produce the information for all their print materials, no consideration is given to making that information readily accessible by patients or providers.   Look at some of the trends with video on You Tube. Are marketers really leveraging this channel given its rapid rise?  Patients are much more willing to take 3 minutes to watch a quality, informative video that provides a summary of information that is essential to their diagnosis/prognosis.  Incorporate a product or brand name in the informative video and you have a customer.  Our video marketing expertise will allow your company to effectively reach out to patients in a manner that will educate potential customers while promoting your product.

Other important points to consider when branching into social media to facilitate the conversation and flow of information with patients are:

·      To have information streamlined: This coincides with providing information quickly but also incorporates providing information in a manner that flows so information is easy to find and understand.
·      A clear understanding of the aging population: When developing social media strategies it is easy to produce an interface that attracts younger populations.  But how does one attract the primary demographics in healthcare?  It is essential to have a clear plan and benefits for the use of social media by the aging population.
·      To be engaged: Throwing information at patients and then becoming disconnected is not a good marketing strategy.  You must provide an interface through which patients and brand reps can interact in a meaningful way.
·      To help with the practical parts of care: Unfortunately, payments and paperwork is one of the practical parts of healthcare.  New ways of streamlining this necessary portion of healthcare will increase customer satisfaction and keep patients returning for your product or service.
·      To help with the healing process: For us, this touches back on being engaged.  Throughout the healing process, patients need to feel as if they are the number one priority for a physician and social media can assist with this.  Provide an easy way to keep physician-patient dialogue open and medical adherence will increase.

Social media will have a huge influence on healthcare going forward.  Provide a customer centric approach to marketing and attracting patients that focuses on these patients’ needs and you will see great returns.  Contact us, and we can help you develop your social media marketing plan that will reach out to patients in a meaningful way.

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