Healthcare industry like many others is going through a transformation.  Though the drivers are many, the key factors are:

Consumer behavior                   Disruption of pay for service model                        eHealth

While “regulatory” and “technological” changes are straight forward to comprehend and implement, consumer addition and retention will require healthcare organizations to understand consumer behavior.  Social Media is one of the biggest influencers of consumer behavior in the healthcare industry as evident by the following statistics (source: referrel md):

  • 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. 
  • YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year-over-year. 
  • 18 to 24 year olds are more than 2x as likely than 45 to 54 year olds to use social media for health-related discussions.   
  • 90% of respondents from 18 to 24 years of age said they would trust medical information shared by others on their social media networks. 
  • 49% of those polled expect to hear from their doctor when requesting an appointment or follow-up discussion via social media within a few hours.


Communication” and “Content” via social media platforms are two themes that clearly emerge from the aforementioned statistics.  For healthcare organization, implementations of these themes can serve as enablers to “build trust & Foster relationships” with existing and potential consumers, which can lead to brand entification.


It is evident from these statistics that social media platform(s):
-       Have a direct impact on an organizations brand. 
o    Consumer experiences shared via these platforms can positively or negatively impact the brand value. 
o    Each type of experience can transform the consumers into “brand advocate” or “brand antagonist”, with far reaching impacts. 
-       Selection of the appropriate social media platforms is very much dependent on the “demographics” served by healthcare organization(s). 
In light of these observations, healthcare organizations need to ensure that social media and social media marketing are part of the overall strategy.  Lack of use of “Social Media” by healthcare organizations is a “big blunder” on their part.

Staring Point:

To implement a successful social media strategy and maximize the ROI, the healthcare organization can utilize the REALLY framework developed by Dr.  Leila Samii.