Social Media Trends - Healthcare


To have an analysis of social media trends in the healthcare industry and, further, what to expect from social media in 2020 surrounding healthcare. Specifically to have 5 of the top social media trends in healthcare and why each of them matters.

Early Findings

General Findings

  • Healthcare social media marketing has come a long way over the past six years. In fact, in 2013 a survey found that fifty-nine percent of professionals that worked in hospitals were blocked from using social media. Fast forward to 2020, and healthcare organizations have frequently and consistently used social media to engage with their communities, recruit employees, and increase patient satisfaction.
  • According to this study, 91% of participants said online communities play a role in their health decisions. The same study reported that 87% of the study participants said they shared health information via Facebook posts, and 81% said they share health information via Facebook Messenger. It is safe to say that social media marketing for healthcare presents a unique opportunity to connect with patients, physicians, and the wider community.
  • Convince & Convert identified common trends across social media marketing from the top U.S. hospitals. A free download of the 20-page report can be accessed here. Convince & Convert reviewed all Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube public posts from January 1 – March 31, 2019, by 54 of the top U.S. hospitals, as determined by bed count and the 2018–19 Best Hospitals Honor Roll. They used Rival IQ for content aggregation and in-depth competitive analysis of all 54 hospitals’ social media efforts. They gathered insights into how hospitals use private messaging by directly interacting with hospital Facebook pages through Messenger. They also ranked thee Top 20 Hospitals in Social Media based on a ranking score that includes Audience Size, Engagement, Engagement Rate Per Post and Total Posts.

Benefits of Social Media in Healthcare

  • “Health care systems must provide trusted information on immunization, flu virus, therapy, ebola, you name it.” So says Michael Yoder, the social media consultant for Spectrum Health. Social media is a key way to get that information to the public.
  • More people now get their news from social media than from newspapers. That makes social a key place to share breaking information. It’s a perfect platform for critical instructions during a health crisis.
  • Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines in September 2018. As it approached, the World Health Organization turned to its social channels. The organization posted infographics about staying safe during and after the typhoon.
  • “Social media offers advantages over traditional data sources, including real-time data availability, ease of access, and reduced cost. Social media allows us to ask, and answer, questions we never thought possible.” So wrote professors Michael Paul and Mark Dredze in their book, Social Monitoring for Public Health.

Social Media Trends in Healthcare

Video is Important

  • Video is turning out to be the main source of content for many brands. In fact, Cisco projects that eighty percent of online traffic will be driven by video content by next year.
  • Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health posts live broadcasts on their Facebook page regularly. Medical supplies company Avacare Medical routinely posts videos on their Facebook page that features educational or uplifting content.
  • Video will continue to drive traffic and engagement in the health care industry for the foreseeable future. Under the fourth point in this source, a particularly effective type of video for healthcare marketing is testimonials from patients and staff shared on social media.
  • Dr. Zubin Damania is better known on social as ZDoggMD. His fun social videos counter untrue and irresponsible health claims. He has built a community of more than a million followers on his Facebook page.

More Focus on Patient Communities and Groups

  • Caregivers and patients are creating and engaging with content at high rates. Patient groups and communities have 24 times more social media activity than health industry companies, according to PwC.
  • Patients routinely use social media to read reviews, gather information, share reviews and post about their own personal experiences. Social media can provide value to patients and health industry companies.
  • A study published in Surgery found that in a Facebook support group created by surgeons for liver transplant patients, 95% of members reported the group having a positive impact on their care.
  • Nearly 40 percent of young people (ages 14 to 22) have used online tools, to try to connect with other people who have similar health challenges. That includes social media groups.
  • Facebook groups are also a great place for healthcare professionals and patients to interact. Those interactions can include patient support and education. One study is evaluating if a Facebook group for coronary heart disease patients can increase participation in cardiac rehabilitation.

Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Surge

  • Over 90% of healthcare marketers who use an influencer strategy say that this is a successful way to connect with new patients or improve engagement with existing patients.
  • Influencer marketing, according to a Nielson survey, offers 11 times the ROI. More than 40% of consumers say that the information they find on social media affects the way they take care of their health.
  • These healthcare influencers have developed massive audiences online that swears by their recommendations.

Messaging Apps and Chatbots Continue to Improve Patient Service

  • There are more than 100,000 active bots on Facebook’s Messenger platform every month. Businesses exchange nearly 2 billion messages with their target audiences each month. There are more than 150 health chatbots on Facebook alone. Some answer general health questions, while others provide mental health support. Other bots are designed to help users reach their fitness and nutrition goals.
  • Consumers prefer to interact with businesses via social media, according to SproutSocial, which found that 34.5% of consumers prefer social media. Just 16.1% preferred to interact via telephone, and 5.3% preferred in-person contact.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our first hour of research provided some insights surrounding what to expect from social media in 2020 for the healthcare industry. That can be viewed under the headers titled "General Findings" and "Benefits of Social Media in Healthcare".
  • We also provided 4 social media trends in healthcare, though we did not have time to evaluate whether they were in the top most mentioned, though from our initial hour of research and based on the sources we found, they seem to be as all four are mentioned quite frequently.
  • As top was not defined for us, we assumed that it will mean the trends most mentioned. If that is not correct, that should be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

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