Social Media for Healthcare Providers in 5 Steps

Eric Melin
Eric Melin Senior Social Media Community Manager, Callahan Creek

Posted on January 26th 2014

Social Media for Healthcare Providers in 5 Steps

social media healthcare whitepaperA new IMS Health Report suggests that half of the Top 50 pharmaceutical companies in the world “do not engage with consumers or patients through social media, and only 10 companies” utilize Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


But health seekers are online, actively looking for information. Four out of every 10 consumers has used social media to find health-related reviews and one-third of consumers are using the social space for health-related discussion.

Healthcare professionals are starting to understand the value of a solid social media listening and response program. Providers can build trust and loyalty with patients and stay on top of potential issues, correcting them before they turn into problems on HCAHPS surveys. There's more than I can go into in a blog post, which is why I worked on a whitepaper that adresses the many challenges the healthcare industry faces and solutions on how to move forward.

“5 Steps to Effective Social Media for Healthcare Providers” includes a road map that will help healthcare providers create a social media program to take advantage of this new consumer behavior and extend healthcare offerings into the social space.

download healthcare social media whitepaperThe whitepaper contains a five-step outline for:

  • Strategic online listening/monitoring
  • Creating a social media program that monitors reputation and builds trust
  • Developing a social media policy
  • Building a training and education program
  • Documenting, measuring, and growing social media

By doing a small amount of online and social media monitoring, you can find terms that are the most often associated with your company, the sentiment surrounding your brand, and the hot issues/topics that surround your market.

You might want to start here:

According to a 2013 PewResearch study, the healthcare subjects that receive the greatest amount of attention in the U.S. through social media are, in order:

  1. Specific diseases
  2. Lifestyle changes
  3. Health insurance details
  4. Safety informationdownload healthcare social media whitepaper

What is your biggest social media challenge in the healthcare space and how do you plan on addressing it this year?

Hopefully this whitepaper will get you thinking about goals and objectives and how you can move forward.

Eric Melin

Eric Melin

Senior Social Media Community Manager, Callahan Creek

An award-winning marketing and communications specialist, Eric is the Senior Social Media Community Manager for specialty marketing agency Callahan Creek, the social chair for AAF-KC, and the communications chair for Engineers Without Borders - Sunflower State Professionals

He is also the 2013 Air Guitar World Champion. Callahan Creek unlocks the power of category enthusiasts and turns them into brand advocates. Air guitar provides boundless entertainment and helps musicians realize their full creative potential, according to a recent Cambridge study.

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Madhava Verma Dantuluri
Posted on January 26th 2014 at 6:40AM

Really true and good coverage of the article. I often observe that lot of people are posting the health related questions in the Facebook, Quora, Twitter etc. There are separate group also created in the Quora where selected doctors respond to them. Looking at the growth of social media, i wonder what else is in store.

Marshall Crawford
Posted on January 26th 2014 at 8:23AM

More and more healthcare providers are finding social media a viable medium to connect with their patients. As a physician, your top priority is to serve the community, so it is best to enter the world of social media with the intent to solve problems and offer solutions. One of the main benefits of social media is that it allows the patient to develop a personal connection with your practice.

Posted on January 27th 2014 at 5:12AM

Social media has easily captured every type of customer (or I might say, people) these days. Almost every type of industry benefits from its uses as well... There's no surprise that even the healthcare industry can use it to improve their services as well. Social media made it possible for consumers and providers to easily communicate. Thanks for these tips, Eric, by the way. :)

-Alleli (from Infinit-O)

Eric Melin
Posted on January 28th 2014 at 6:28PM

No problem-- thanks for your comments. I hope it is useful!




Eric Melin
Posted on January 28th 2014 at 6:28PM

No problem-- thanks for your comments. I hope it is useful!




Posted on August 15th 2014 at 3:04PM

I think healthcare providers really need to provide better service, and hopefully you can help them do that with social media?  If my perception of a hospital chain is long waits to see inexperienced doctors, no amount of tweeting and answering my twitter questions is going to make me want to go there.  On the other hand, if there is a provider giving good service, you could help them nudge people to talk about it on social media.