Americans are using social media to gather information about their healthcare. 1 in 5 persons in a recent survey, confirmed they use social media to influence their healthcare decisions.
This according to research conducted by National Research Corporation of more than 23,000 Americans – the largest, most current research on the subject.
Summary of the findings:
- 94% of the respondents said they had used Facebook as a source to gather information on their healthcare.
- 32% had used YouTube as a healthcare information source.
- Twitter came in third – tying with MySpace for 18% of respondents.
- Location-based website FourSquare received a 2 percent response.
- 1 in 4 respondents said social media was “very likely” or “likely” to influence their healthcare decisions.
- 32% said their trust level in social media was “very high” or “high”.
- Only 7.5% said their trust level in social media was “very low”.
While consumers think highly of using social media as a source of healthcare information, it is not the premiere source however when considering all options. Fifty percent of the respondents replied that healthcare provider websites are the preferred source of online healthcare information.
Results of the study also provided insight into who is using social media for healthcare information. They are affluent and young – with the average age 41 and household income of $75k plus.
As healthcare marketers this provides current, up to date evidence that in order to be influential in patients’ healthcare decisions, we must be present in their world.