Women are more likely to make healthcare decisions for their families. And women are the dominant user of social media. But despite these facts, surprisingly, men are more likely than women to turn to social media for healthcare purposes. According to a survey conducted by the accounting firm PwC men, as a percentage, turn to social media for health information more than women.
Not so surprisingly, the survey indicated nearly a third of all survey respondents used social media for healthcare purposes. Facebook led all media sites with 18% of those surveyed choosing that site over other options. YouTube was second at 12% followed by blogs (9%), Google (8%) and Twitter (6%).
However, the survey also indicated only 5% of respondents would be persuaded to choose one hospital over another because it had a social media presence.
The take away for healthcare providers is that social media is a valid medium for communicating with consumers. And with men. But it will not necessarily dictate if a consumer chooses our hospital. Social media certainly provides exposure and provides means to engage consumers. It can certainly influence how a brand is perceived but it alone, is not likely to be the determining factor on whether someone chooses one hospital over another.
Social media is an important tool for healthcare marketers and it can enhance relationships with consumers, but it is not yet the silver bullet some people claim it to be.