Nielsen Online

Healthcare Marketing: 75% of Americans Engage in Social Media – Is Your Hospital?

Research indicates that social media is beginning to rival traditional media in reach.

In a survey of 1700 internet users in the US, Nielsen Online found that 73% engage in social media at least once a week.  That makes the total social media audience consist of 127 million people.   Brian Morrissey reported the findings in a recent article in  AdWeek.

In addition to the total number of Americans engaged in social media, the survey rendered the following results:

  • 47% visit Facebook daily
  • 32.7 million play social games daily
  • Twitter has 105 million registered users but only 11.4 million or 6% use it daily
  • 11% read blogs daily

The number of users of social media is extremely significant.  The numbers rival and even outpace some forms of traditional media.  The 47% of internet users who visit Facebook daily compares to:

  • 55% who watch television daily
  • 37% who listen to radio daily
  • 22% who read newspaper daily
  • 11% who read magazines daily

The use of social media is continuing to increase.  As seen in this study by Nielsen, the percentages that are actively engaged in social media are comparable or greater than most traditional media consumers.

This creates new challenges for healthcare marketers.  How do we effectively reach this growing audience?   The answers are not easy.  And implementation is sometimes even more difficult.  But it is important to develop strategies to engage this burgeoning audience.

Traditional media is not dead.  It can still be very effective.  But social media has become pervasive and we must be creative and increasingly proactive in taking advantage of its growing popularity.


Hospital Advertising: Americans Still Reading Newspapers

Newspapers provide strong reach as large numbers of adults access news either in print or online.

Many have written newspapers off.  It’s not considered to be a viable advertising medium by some. Newspaper advertising revenues, down 45% in the last four years, seem to support this.

However, Scarborough’s latest Integrated Newspaper Audience study revealed that 74% of American adults either read a newspaper or visit a newspaper Web site at least once a week.  Even though the Audit Bureau of Circulations  shows a 14% decline in audience of the 125 largest newspapers since 2004, newspapers still reach 171 million Americans.

Erik Sass reported in the November 17th issue of MediaPost that newspapers deliver even higher readership among the well-heeled and well-educated.   He cites that the Scarborough study indicates that 79% of white-collar workers, 82% of adults with household incomes over $100,000 and 84% of college graduates have read a newspaper in the past week.

It must be noted that a growing number of adults access the print medium online.  A Nielson Online study for the Newspaper Association of America indicates that unique monthly visits to newspaper websites have increased from 41.1 million in 2004 to 71.8 million in 2009.

So even though there is much written about the death of American newspapers, they still provide a great reach opportunity.  With the combination of space advertising and online advertising, newspapers can still be effective at reaching a large audience, especially among the more affluent and well-educated.  And in smaller markets, community newspapers can even provide stronger audiences.  Newspapers still have a place in the media plans of local hospitals.

Americans receive their news in new and various ways.  Certainly this affects media strategies.  But newspapers can’t be written off.  Either in print or on the web, it’s still “read all over”.