Healthcare Marketing: 25 MORE Interesting Facts About Social Media

Sarah Evans, author of social media and PR blog “Commentz” regularly compiles interesting stats and facts about social media. She recently shared her most relevant ones with Ad Age. Some can be useful to healthcare marketers.

1. “In early March, Google removed from its Android Market more than 60 applications carrying malicious software. Some of the malware was designed to reveal the user’s private information to a third party, replicate itself on other devices, destroy user data or even impersonate the device owner.”

2. “Groupon is on track to bring in between $3 billion and $4 billion in revenue this year alone. Facebook’s 2010 sales were reported to be only around $2 billion in its sixth year of existence.”

3. “A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, living on the cutting edge of social media tend to be more ‘prosocial’ than average, being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions.”

4. “99 percent of Android devices are vulnerable to password theft.”

5. “Recent estimates put less than 10% of the population using Twitter, far less than other social sites.”

6. “More than 3.34 million mentions were recorded over a one-month period of people making social asks.”

7. “David Poltrack, CBS Corp., announced that, based on a new research study, ‘age and sex don’t matter when it comes to increasing TV ad effectiveness.'”

8. “An average of 40 percent of the traffic to the top 25 news sites comes from outside referrals, the study found, with Google Search and, to a lesser extent, Google News the single biggest traffic driver.”

9. “Almost one-in-four South Africans use social media as a tool to look for work, but are concerned about the potential career fallout from personal content on social networking sites.”

10. “The percentage of US parents who allow their children between ages 10 and 12 to use Facebook or MySpace more than doubled from 8 percent a year ago to 17 percent now.”

11. “33% of Facebook posting is mobile.”

12. “Fully 69% of visitors to ended up 3 places: (14.6%), (14.4%) and (14.0%).”

13. “85% of media websites now use online video to cover news.”

14. “”Social media advertising spending will increase from $2.1 billion in 2010 to $8.3 billion by 2015.”

15. “Facebook is approaching 700 million users and Google handles over 11 billion queries per month. World-wide there are over 5 billion mobile subscribers (9 out of 10 in the U.S.) and every two days there is more information created than between the dawn of civilization and 2003.”

16. “Twitter reported that the network saw more than 4,000 tweets per second (TPS) at the beginning and end of Obama’s speech [re: death of Osama Bin Laden]”

17. “65% of all social media related to the royal wedding has come from the U.S. in the past month [April]. The U.K. has been responsible for just 20%.”

18. Re: the Royal Wedding: “911,000 wedding-related tweets were tracked in the past 30 days. That’s about 30,000 per day and accounts for 71% of all social media.”

19. “According to NPR’s internal usage data covering January 1 through mid-April, users who request audio — maybe a station stream, a national newscast, or NPR Music content — view twice as many pages as those who only read the apps’ content. On average, audio streamers rack up 4.2 pageviews per visit versus 2.4 for the text-only crowd.”

20. “Twitter penetration rates in Canada are among the highest in the world, according to new data from online tracking firm comScore Inc., which suggests that nearly one in five Canadian Internet users over the age of 15 regularly visit Twitter.”

21. “Traffic from social media has highest bounce rate. […] If you’re looking for ‘hyper-engaged’ readers, those that click through five or more pages on your site, forget the guy who came from Twitter. A link from another content site is three times more likely to be engaged, and someone coming in from search, is also above average.”

22. “”Digital services accounted for an estimated $8.5 billion (28%) of the $30.4 billion in 2010 U.S. revenue generated by the 900-plus advertising and marketing-services agencies that Ad Age analyzed.”

23. “Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2010: $41,390. Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2011: $230,000”

24. “Nearly seven in 10 tablet owners reported spending at least 1 hour per day using the device, including 38% who spent over 2 hours on it. And while just 28% consider it their primary computer, 77% are spending less time on desktop or laptop PCs since they got a tablet.”

25. “According to a Network Solutions survey, the use of social media among SMBs has grown over the years, rising from 12 percent in 2009, to 24 percent in 2010 to 31 percent currently.”


Hospital Marketing: More Patients Turning to Social Media for Advice

Hospitals should be proactive in using social media to connect and engage patients about their healthcare issues and concerns.

As much as healthcare officials are concerned about privacy and protocol, it’s not stopping patients from using the web to gather information concerning their health issues.  A Pew Internet  and American Life Project study shows that 61% of adults indicate they look online for health information.  Most of these e-patients go online to gather information about specific health conditions.

The study also indicates that as many as 20% of adults go online and use social media sites to gather and share health information.  “The Internet is now not just information,” says Susannah Fox, with the Internet and American Life Project.  “There is a social life of information online.  And people are using these tools to connect with friends and family, to connect with health professionals.  And they are accessing a much deeper level of information than they were five years ago.”   

As consumers take to social media and use it more, it’s only natural that they will use it for their health concerns.  Patients will reach out on social media sites to find others who share common experiences and learn from others.  There is a great sharing of information about symptoms, treatments, side effects and results.  And there is great encouragement by sharing experiences with others who are having similar experiences.

Hospital marketers perhaps can learn from this to establish Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts for patients in a local area to share and gather information.  It would provide a great service to the patients and also extend the hospital’s brand to these sites as a facilitator and a sharer of pertinent information.  It’s not a place for the hospital to push it services or “advertise” but a place that allows patients to honestly share information with others and the hospital to provide helpful medical and health information.

There could be Facebook pages or Twitter accounts set up for special interest groups like diabetes, cancer, maternity, young mothers and children of parents who are aging.  The list is almost endless.  Where ever there is a health condition where patients seek to gather and share information, there is an opportunity to use social media.  There could be social media uses for just about every patient support groups that already exists so patients can do online what they do in periodically face-to-face meetings.  And medical specialists in those areas could provide frequent and pertinent information that would be useful to those who visit the social media site.

Such efforts would provide a very useful service, build engagement and loyalty while enhancing the hospital’s brand.

Joseph Shapiro writing for NPR on November 16,2009  quoted Jamie Heywood, who established Patients Like Me, “The amazing shift is that we’ve pushed out this concept of sharing.”  She continued, “you can find another patient who knows what you are going through, someone who is on the same treatments, is dealing with the same side effects…. whatever variable matters to you at the moment.  To find out whether your concerns are justified, they make sense, whether you’re doing the right thing – that’s the transformation.”

There are great opportunities for hospitals to use social media to connect and engage consumers as well as provide useful and meaningful information. Consumers will find each other and engage in conversations. Shouldn’t hospitals join in that conversation?