Content Marketing Blog

Social media replacing Dr Google?

A new study has revealed that more adults are accessing information regarding their health and wellbeing from online sources – including Facebook and Twitter.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released the results of its Social media likes healthcare – From marketing to social business survey on April 17 and the results were surprising.

The study revealed that social media sites were often the first port of call for users seeking medical information such as symptoms and treatments of various ailments, as well as opinions on doctors, drugs, medical devices and health insurance.

Only 45 per cent of those surveyed between the ages of 45 and 64 said they were likely to utilise social media for health information – meaning that the online medical push is likely coming from Generation Y.

While more than 80 per cent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 indicated they were likely to share health information through social media channels, almost 90 per cent said they would trust information they found there.

US Health Industries leader at PwC Kelly Barnes believes that harnessing this power and developing a social media strategy could be the secret to health professionals engaging with younger consumers on their level.

"Health organisations have an opportunity to use social media as a way to better listen, participate in discussions and engage with consumers in ways that extend their interaction beyond a clinical encounter," she said.

"Savvy adopters are viewing social media as a business strategy, not just a marketing tool."

The PwC study extended beyond social media users and into the health industry, with the survey finding that only half the number of organisations – such as hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical manufacturers – was concerned about how to integrate social media data into business strategy and processes.

Posted by Elise Ferrari