Who Are You Trying To Reach Online – and Why?
Hospital marketers have to be active on social media and online review sites, right? We know the answer is ‘yes,’ but who is it for and how do you do it well? A recent national consumer survey conducted by Wax Custom Communications showed surprising results about who follows social media channels and to what extent consumers’ health care decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Five hundred respondents across the country in different age groups and income levels answered questions concerning their use of social media accounts, their perceptions of hospitals that use social media, and their experiences with online review sites.
Eighteen percent of respondents reported that they follow their hospitals on social media, with the largest group those in the 18-29 age range, of which 63 percent are female. This cohort of young people was the most likely to read and leave online reviews about their experiences and to communicate with their hospital via online messenger.
“They may not be a huge target for a hospital, but they are the ones who should be — and will be — a main target,” says Amanda Herriman, marketing manager at Wax Custom Communications.
Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 years old to over 60 years old. Fifty-five percent were female; 45 percent were male. Those least likely to report using social media channels to learn about hospitals were those in the 45–60 age group.
Not surprisingly, more than 75 percent of respondents reported having a Facebook account, followed closely by YouTube and Instagram. Gender differences were evident in certain channels such as Instagram, with females comprising 62 percent of users, Pinterest with 75 percent female users, and Snapchat with 67 percent female users.
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