One of the struggles facing today’s specialty pharmacy – much like any other brand – is figuring out how best to truly reach customers. To deliver the right messages at the right time in an environment where they’ll be receptive. In this age, communication has taken a drastic shift to digital. According to Pew Research Center, an estimated 87% of American adults use the Internet, and 70% of the U.S. population has a social media profile.
Social media has a unique ability to connect people directly with their interests, be they people, products, services, or ideas. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest – along with media like blogs and applications – give specialty pharmacies the opportunity to exchange important information with their patients. Social media can be a relatable channel to promote wellness while influencing patient behaviors, all the while garnering priceless engagement and feedback.
The Social Media Boom
In general, social media has taken the world by storm in the past decade. As of March 2015, there were 1.4 billion users on Facebook, 347 million on LinkedIn, 300 million on Google+, 300 million on Instagram, 288 million on Twitter, and 230 million users on Tumblr – just to name a few. Even more interesting is the data on how social media has specifically impacted the healthcare industry.
Take a look at some hard-hitting social health statistics:
- 40% of people polled say social media information affects how a patient coped with a chronic disease, selecting a physician, and their views of diet and exercise. (Source: HealthCare Finance News)
- More than 40% of individuals say social media affects how they approach their health. (Source: Mediabistro)
- 19% of smartphone owners have downloaded at least one health-related app. (Source: Demi & Cooper Advertising)
- YouTube traffic to hospital channels has grown 119% year-over-year. (Source: Google’s Think Insights)
- 60% of doctors said that social media has improved the quality of care delivered to their patients. (Source: The Spark Report)
Promote Wellness, Encourage Engagement
Health and wellness is a huge topic of interest on social media. From weight loss recipes to body building tips to natural remedies for a headache, health-related information spreads like wildfire. What a coincidence! Specialty pharmacies are health-oriented too. So as you’ve probably deduced by now, social media is an excellent way for specialty pharmacies to promote wellness among all users: patients and non-patients alike, while enforcing the brand and nurturing engagement and interaction.
A Place for Honest Feedback
If there’s a safe bet about social media – and the Internet in general – it’s that users utilize it as a vehicle to speak their minds. While their feedback may not always be a glimmering 5-star recommendation, these opinions are critical for brands to hear. By simply turning an ear (or an eye, rather) toward the digital conversation, specialty pharmacies can have direct interaction with their patients. They can receive validation for effective practices and critique for systems that just aren’t working optimally.
Of course, a successful social media plan will take some careful strategy and mindfulness of importance compliance issues like HIPAA.
Looking to Turn Around Your Social Media Presence?
If you’re ready to take your specialty pharmacy to the next level with a strong social media presence, call us today at 407-523-0604 for a free consultation.