Why social media monitoring is particularly important in healthcare

Through online and social media monitoring an online marketer can discover where his target group resides online and what subjects keep her busy. This information could be very relevant, because through this the content production can be optimized. In health care the monitoring of the online behavior of different target groups could also be interesting. Patients talk online about their medical conditions, treatments, afflictions and medication in large numbers. This they do at different times through different channels. Health care institutions, pharmaceutical companies and medical producers can enhance their online presence by responding to this behavior. By ‘listening’ better they can discover the need for information of their target groups and adjust the production of content as they see fit.

Answer the questions of the target group

By monitoring what the target group discusses on social media, on what channels she is active and what content she likes or shares, you can, as an online marketer, acquire lots of information on her need for information.

Imagine: you work as a marketingmanager of an anti-flu self-care product. An insight social media monitoring can give you is what the most talked about subjects are regarding the flu in a certain period. Terms like vitamin, men, ginger, agriholland, zika, fever and lemon are used in the same posts wherein the word ‘fever’ appears.

The terms from the trending topics tagcloud can be analyzed and the relevant terms can be implemented into the content creation process. The above mentioned marketer will be able to respond to this information by writing a blog with practical tips, like how to get rid of the flu fast. This content can be shared through the website or widely used social media to enhance the user experience and increase the traffic towards the online channels of the organization.

Know where the target group resides

Patients look for information in search engines, share information through social media and look for answers on different forums. Twitter and Facebook are by far the most popular media to discuss afflictions that are common like headache and the flu. Figure 2 shows how many conversations about flu there were on different platforms.

Notable is that the flu is discussed a lot on Twitter. Our social media monitoring tool shows that just in January and February the flu was discussed on this platform 17.000 times. As a marketer you can delve more deeply into a source like Twitter through online and social media monitoring. Did people specifically ask for help on this platform and what were the sources (authors/company accounts) that were most active there? What hashtags were used when people were talking about the flu? During what period did people tweet most about the flu? All these matters should be considered to reach the target group through Twitter.

Reach the target group at the right time

Almost every year there is a flu epidemic in the month of February. This is also reflected in the behavior on social media. For example in the months January and February the flu was discussed over 33.000 times. The number of search queries for flu in Google increased a lot during these months. In February on average there are twice as many search queries for the flu when compared to August.

For the marketer of the anti-flu self-care product it is important to observe this information when planning content publications. He can also adapt his Google Adwords accordingly.

The power of social media monitoring

A health care service provider, pharmaceutical company or medical producer has to have a clever response to the need for information of the online patient. Through using insights from research, you can offer your target group tailor-made content, for example letting blog posts answer her need for information. It is important to be active on the channels where your target group is also active. Adwords campaigns and social advertising can be deployed at the moment the target group exhibits a need for your content. On the basis of the insights you can identify opportunites and enhance the effectiveness of your online strategy.

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