JANUARY 29, 2013 — Americans have a real love/hate thing going when it comes to doctors and other small businesses using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Privacy obviously a huge concern when seeing their doctor on social media. Patients tend to also think more highly of doctors when they’re acting appropriately and posting helpful information for the masses, sharing and promoting health-related stories and blogs that patients find useful… even when they realize that increasing profit is the primary driver of these efforts, according to a survey conducted last year by Allstate and the National Journal.
For you as a business owner, the survey presents an in-depth profile of social media users. For starters, they’re more community and politically active than non-users. They’re purchase decisions are very dependent on the feedback they receive from within their online circles or “friends” using these social platforms. Ironically, as popular and ubiquitous as social media has become for doctors, it’s still not particularly trusted: Americans are far more likely to believe what gets reported through TV and radio, newspapers, cable/network news and other traditional media. For example, 71 percent of survey participants place trust in newspapers, compared with just 30 percent who do the same for social media sites.
“The explosion of available information and inter-connectivity through social media is beyond dispute,” says Joan Walker, Allstate executive vice president. “The greater question is whether these amazing new tools can also help make [companies] more trustworthy. This poll shows that the jury is still out, but suggests strongly that in social media there is much potential for creating more accessibility, while demanding more authenticity to be successful.”
Here are the results and what you should know about your patients that are using social media regularly:
- 64% of American adults are active on social media.
- 69% of social media users have volunteered for a community organization, compared with 49% of non-social media users.
- 89% of social media users have donated money to a charitable cause, compared with 81% of non-social media users.
- 32% of social media users have attended a campaign rally, compared with 22% of non-social media users.
- 79% of social media users are likely to consult with others about buying a product or service, compared with 60% of non-social media users.
- 64% of social media users have changed their minds about a product or service due to others’ opinions, compared with 47% of non-social media users.
- 59% of social media users say that a company’s social media activity makes the company appear “accessible and responsive.”
- 49% of social media users say companies that are active in social media are more “transparent and open.”
- 64% of social media users want companies to increase their use of social media for customer service purposes.
- 73% feel that major corporations are active on social media to more easily advertise, collect customer data, increase profits and gain a competitive edge.
This data will give you important incite in how to market your practice and brand to your local community that seeks you out and follows you via social media. For more business tips, articles related to the concierge medical marketplace and trends, visit our TRENDS Blog at www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com.