With the increasing penetration of smartphones, India is now the largest market for various social media platforms. It is the largest market for Facebook with 270 million users with cities like Delhi and Bangalore in the lead. India has also emerged as the third-largest Instagram market and the seventh-largest for Twitter.
Given this wide reach and the ability to be part of hyperlocal conversations, product companies, and healthcare providers actively use relevant social media platforms to interact with their existing and potential customers. Traditional sectors such as FMCG, banking and financial services, retail, and real estate as well as digital disruptive companies have made extensive use of social media platforms to interact with customers. The time has therefore also come for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector to start using social media in their digital marketing strategies.
In a recent survey on the involvement of patients entitled ” Social networks to improve the health of patient i ” of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM Catalyst, one based company is known in the UK), the 99% of respondents recognized that social networks they are potentially useful for healthcare. About 85% of respondents confirmed the use of social media platforms for the management of chronic diseases and 78% of respondents referred to social media for healthy behaviors such as weight loss, physical activity, and healthy eating.
About 3/4 of the Insight Council members who responded to the survey report that their organization uses certain types of social networks as an integral part of their health outreach initiatives, but 90% of them say that “these social networks are not yet mature or are only slightly mature. “
What are the Trends in Social Media in India?
From women who receive in vitro fertilization treatments, to patients with chronic diseases or simply come across an accident – everyone is looking for relevant information online. Google Analytics data in India also reflects a similar trend. In 2018 there were approximately 1,320,000 searches on Google for “Diabetes” . For a pharmaceutical company and a marketing expert, this translates to over a million potential patients with whom they can have engaging conversations.
This requires a completely new dashboard-based digital marketing approach and a new generation of partner agencies offering integrated brand strategy communication, PR advertising, advocacy and planned events against the basis of the rapidly growing digital landscape.
An increasingly large screen on smartphones allows click-based conversations in which a person can simply “touch” on the phone screen to “learn more”. These conversations with patients, healthcare workers, family members and professionals or healthcare organizations can create interesting conversations that are extremely relevant and can overcome geographical barriers, socio-economic division and language.
For example, young Dr. Mikhail Varshavski commonly known as Doctor Mike , a Russian-American celebrity doctor who works in New Jersey has 859k followers on Facebook, 156k followers on Twitter, 3,100,000 on Instagram and over 1,690,000 views on Youtube! Otherwise, doctors in India have yet to learn how to develop their online presence, perhaps starting from platforms such as Practo, Lybrate, Sehat, JustDial and CrediHealth .
Social media for the management of chronic diseases and the promotion of health protection behaviors
As the use of social media becomes more widespread, healthcare professionals, small and large companies that provide medicines and health services will require reputation management and crisis control in the event of any negative comments and reactions from patients. unhappy.
Facebook and other social media sites show the power of social networks and the influences that individuals exert on other people’s behavior in everyday life. Historically, healthcare disclosure has focused exclusively on individual patients.
There is an increasing awareness that social networks in the health sector – such as Patients Like Me and Connected Living – can help improve behaviors to protect health. Social networks can make valuable information and communities available to patients who would otherwise feel abandoned to fight alone a new or existing disease.
The future of Healthcare Marketing campaigns can educate about disease prevention and detection, participate in conversations with support patient groups, share stories about disease management and even help raise funds through crowdfunding .