By now, you are probably following a few “influencers” on social media and perhaps you have even purchased a product or changed habits because of them – for better or worse. Buying a cute summer dress to look like an influencer’s beach vacation post, will just add another item to your wardrobe. However, taking the new “cures-all-makes-you-feel-amazing” drug that negatively interacts with your thyroid medication and puts you in an ambulance is another story. And you can’t blame the trusted nursefluencer because she just “casually” talked about the product on her Instagram story that is gone now.
On the flip side, serious health issues that have been stigmatized, under-researched, and just “had to be dealt with alone” are now, thanks to social media, being widely discussed, prioritized, and connected. Doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals are now able to dispense their knowledge and care straight to patient’s phones, around the world, broadening their reach and making health education more accessible. Life science and medical device companies are following the same formula and partnering with popular influencers living with a chronic condition to promote their products as must-haves, creating some healthy ROIs. All of this has also led to patients gaining support, encouragement, and insight from peers and medical professionals.
Bottom line, regardless if you are a nurse who just likes to use Twitter and sometimes talks about your job, a doctor who wants to be “Insta-famous,” or a medical device company that wants to harness the power of influencer marketing – social media is here to stay – and can help increase your bottom line. In 2019, it is how – not if – you use the social success formula. As marketing specialists for companies in the medical device and healthcare industry, we understand the complex regulations such as the FDA social media guidelines and risks from breaching HIPPA privacy laws. We are also consistently monitoring and testing new social media innovations and algorithms so that you can focus on helping people overcome health challenges – big and small.
Give me a call for a more detailed explanation, but in summary here’s what you need to know: Healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, etc.):
Check out The Association for Healthcare Social Media’s website and follow them on social media. It is a nonprofit created by health professionals FOR health professionals with a vision to positively influence public health and healthcare through social media.
Use the hashtag #VerifyHealthcare and list your qualifications in your posts that mention medical products or insight. This brings credibility to your posts and separates you from people that may be misleading about their credentials on social media.
If you want to use your social media as just a normal person, then set everything to private and do not share medical advice/products or connect with patients.
Medical device and life-science companies:
Social media is a great way to humanize your company and educate healthcare providers and consumers alike about your product. Just make sure you are following FDA social media guidelines and other regulations unique to your field.
Be engaging and consistent. This could be creating a group specifically for people in your target market, partnering with influencers dealing with the health issue your product addresses, or sharing educational content while responding to comments from potential buyers. If you need some help, I'd love to chat!
We are all human, and we all like being “liked.” However, as a person in the healthcare field, your authority has given you, and your company, a greater responsibility to the public – on and offline. Use it wisely.
For more than a quick overview, schedule a consultation on the health of your outreach efforts.