Social Media and Healthcare Marketing

It’s the 21st Century: let’s be imaginative, determined and innovative. Let’s be remarkable. – Phil Bauman 

Just about every company has visibility (and even a following) on a multitude of social media platforms. People are overwhelmingly allowing businesses access to their personal social media accounts, and thus their personal information. To gauge public opinion and increase visibility, health care companies are utilizing social media more often now than before. However, for healthcare companies, there is a balancing act that involves legal and ethical concerns that are unique to their field. Companies who do this effectively stand to benefit greatly from doing so.

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Companies such as UnitedHealth & Humana are using social media frequently to not only inform the public of relevant deadlines, but to also to encourage health and wellness to their customers. This is not only a way for insurance companies to influence their audience’s behavior (and possibly cutting costs), but it also creates a reputation that they are readily available

socialmedia2socialmedia3While measures taken by insurance companies online are beneficial, they also must be cognizant of legal standards that can hinder the free-flow of information. Social media allows for insight and data that is more dynamic and may yield more participation and outreach than by mail. However, HIPAA laws in particular can be a cause of concern for insurance companies present on the internet. HIPAA laws seem to go against the carefree nature of the internet. Some healthcare companies are proactive about HIPAA laws, making it clear that personal info should not be disclosed to them online, and that customers should resort to phone/in-person contact.

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 However, the benefits of taking on social media are far too large, Understanding not only the legalities involved with online content, but the potential of customer’s complaints to have an echoing effect is especially important.