The age of digitalization has dawned upon us! Every industry in this world is heading towards the path of social networking and the healthcare industry is no exception. According to a research paper by Michael Stellefson, PhD, published in the JMIR, almost 90 percent of old-aged adults have utilized social media to seek medical care and share information. With answers to all burning questions being just a search query away, technology has indeed revolutionized the way we access information, specially related to our health.
People prefer being online
Traditionally, people used to rely on face to face counselling by trusted doctors but, nowadays, they are resorting to consult online health websites such as WebMD and doctors who are available 24X7 via chat. Individuals these days are preferring to post their symptoms on health forums to get answers. This upheaval has undoubtedly improved the access to crucial health-data, but it has also uncovered some dark aspects such as sharing of incorrect information, expert healthcare professionals witnessing their authority getting diminished, increase in self-medication and treatment etc. Yet, the online space presents excellent opportunities for healthcare companies to effectively engage with their customers.
Importance of social listening
According to Pew Research Centre, approximately 66% of individuals seek information online regarding a specific problem or disease. Interestingly, social media is turning out to be the epicentre of this activity. It is reported that 41% of people get influenced by social media and it affects the choice of their doctor. While other 40% of people said that the information they learn on social media affects the way they handle their health problems.
Imagine the amount of health-related data getting generated every minute! This unstructured and textual data can reveal critical insights about future healthcare trends or predict the spread of a community disease. Social listening and data analytics helps healthcare organizations to procure and analyse unfiltered & unbiased social media conversations in order to have a better understanding of their customers. The healthcare firms can get a holistic overview about the type of conversations their customers are having online, obtain insights about the most discussed topics and customers’ preferences. By indulging in social media listening and monitoring, valuable customer insights can be generated using sophisticated data analytics tools such as Natural Language Processing and text mining etc.
The amount of data social media encapsulates is unimaginably vast. Social media listening facilitates the identification and extraction of relevant social media data for business insights. With this, healthcare firms can effortlessly get meaning out of conversations taking place on the social media platforms and utilize the critical information for enhancing their business.
The healthcare organizations must leverage the power of social media listening to accelerate business growth as it provides a comprehensive overview regarding customers’ social media conversations. NLP (Natural Language Processing) enables businesses to comprehend human conversations and make sense of the noise on social media platforms. provides Indulging in this overarching activity can prove to be a game changer for healthcare firms as predictions about future conditions can be done seamlessly. Apart from this, firms can analyse and manage their online reputation in an improved manner. Companies can further indulge into extending the support to their patients by being proactive on company’s social media accounts.
Dr. Sidhartha Dutta