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Social media: communicating connected health

by AprilSix Proof

Social media is an increasingly powerful communications tool that has become a key engagement portal for many organisations throughout the globe. And for those working in connected health, it presents an opportunity to engage with a huge number of consumers, healthcare buyers, peers, and policymakers.
As Sue Dunkerton from the HealthTech Knowledge Transfer Network points out, “Today people are already using social media to drive social change, so connected health organisations must use these platforms to steer the digital health conversation towards a positive outcome.”
Like any other medium there are a huge number of options for engaging over social media. Here are three that represent the greatest opportunities to most communicate connected health organisations:
Twitter is a perfect way to identify real influencers in the sector that can offer a trusted channel to the existing online debates about future healthcare. In social media activity it is much better to influence the existing conversations, rather than attempting to build new ones from scratch. Twitter is also often associated with a tech-savvy population, so its users may be more receptive to becoming early connected health adopters.
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for connecting with and influencing commercial audiences. Discussion groups are widely used to drive industry debate and are a useful platform to facilitate new connections – be it through organisations creating their own groups or making valuable contributions to an existing one.
YouTube represents one of the most powerful ways to get connected health on a more mainstream agenda. It removes the barrier of trying to visualise how a connected healthcare environment looks and how it benefits different audiences – using video and animation to increase people’s understanding of what connected healthcare services might look like for them. If audiences can see the benefits, they can understand them more clearly and advocate them through their own social channels using such shareable video content.
In order to communicate connected health effectively to a wide range of stakeholders, you need to go to where they already are. The platforms listed above have huge user bases that you can reach with a thoughtful strategy that communicates useful and relevant information to the people you want to reach.
For more tips on using social media to communicate with connected health audiences, you can download our report, ‘Communicating Connected Health’, here: http://proofcommunication.com/connectedhealth