Social Media Strategy

How Social Media Can Save Lives

Steffani Cameron

May 19, 2020

The potential for global upheaval through pandemic has been openly discussed for years but the speed at which COVID-19 seemingly upended the world has been jarring. While the toll taken thus far by COVID-19 has been jaw-dropping, the toll it could have taken is almost unthinkable, were it not for social media allowing for rapid person-to-person messaging and sharing of critical news. Never has social media been such a powerful weapon in the fight to save lives and support a collapsing economy.

Connecting is of utmost importance today, in so many ways. Brands and organizations in all industries are doubling down with chatbots and telecommunications to assist with their messaging needs, for ease and expediency, but we believe that human, active social media engagement and consistent, expert monitoring are the most critical tools to be applied right now.

An Era of Ever-Shifting Crisis

With various forecasts about how long this pandemic could jeopardize our way of life, it’s unknown how long this new normal could play out. For companies in the healthcare sector, it’s not just about the financial bottom line. It’s about having credibility and inspiring trust, which means public health education and messaging are instrumental in earning and keeping the public’s confidence. Beyond that, it’s especially important to be engaged for other reasons too.

Clinical trials, for example, may benefit from social media allowing for informal monitoring of patient feedback, where they may speak more freely than they might in official trial interviews. That could be advantageous for gathering data, but patients or practitioners speaking freely online could also be detrimental to the study if adverse reactions are disclosed publicly and not reported accordingly.

Your Audience is Social

While some health organizations may not yet realize the indispensable nature of social media at this time, consumers do, and the Global Web Index has found that over 68% of consumers are using social media to get updated on all things COVID. Men outpace women in using the web for research on the disease by a rate of 73% to 62% but it’s still the priority for both in their social media usage. Overall, people are spending more time online than ever right now.

People can’t attend events, enjoy sports, or travel, so internet usage has skyrocketed, across all devices, all demographics, and in all regions. But, of course, consumers are looking for information about the outbreak, the economic repercussions, and what the future might bring.

People Need Reassurance

Put bluntly, the public is scared. Gone is myth of invincibility people thought modernity gave society, and everyone is suddenly vulnerable in every way. There’s misinformation, vaccine trails, rapid testing, ever-changing numbers, new research emerging, and so many more reasons why your organization’s voice can be a valued, important contribution in helping people survive their day-to-day.

By connecting with your followers in real-time, every day, you’ll nurture community and build company and product confidence across your patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Your organization can increase its credibility with sincerity and consistency, because anything less in your communications right now will play out badly in the long term.

The healthcare industry has seen a significant decrease of life-threatening medical events and emergencies at hospitals and clinics, as the public avoids being treated – increasingly with fatal outcomes – because they worry about virus transmission while being treated for something unrelated. Another alarming ripple effect of COVID-19. These are the sorts of peripheral problems and fears that must be addressed, because saving lives goes beyond COVID-19. It means needing earlier intervention for other medical emergencies, so patients have healthy outcomes. It means ensuring the public that the medicines that they depend on will still be available to continue disease treatment. It means listening to your audience to understand their concerns. Social media gives you the chance to accomplish all the above but also remind people that you’re here to help beyond the crisis.

Let Us Help

Like most in-demand industries right now, the health sector’s problem is how to ramp up social media services when teams are already stressed to the breaking point. Unlike most areas where you and your teams are experiencing complication and bandwidth shortage, social media is one place where it’s safe to hire compliant experts like ICUC to manage your social platforms. From engagement to adverse event moderation and even strategy, we’ve got all the bases covered. Our team works remotely from around the world to provide a blanket of coverage, so you’ll never have to worry about exposure or risks.

We have human-led solutions to deliver your every social media need. By combining expert staff with powerful algorithms, ICUC delivers real-time platform management – all day, every day. We work in tandem with existing teams all the time; we’re here to support you in any way you need.

The road ahead won’t be easy for any of us, but if organizations within the health realm are active and engaged with their audiences, it’s possible for things to be a little less scary. Right now, communicating well, having credibility, and being responsive online isn’t just about marketing or staying competitive – it’s about saving lives. Reach out to learn more about how we can help you do exactly that.

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