Both social media and the Internet have changed the way that health care organizations market to their target populations. Complete the following:
- You have been asked by the chief executive officer (CEO) of a local health care organization in your city or town to create a viable social media strategy for the target market.
- Additionally, he asks that you develop a marketing research tool that will help the organization understand its target market.
Sample Answer – Viable Social Media Strategy And Marketing Research Tool To Help A Healthcare Organization Understand West Allis Target Market
Social media refers to digital technologies and media that permit users to exchange or share information, and to generate media content in community or individually. This media is progressively becoming an instrument supporting processes of healthcare, sharing and gathering information, promoting social networking, bringing people together, and communicating bout health issues, and it in this manner support patient empowerment (Denecke et al., 2015). Internet evolution from a restricted, technical resource, current vibrant “Web 2.0”where individuals have the ability to share information implies increasing number of persons living with different health problems are now placing private health facts into public domains that include blogs, discussion boards, virtual environments, videos, and social network sites (Denecke et al., 2015). The great use of social media in positing and searching health information provides a great opportunity for healthcare marketing through social media. This paper evaluates how social media can be used to access the targeted market in healthcare industry.
Social Media Strategy for Target Market
The targeted market is basically people in the surrounding where the hospital is located. One of the best strategies to get to the targeted market through social media is by establishing a health blog. The blog should basically discuss health issues affecting people in the targeted market. The blog should basically be a guide to healthy life and it should thus focus on pointing out the health problem or diseases, their causes, the people at risk in the population, how the condition can be prevented, primary measures to be taken when infected or when one is suffering from the condition, and the support one should get from the health care organization and those that offer the needed care. The blog can act as a healthcare marketing tool where patients with various conditions will be referred for better treatment and care (Ventola, 2014). The blog should also be interactive such that the readers can ask questions and receive response, or they can give their experience or reaction toward the issue or the quality of the provided healthcare services.
The blog can also be linked to various social media pages and accounts in MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that are managed by the healthcare organizations. These social media platform should similarly address health issues addressed in the blog. Their main aim would be to expand the blog discussion by sharing the blog link or gathering more opinions by enhancing message accessibility and extensive discussion regarding the health issue to all targeted individuals (Ventola, 2014). Thus, social media will be used as a means to recruit the targeted population to the healthcare organization blog. This will highly aid in blog marketing and with time, most people will be seeking the blog for more healthcare information, and direction to better care. YouTube accounts should mostly focus on providing professional opinion regarding the health issue and guidance on how one can seek health assistance from the healthcare facility (Denecke et al., 2015). The blog should also permit patients to book for important healthcare appointments, especially with regard to serious or common health issues addressed in the blog. The blog title should clearly link the blog with the healthcare organization, targeted market and health issues. This will make it easy for the readers to trust and own it, since it will clearly be addressing their health issues based on the title (Ventola, 2014).
Marketing Research Tool that Will Help the Organization Understand its Target Market
Market research refers to the process of collecting information regarding the targeted market, competition and customers. It can assist an organization in learning and understanding more about the targeted market. Market research helps one to understand the market needs, wants, believes and reaction to various situations. The best tool that the organization can use to understand the targeted market is a survey. The targeted region contains three major cities, with a population of about 34725 individuals. This quite a big population to access to and hence, it must be well represented in the research. Survey is the best market research tool since it will ease the coverage, eliminate biasness due to random participation and ensure that more is known about the targeted market. The population is considerably diverse based on gender, age, socioeconomic status, level of education, race and ethnicity, marital status, and area of residence. All these factors play a significant role in determining the population health. Thus, they need to be considered in the market research and thus a tool that will manage to gather more information within a short time period like a survey questionnaire would do, will be very relevant. The identified tool should also have the ability to extract information form wide variety of the people in the targeted region, including those who would feel shy to participate in a face-to-face encounter. The survey question will be simple and will use simple language. Moreover, they will be distributed through various methods including electronic methods such as emails and via social media links (Mahajan, 2015).
To ensure electronic distribution of the questionnaire, online survey platforms will be used to ease in the capturing of participants responses and in the analysis and interpretation of the data. Online distribution will also increase the number of the respondent and the sample, and hence obtaining the actual picture on the ground. The survey link will be shared in social media platforms that include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsUp and MySpace (Patino, Pitta& Quinones, 2012). Questions in the survey questionnaire will focus on determining the health issues the location is experiencing, the available care, the healthcare affordability, individual healthcare knowledge, their believe with regard to healthcare services, their expectations, their unmet healthcare needs, and some of the main challenges they experience while seeking or receiving healthcare in the region. This will help the organization to understand the market better (Mahajan, 2015).