How Can You Effectively Use Social Media In Your Healthcare Business in Africa?


Hamza Asumah, MD

Social networking is without a doubt one of the most impactful breakthroughs in modern history. The impact of social media on economic, political, and social events has been tangible in various regions of the world. It has become the most crucial instrument for organizations to consider when attempting to critically analyze their market image.

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Social media has transferred the power dynamics of many industries to the people who can create or break any business or organization. Multibillion-dollar corporations and organizations have built highly tactical social media presence to guarantee that they can detect and solve problems as they arise, before they escalate into larger issues. Social media has evolved well beyond likes, views, and comments to become a tool that alters lives, businesses, and economies.

The healthcare business is not immune to the effect of social media. Major legal difficulties that have jeopardized the existence of healthcare institutions have been nourished and perpetuated by extremely well-coordinated social media attacks, leaving these massive businesses with no words to present their side of the story. As much as social media has the potential to damage any business, it also has the potential to grow a business, particularly one that is just getting started.

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Africa has seen a surge in the use of social media in recent times with all the sophistication that comes with it. According to statista.com, as of January 2021, the countries in Northern and Southern Africa had the largest share of social media users in Africa. In Northern Africa, 45 percent of the population used social media, while in Southern Africa this figure stood at 41 percent. In Central Africa, only eight percent of the people used social media, the lowest rate across Africa, the lowest regional share worldwide.

In recent years Africa has seen the world’s highest internet penetration growth rates. This means that we should expect social media to play an increasingly prominent role in politics and security on the continent. As internet penetration continues to grow across Africa, so has the use of social media. Facebook is the most visited website in Africa and as of December 2020, there were more than 233 million Facebook subscribers in Africa according to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

With these figures in mind, I believe the next step will be to investigate how you can fully utilize the potential of social media to expand your healthcare business, whether it is a hospital, medical equipment firm, digital health innovation, or other.

The first step is to thoroughly build up business pages for your healthcare company on all social media sites, with clear, well-taken photographs, as well as extremely simple descriptions and contact choices. Consumers who wish to make inquiries or file complaints now use social media as their initial point of contact with businesses.

The danger is that, if you do not create proper communication channels and access on social media to listen to and address concerns as well as recruit potential customers, you will, first of all, lose a lot of potential new clients and most importantly your unhappy clients will channel all their frustrations through social media posts and other avenues which easily go viral. To stay relevant and grow over time, your healthcare business needs to meet the people where they are, SOCIAL MEDIA

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Secondly, utilize your social media channel to provide meaningful and readily consumable information to educate the public on your company as well as health-related topics. As a business, you must recognize that in order to thrive, you must be ready to offer something back. There are several health concerns, particularly in the field of preventative health, where you may utilize your social media channels as a free resource for credible health information.

Attracting and retaining the individuals you intend to serve one day takes a lot of work and persistence. It serves two purposes for you: it lends credibility to your firm and attracts and maintains prospective clients, resulting in customer loyalty. The days of health education being a professional currency are long gone. People have redesigned the playground.

Thirdly, use social listening to gain a thorough insight of your target group in order to improve your customer service. Healthcare is a service-based sector, and your strength comes in how well you serve your customers.

Social listening is the process of gathering data from social media to better understand who is talking about you and how they feel. Social listening allows you to measure unsolicited (read: honest) feedback from customers.

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Fourthly, most healthcare organizations create social media profiles for their company and then leave it at that. On the page, there is no interaction with clients or other users. They occasionally make updates but never reply to patient comments or criticism.

According to health weekly, just 26% of hospitals regularly post on social media, but the majority of patients — and physicians — think that the social media they do use has changed the way they seek and offer care. You must approach your social media healthcare company pages in the same manner as you would your personal profile. Someone should be devoted to actively engaging individuals and curating new material for them.

Lastly, social media also allows you to research your competitors and see what they’ve been up to. You’ll be surprised at how much information you can get by watching your rivals and their social media activity. This empowers you in two ways: it shows you what to emulate in order to improve. You also learn what to stay away from.

Customers are increasingly turning to social media and the diverse range of activities and possibilities offered. You, as a healthcare company, should do the same. It is important to properly integrate social media presence and brand awareness as part of your healthcare business implementation. The impact you leave on these sites claps back to repay you in unimaginable ways.

I know social media comes with so many individualized experiences. You may have your own unique experiences in managing your healthcare business. Please share these in the comment section below. I would love to know what you think.


2 responses to “How Can You Effectively Use Social Media In Your Healthcare Business in Africa?”

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