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Canadians, FaceBook and Healthcare
I am a believer that FaceBook can have positive influence on healthcare. With so many healthcare stakeholders involved on the network, it seems like the perfect place for everybody to get connected. Just looking at the number of people who are members of this network should be enough to make any marketer stop in their tracks and decide whether they should reach out and engage with their target audience on this medium. And over the past couple of years, there have been several reports that have suggested that Canadians really ‘like’ their FaceBook time (yes, that was an intentional pun, but it is true). The most recent report that I have seen was the one from eMarketer.com’s November 29th 2010 post “Canadians Say Yes to Social Media“.
Almost 10 million Canadians went on FaceBook per day in September 2010. That is a lot of people when you consider that the Canadian population in 2010 is estimated at just over 34 million people by Stats Canada.
If that is not enough to convince you to at least consider whether FaceBook fits into your strategic objectives, take a look at the video clip below. It is part of Time’s Person of the Year issue, in which Time put together a fascinating video clip showcasing statistics about what happens on FaceBook in 1 minute . The statistics are global, not Canadian-specific, but it is worth taking a look at.
The facts from the video are noted below in case you are having trouble viewing the video:
- Shared links: 50,304
- Photos tagged: 66,168
- Event invites: 74,204
- Wall posts: 79,364
- Status updates: 82,557
- Friend requests: 98,604
- Photos uploaded: 135,849
- Messages sent: 231,605
- “Likes”: 382,861
- Comments: 510,404
If you need more Canadian-specific stats to help you make your decision, here are a few articles that you might find helpful:
If you are interested in seeing examples of various healthcare FaceBook pages, just go to the Dose of Digital social media wiki. Here, you will find lots of creative uses of FaceBook from all over the world. Keep in mind that advertising and promotion guidelines for healthcare products vary from country to country, so some of the examples that you will find in the wiki may not be suitable for Canada.
I am not suggesting that all healthcare marketers jump on board and set up a FaceBook page. It needs to make sense for your business. Social media is nothing more than a tactic designed to help you reach your organization’s strategic objectives. What I am suggesting is that all healthcare marketers should take the time to at least consider whether FaceBook fits their strategic goals or not. For marketers who are not on FaceBook themselves (and I know quite a few are out there), it might seem a little bit overwhelming and obscure to market in this new environment, but that should not stop anybody from at least considering the possibility that the fit might be there for the target audience. Do a little bit of monitoring to see where your audience hangs out, and if they are already on FaceBook, then you might want to join them there.
If you have considered a FaceBook page and decided to forego it, what is stopping you from setting one up? Leave a comment below.
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