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Swiss healthcare companies can be social media wizards

 

It is almost unanimously agreed that social media – since its rise to prominence in 2010 – has become a key business tool. In almost every industry, the benefits of social presence derived from direct engagement with stakeholders and influencers far outweigh the associated risks.

Even the most conservative or regulated industries, including healthcare, have started their social journey. All across the world, healthcare companies, care providers and health authorities are using social media to communicate, raise awareness and connect with the patients. However, Swiss companies appear to be lagging behind.

In our previous 2013 study into Swiss healthcare companies, we observed a discrepancy between the social presence of companies based in Switzerland and wider global trends. Of the Swiss companies we analysed for our latest study, we detected increase in the tactical implementation of social media but also a lack of substantial engagement with stakeholders and influencers. It is a good example of how enhanced presence on social media does not automatically result in a successful, integrated communications process.

We studied social media presence of 55 healthcare companies based or headquartered all over Switzerland. Our choice of purposive sampling means the results of the study represent a selection of companies based on market share, main disease focus and target audience. We analysed both tactical (social presence and interaction) and strategic (executive presence, social media integration) elements.

To make the most of digital engagement, organisations should engage in a multi-tiered process; this process often requires guidance through a rethink (and potentially even a relaunch) of their engagement strategies:
  • Mapping and auditing current processes and content production.
  • Defining processes and policies to ensure organisational readiness for engagement.
  • Identifying internal and external stakeholders that should be incorporated into the digital engagement strategy.
  • Creating a content development plan, including the mapping of communications and marketing assets that can be shared.
  • Providing training which empowers the organisation and individuals within it to engage externally.
  • Measuring and evaluating the impact of digital engagement and adjusting strategies on an on-going basis.

It is abundantly clear that there is room for development and that Swiss healthcare companies have an opportunity to set themselves apart by embracing global best practices in digital engagement and by giving their leadership a proper digital platform.

 
Łukasz Bochenek

Managing Director / Deputy CEO, based in Geneva

Łukasz is Managing Director of International Strategy and Client Service. He is based in Geneva and leads an international team across Geneva, Brussels and London.

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