How Social Media Help Analyze Public Opinion on Health Care

When politicians want to study public opinion on an important topic, such as changes needed for health care, they have many tools, including face-to-face surveys and media analysis. However, oftentimes people are their most authentic selves on social media, where they can be protected by anonymity if they please. By analyzing the big data that is contained on social media platforms, politicians can gain an authentic of what people are saying and feeling across many social media sites over time and can quantify their data, thus reducing the chance that their biases affect their interpretations. And it is not just the public who go to social media to voice their opinions on health care. The pharma industry has multiple stakeholders who actively research and discuss online, including patients, physicians, payers, caregivers, providers and advocacy groups.

By many accounts, social media can play a pivotal role in helping you to gage your public’s opinion by enabling them to communicate and coordinate under censorship. Social media analytics tools, such as the ones used by New Politico can mine not only Twitter but also public forums, blogs, news sites, Facebook and other social networks to uncover patients and physicians’ sentiments and opinions.

Take for example, an analysis done on Diabetes. From just measuring volume over time, you can see that more and more people are turning to social media to discuss this health care topic, suggesting that perhaps something about diabetes be included in your campaign.

Similarly, you can see exactly what types of things people are saying about Diabetes, to tailor your strategy effectively.

Insights generated during each stage of analysis can be utilized across all stages of your campaign messaging.There’s no such thing as having a remarkable campaign message without having tailored strategies to appeal to your  target audience- the voters.

While social media is not the ‘golden ticket’, it provides an arguably large opportunity to better research, understand and boost discussions with the public about health care topics, such as diabetes.

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