University of Twente Student Theses


Social media and healthcare – hype or future? : Status update of the social media use in the healthcare industry.

Verhaag, M.L. (2014) Social media and healthcare – hype or future? : Status update of the social media use in the healthcare industry.

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Abstract:Nowadays, social media are very important platforms, both for organizations and for individuals. Social media give the opportunity to present the organization or individual to the outside world. Doing so, social media actually become your personal business card. Organizations might reach a bigger audience by using social media, since the majority of Dutch people use social media. This research focused on the social media use for external communication of organizations in the healthcare industry. The study focused on one main research question and four sub-questions. First, the social media use of a number of healthcare organizations was studied by using a content analysis. The content that was disseminated through different social media platforms, such as; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs, Google+ and Pinterest was analyzed, in order to discover how the organizations used social media for external communication and what types of content they disseminated. Since the healthcare industry is very broad, seven sectors were selected for this study; hospitals, GGD/childcare, GGZ, rehabilitation care, care for the disabled, nursing homes and plastic surgery. Next, interviews were held with the employees responsible for the social media use of the organizations, which focused on experiences with and expectations for social media within the healthcare industry, but also on social media strategies the organizations used. After the information was gathered and analyzed, conclusions were drawn. Social media for external communication is not optimally used in the healthcare industry. A reason given for this fact is that there is not enough time and budget to fully concentrate on these communication tools. For now, social media are mostly used as corporate communication tools and for marketing purposes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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