In an interesting new finding, a new study, conducted by communications and marketing services firm Weber Shandwick, finds that majority of American adults do not trust the health information they find on social media. The survey, named The Great American Search for Healthcare Information, profiled how Americans access, use and feel about health-related information. Most of respondents said they are concerned about wrong or misleading medical information on social media. The sample comprised 1,700 Americans aged 18 or above.
The survey focused on Healthcare Information Seekers, those Americans who look for health-related information at least once per year, excluding doctor appointments. This large-scale study of Americans was designed to help communicators and marketers in the health sector guide their strategic and tactical content decisions.
“In a time of information-overload and cynicism inflamed by ‘fake news,’ communicators and marketers face new and unique challenges around how to effectively engage with their customers,” said Laura Schoen, President of Weber Shandwick’s Global Healthcare Practice. “But as the demand for online information grows, and as the landscape continues to be increasingly muddied by inaccurate – and at times dangerous – information, the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors have a greater responsibility than ever before to find ways to create and deliver engaging, relevant and factual information.”
Americans Have Healthy Doses of Skepticism About Health Information on Social Media
Two-thirds of American Healthcare Information Seekers (67 per cent) report that they see health information on social media. The types of information they see on social media are mostly wellness advice (56 per cent) and advertisements for treatments or medications (52 per cent).