WEGO Health Releases Report on Patient Influencer Perspectives on Social Media

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Survey uncovers new data on how usage and sharing patterns across major social media platforms are changing amid privacy concerns

Patient influencers are more than just a bridge to patient communities, they are pharma’s key conduit for building awareness and engagement

WEGO Health, the premier network of patient opinion leaders and health influencers, has published the first in a series of quarterly reports on how usage patterns are changing among patient influencers who use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social platforms to connect with their peers in online patient communities.

The quarterly report, “Patient Influencer Perspectives on Social Media,” provides new data on how patients across a broad range of chronic, complex and rare diseases are using social media in the patient journey.

The report found that 95 percent of patient influencers rely on social media to advocate on a specific health condition or topic. More than 50 percent contribute content to an online health community at least daily. Notably, the report found that despite concerns over data privacy, more than 98 percent of patient influencers continue to use Facebook, and 90 percent use it at least once daily. Less than three percent say they have reduced their use of Facebook or stopped using the platform altogether.

“Our research finds that patient influencers remain deeply wedded to platforms like Facebook and Instagram because they are committed to supporting patient communities that use these social channels every day,” said David Goldsmith, WEGO Health’s chief strategy officer. “That’s not to say they aren’t concerned about privacy and data-sharing, but they recognize the trade-offs and are taking steps to share more information through private groups and messaging apps.”

In addition, the report found that pharma companies lag behind other health-related organizations when it comes to connecting directly with patient influencers through social media. For example, 92 percent of patient influencers follow a health advocacy organization and 48 percent follow a health care provider such as a doctor, clinic or hospital. By contrast, only three out of ten follow a pharma brand. Similarly, 66 percent of influencers subscribe to one or more channels on YouTube, but less than 10 percent subscribe to a channel sponsored by a pharma brand.

“These findings indicate that pharma marketers cannot go it alone when it comes to connecting with patients through social channels,” Goldsmith said. “As recognized leaders on social media, patient influencers are more than just a bridge to patient communities, they are pharma’s key conduit for building awareness and engagement.”

The report is based on findings from a February 2019 survey of more than 400 patient influencers in the U.S., across hundreds of health conditions. Visit the WEGO Health website to download and read the full report.

About WEGO Health
WEGO Health combines the power of consumer insights and patient-driven content with the science of influencer-driven marketing to deliver unparalleled ROI for the world’s most innovative life sciences companies. Founded in 2007, WEGO Health facilitates collaboration between healthcare companies and a network of more than 100,000 patient advocates, thought leaders and influencers across chronic, complex and rare health conditions. For more information, visit http://www.wegohealth.com

Contact: Chelsea Freeburn (215) 859-0537

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Chelsea Freeburn
WEGO Health
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