Digital Opinion Leaders and Medical Communications

23 August 2023


A large and growing percentage of healthcare professionals (HCPs) use social media, with a significant proportion using it to improve their clinical knowledge and education. Additionally, social media influences physicians and their perceptions of medications. In a 2023 survey by Sermo, 57% of physicians said they frequently or occasionally change their initial perception of a medication due to social media. The results of the survey also revealed a strong influence on prescribing habits, ongoing medical education, and professional networking.

On average, dermatology, rheumatology, and gastroenterology are the most prevalent specialties across Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). When comparing markets, global HCPs have slightly higher social reach compared with HCPs in the U.S. (32% vs 23%). Social media can be a valuable tool for marketers to engage with HCPs directly, especially in the case of digital opinion leader partnerships and unbranded disease awareness campaigns. Third-party partner social media accounts are also valuable drivers to sponsored content, as social media activity is often bookended by digital engagements in the HCP workday.

Read more from IPG Health on the role of influencers in medical communications.

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