A report from eMarketer found that healthcare companies are working to improve their image through social media marketing.

In an interview with eMarketer, Maureen Maldari, president for Grey Healthy People, said that social media marketing campaigns have changed the way some healthcare companies operate. The organizations say using the channel to develop customer relationships proves financially beneficial and makes it easy to provide health resources to patients.

According to Maldari, Grey Healthy People has found that web marketing, especially social, is more about communication than anything else for the healthcare industry. Patients (like other target audiences) seem to want information and answers, and providing them through as many channels and platforms as possible will help businesses moving forward, Maldari told eMarketer.

“The point is that communication is paramount, and it exists in many channels depending on the life stage of your brand and the kinds of relationships that you need to be building,” Maldari said in the interview with eMarketer. “There is no question that the digital space is a critical part of that communication.”

For some healthcare companies, social can be a problem due to regulatory compliance constraints and the need to archive correspondence. However, launching a social media marketing campaign to give patients an outlet to receive mass updates or reach out to a company quickly can help improve a company’s image.

Brafton recently reported that improving brand recognition is a primary goal for more than 60 percent of companies using web marketing. Many named social media marketing as a key component of branding initiatives.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.