57% of US physicians say social media influences their perception of medicine, treatment

A survey conducted by Sermo, a private social media platform for physicians, and LiveWorld, a digital and social media agency, found that 57 percent of physicians said they frequently or occasionally allow social media to influence their perception of medicine and treatment. 

Researchers surveyed over 200 physicians and over 50 pharma marketers in November 2022 and December 2022, respectively, according to a Feb. 15 news release from Sermo. 

The survey further found that 41 percent of physicians will change their prescribing habits based on social media content. Sixteen percent said they have never been influenced by social media in terms of medicine or treatment. 

Fifty-two percent of physicians said they look to private medical groups on Facebook. Thirty-five percent of physicians find LinkedIn the most helpful social platform for alerting them to Congress and key opinion leader presentations. Sixty-two percent said Twitter is where they go to follow hospitals and professional health organizations. 

Forty-six percent said they follow fellow physicians or healthcare professionals based on the following factors: Their content is credible based on their credentials (27 percent); they are knowledgeable about the topics shared (26 percent); and their content is relatable to my specialty (26 percent).

Ninety-two percent of pharma marketers in the study said they believe social media influences clinical and treatment decisions.

Ninety percent of pharma marketers surveyed will have social media in their marketing plans for 2023, and 50 percent of these marketers anticipate an increase in budgets for social media aimed at providers in 2023. None of the marketers reported a decrease in social media spending.

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