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Online Trends

Published April 5th 2023

The Latest Healthcare Trends (And How to Leverage Them)

Stay ahead of the competition.

The healthcare industry is always in the spotlight. Consumers care about the latest in pharmaceuticals, and how it might impact them directly. But how can healthcare brands adapt to the changing marketing landscape in such a heavily regulated industry?

Using Brandwatch Consumer Research, we analyzed over 330 million social media conversations from the healthcare industry to find the latest social media trends. Here’s how your brand can adapt to these conversations and use them to your advantage.

1. People are positive about artificial intelligence

The first two months of 2023 saw a 28% increase in conversations about artificial intelligence compared to the two months prior. And the AI chatter comes with a positive reception. Joy was the most prevalent emotion among these mentions, with 39% of emotion-categorized mentions being joyful.

People are excited to see how artificial intelligence can revolutionize healthcare. From using AI in drug discovery to using computer vision algorithms to spot early warning signs of disease in x-rays or MRI scans, artificial intelligence is already deeply embedded in the healthcare ecosystem. And people are excited to see how it can help.

People are excited about the future of pharmaceuticals, so use this to your advantage and share your latest breakthroughs, upcoming trials, and how your company is planning for the future. Keep your followers up-to-date on the ins and outs of your work to encourage excitement around your brand. And if you’re using AI at your company, share that with your followers.

2. Misinformation sharing

Misinformation spreads across the internet quickly. And in an industry as potent as healthcare, tackling this misinformation is paramount.

A recent study found that users’ social media habits doubled and sometimes tripled the amount of fake news they shared. More specifically, habitual social media users forwarded six times more fake news than occasional or new users. Instagram takes such sharing of fake information seriously, and in 2019 the platform committed to reducing the spread of false information by marking posts that spread misinformation with a label.

In 2022, there were over 6.3 million social media mentions about false, misleading, or fake misinformation within the healthcare conversation. That’s almost 2% of the entire conversation, which – when it comes to healthcare – is substantially more than it should be.

Pharmaceutical companies can fight the sharing of misinformation on social media by creating marketing campaigns around data-led, well-researched conclusions. Educating users on facts can reassure worried consumers, preventing unnecessary concerns.

Brands can use data intelligence, like Brandwatch, to detect misinformation before it grows. This way, you can stay ahead of upcoming crises.

3. Battling negative sentiment

In 2022, 31% of healthcare mentions were categorized as negative by Brandwatch Consumer Research. Compared to the 7% of the conversation, which was categorized as positive, that’s a considerable proportion of negativity in online healthcare conversations.

People are skeptical. When it comes to the healthcare conversation on social media, consumers want to feel safe and secure – but that can be difficult to achieve. And when there’s uncertainty, there’s skepticism.

From misinformation to scaremongering, healthcare brands have to navigate a difficult space when using social media for marketing. Companies in this industry should keep this negativity in mind when interacting with patients and consumers via their marketing efforts. Consumers want to be reassured, understood, and feel heard.

4. Healthcare concerns are heightened

Utilizing social media to follow and impact the healthcare conversation is more important than ever. In a post-pandemic world, consumer concerns around healthcare are heightened. People want to educate themselves and are reaching out to verified healthcare providers for the facts. This is where healthcare brands can really make a difference.

It can be difficult to measure the impact your marketing efforts are having on the healthcare conversation. But by understanding your competitors’ efforts and how you compare to your industry, your brand can drive real change in the healthcare space.

By utilizing a dedicated competitor comparison tool, such as Brandwatch Benchmark, companies in the pharmaceutical space can understand their share of voice in the healthcare conversation on social. Rather than guessing what’s working, you can compare your social strategy directly with your competitors.

5. Have a people-first strategy

In healthcare, the heart of the conversation is people. Whether it’s to get patients stronger and healthier or to cure them completely, pharmaceutical brands aim to help people. And this is replicable across the healthcare social media landscape.

We analyzed over 330 million conversations about healthcare throughout 2022. Almost 69 million of these conversations discussed people. That’s 20% of mentions having a people-first mentality.

Brands should keep this in mind when using social media to market their healthcare products. Rather than leading with a product-first mentality, aim to make people the center of your campaigns.

‘Life,’ ‘care,’ and ‘support’ were also prevalent topics in the healthcare conversation. These topics cement that when it comes to pharmaceuticals, people care more about how the products help them than the actual products themselves.


From misinformation to scaremongering, there’s plenty of negativity in the healthcare conversation on social media. But there’s hope for the future. People want to be reminded of the new, exciting developments in healthcare, and they want to see people at the heart of this conversation.

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