Abstract of Dissertation

Keyword : Social Media Marketing; Hospital Industry; Hospital Marketing; Social Media

Objective : Aim of this study to know doctor's insight on the social media marketing by hospitals, so that hospital can improvise and modify that in a best manner. The objectives of the study were: to study awareness of social media marketing among doctors and its acceptance among them; to study perception, attitude and behavior regarding social media marketing; to find out the factors that makes social media marketing an acceptable or unacceptable tool among doctors; and to suggest the future ways to improvise social media marketing in hospital industry.

Background : Today, we all are witnessing the opportunities to share information within the communities and groups with effective use of social media like 'Twitter', 'YouTube', 'Facebook', 'Linked-in', blogs, online portals, website etc. are increasing by manifold, every passing day, with amazing speed. A very significant number of internet users across the world, are now quite actively taking part through social media in various areas of their interest. With 80 per cent of the internet users currently searching for medical, health and product related information through cyber media, the importance of these powerful channels to engage interested stakeholders and groups in a meaningful dialogue on relevant products, services and issues, has increased by manifold. The hospital industry can no longer afford to ignore or even remain indifferent to this emerging trend.

Methodology : The descriptive study design was used and quantitative method was conducted in Manipal hospital Bangalore. The study population includes all the doctors who were working in hospital on which social media marketing was used by hospital. Data collection was done via well-designed semi-structured interview schedule. The study was conducted during March-April 2015.

Findings : Acceptance of social media marketing amongst doctors was significantly associated with experience, age and qualification. High awareness amongst patients regarding disease and health, better compliance of patients to medicine are the reasons that make social media acceptable for hospital marketing.

Recommendations : The increasing positive response of the doctors, especially in the young age group, makes social media a powerful marketing tool, which can be explored by the hospital industry. Considering the reach of the so-called social media supermarket, one cannot ignore its potential to create awareness and influence consumer and the key to attract them is by promoting doctors at social media.