Patient Recruitment… That is the Question
There has been an ongoing debate about the power of social media for patient recruitment and patient retention for clinical trials. The one issue that many fail to realize is social media is not a powerful tool unless they do not understand the process one has to go through to have subjects willing to participate in a study. Education through engagement is the power behind social media. We have to remember that many have never heard about clinical trials let alone want to sign up for one.
A common misconception about clinical trials is people that participate are “lab rats”. There has been a negative perception about clinical research because of the lack of education the public has been given. This is where social media is a powerful tool to change this view. Anyone considering using social media for patient recruitment needs to use social media as a platform to educate the public how safe clinical research is and its importance. This has to be done by positive posts with engaging questions and pictures about clinical research. The use of social media should not only be a platform to simply market your clinical trials. The goal is to make your possible participants not only understand clinical research in a positive way, but to trust your organization enough to want to participate in your trials. Once you establish that trust, the use of social media for clinical trial patient recruitment will be a huge success.
Anyone looking for an organization to set up and run their social media campaign for patient recruitment must look at the recruitment company’s own social media networks and see if they have a large number of engaged followers. If you review their posts and there is no comments, Likes, or shares, this will tell you that they do not have an engaged following and one should be weary of expecting them to run your social media patient recruitment campaign. Social media patient recruitment is so much more than pay-per-click advertising but the real power is education through engagement.