social listening patient perspectives

Social listening shows health care providers what the larger COVID perspectives are online, but it does more than that. Data analysts can filter insight down to a granular level to capture important, key conversations and patient perspectives that impact care. We’ll demonstrate how that looks here with a focus on:

  • Exploring the overarching COVID conversation
  • Filtering for insight into patient perspectives
  • Macro vs. micro similarities and differences

Before we get started, here are some statistics we uncovered that are relevant to the conversation:

  • Worldwide 51% of marketers rely on social listening to inform on changing preferences.
  • Social listening opens the doors to a virtual torrent of consumer feedback with over 2.7B social media users worldwide spending an average of nearly 2.5 hours a day online.

And with that, let’s jump in and look at the broader topics pushing the recent COVID narrative.

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Exploring the Overarching COVID Conversation

Many of the conversations around the coronavirus in October have been variations on what are now long running themes. Here is a look in Quid Social at the overarching COVID conversation over the last month.


94% of the conversation is focused on the vaccine. And we can see the positive, neutral and negative breakdown below:


Beyond that though, masks are still a prevalent issue on people’s minds, as is mental health, which is unsurprising as the COVID outbreak in the U.S. has marched on for nine months now.

To get a feel for how people are feeling, we turned to AI Studio in NetBase Enterprise to analyze the social mood. Here we can see that ‘anticipation’ is the highest returned emotion at 37% and most of online is feeling ‘joy.’ So, why is our “patient” segment registering so low comparatively in the emotion right now?


When exploring social listening, there are times when reactions may not make sense at first glance. But each of these returned emotions are clickable and return a lengthy list of social media posts expressing emotion relevant to your search criteria and links to the original post. Here, we looked at the highly indexed “anticipation” and “fear” for clues:


Though some fear the vaccine, there are equal numbers expressing fear that others will refuse it and potentially impact others by this refusal.

Now that we have a good idea of the broader conversation, let’s see if we can gain a perspective on issues concerning patients beyond the obvious.

Filtering Social Listening Results for Patient Perspectives

In the quest to extract market intelligence from a complicated conversation such as this one, it’s important to clear away as much noise to find nuggets of insight within. Quid Social offers a host of ways to dig into targeted posts inside of a broader conversation.

The example we’ll use here is an analysis with primary search terms relevant to vaccines and COVID. As you can see below, the conversation is dense.


For our purposes we’ll look within this conversation for issues surrounding patients who are not suffering from COVID, but face hurdles with treatment because of the healthcare problems the virus has created.

And as we are looking for people with healthcare issues who do not have COVID, we’ll open the cluster filter and remove clusters that are irrelevant to our pursuit; such as the Walter Reed Medical and Secret Service Agents clusters, among others you can see deselected below. This leaves us with a more manageable conversation as we’ve pulled away much of the noise in the way of our target.


Capturing Patient Conversations Over Time

By switching into the timeline view, we can begin clicking through the remaining clusters in the cluster menu revealing post topic labels and keywords, which we can use to begin looking for conversations relevant to us.


As we chose the Stay Safe cluster, the relevant keywords list showed ‘miss’ as a keyword. Under the presumption it may lead us to conversations on missed appointments, and it led us to several posts that mention mental health, cancer and heart attack. Below, we placed them in the bar chart and filtered for source type. This gives us a view that facilitates browsing posts in a structured manner.


Health care professionals can then explore each of the conversations within for market intelligence that speaks to the issues that patients are facing during the pandemic, such as missed cancer treatments.

And again, this is just one slice of the conversation that we may find relevant to explore. There are endless insight nuggets available to support intelligence gathering around a wide variety of sub-topics. The micro-conversations are often very different from macro-based surface insights, which is where you’ll be left standing with most social listening tools.

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Macro vs Micro Similarities and Differences

In our overarching social mood analysis, we covered the broader coronavirus conversation, which is largely focused on the vaccine, of course. While our second is around general dialogues about life with COVID, including clusters discussing masks, mental health and positive test results and other general conversation, which we’ve filtered and placed in a bar chart colored by source type.


Governmental influences, market and education impacts appear here along with more general pandemic related social media posts.

As you can see above, the narrative carries more of a personal tone, with testing, election issues, and emotive based posts concerned with avoidance, frustration and death rounding out the undercurrent of the conversations. It’s all there for providers to slice and dice accordingly, based on needs or segments they’re trying to pinpoint, from patients missing cancer screenings to parents struggling with children’s mental health issues – a more complete patient understanding is just a few clicks away.

It Doesn’t Require Complication

Using social listening for market intelligence doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be focused in the right direction. As evidenced here, a niche conversation can give you targeted insight into the broader conversation and also give feedback on very specific questions. And this allows you to create messaging that resonates on a personal level, at scale.

So, just because a sample size is small doesn’t mean it’s less important; there are use cases for both broad and niche analyses. And oftentimes, the more specific you get, the more precise the intel. As we’ve shown here, the niche conversations differ in their underlying themes. And they also differ when it comes to where they’re taking place – which is indicated above as well.

Creatively filtering your analysis is the key to exploring the depths of your consumer insight and to revealing the right questions to ask – and where to ask them. Questions that will, in turn, inform your market intelligence and drive strategic decision-making.

Is your social listening answering targeted questions for your brand? We can help your brand make informed decisions for healthcare clients with our powerful consumer and market intelligence tools. Reach out for a demo!

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