Social Media and Healthcare: The Benefits of Comment Analysis

While health marketers agree fairly unanimously about the power of social media to reach health audiences and drive actions, they generally don’t have an understanding of the power of social media comments to help the brand. As a result, when setting up social campaigns, most marketers focus on the action they want to drive, not on the user comments that may be generated in the process.

To shed light on the value of social media comments to health brands, Healthline recently dedicated resources to review more than 12,000 Facebook comments from health condition-related posts across 43 campaigns and 2,800+ ads. The goal of this effort was to understand the value of comments on social media.

Key Themes of Comments in Condition Communities

We started by reading, evaluating, and categorizing comments in condition communities. Here’s what we found:

  • Sharing ExperiencesPeople comment about their own life, event, or experience. More than 60% of campaigns had an overwhelming number of these comments. These provide a glimpse into what it’s like to live with a condition and realistic experiences straight from the source. And they help nurture empathy for your users; the more you understand who you’re marketing to, the more successful you can be.
  • Community Q&AOne person asks a question and others reply with their own advice. Similar to a forum, these comments help elevate which questions are most common among this condition audience and popular treatments and experiences to help create more relatable content.
  • Relate to ContentPeople comment that the content is relatable and accurately describes their experience. When comments reaffirm the message you set out to deliver, this provides insight into whether or not you reached your target audience and which content and topics resonate the most.
  • Supportive CommunityPeople turn to each other to find and receive support. When some users share negative feelings or frustrations, others reply with well wishes and helpful advice. These comments elevate people’s need to feel connected and supported, show that the community aspect of social is so valuable, and offer the opportunity for expanding community and future growth.
  • People Feel MisunderstoodPeople are searching for an ally they can trust. So many users feel alone, so the reaction is overwhelming when they find the information or community that speaks to them. It’s up to the resource or trusted brand to help spread awareness to ensure others feel understood.

The Importance of Comment Analysis

By coding and grouping the comments, we were able to identify three broad ways in which comment analysis can improve brand marketing and content strategy. These are:

  • Strategy - Reveal gaps in content and adjust marketing strategies.
  • Insights - Understand users’ daily experience (in real-time).
  • Reputation - Address negative comments to control brand narrative.

Spending time to analyze comments enables us to be user-centric. To succeed today, marketers must understand their audience at its core — listening to what they have to say, and then showing you really listen by taking action to acknowledge and provide value.

Responding to Comments and Improving Visibility

When marketers respond to comments, they signal to their audience that they are open, engaged, and available. And they also signal to Facebook that they support two-way interaction with users. With Facebook’s emphasis on providing engagement for users, this strategy could help increase relevancy, ranking, and reach for content.

As the healthcare landscape continues to shift focus to where conversations are happening, it is imperative that marketers join the dialogue. This means not only engaging, but being strategic in their approach.


  • Comments are a pulse check not only on your content, but on your target audience. You can see where your message is hitting and missing, and also understand your users better by putting yourselves in their shoes.
  • Moderating and replying to comments may improve performance. Interacting with comments is a useful marketing strategy to impact performance, in addition to improving your brand voice and brand awareness.
  • Negative comments should not be overlooked or hidden. Responding to those comments portrays the content provider as more genuine and trustworthy, and these comments help identify gaps for brands to lean in and make an impact.

In conclusion, comment analysis and moderation are important for you to get the most out of your social media campaigns. If you’re working with a publisher or third party, make sure they have the ability to stay on top of comments and respond to them in a timely fashion. And make sure you’re receiving the valuable real-time insights on your audience.

Interested in working with a trusted partner to connect with users in authentic and meaningful ways in the social space? Send us an email at

About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.