If during this difficult year it helps you to look ahead, we don’t blame you. Today we’re looking just a bit into the future and examining the possibilities of the social media platform TikTok for marketing medical practices.
If you don’t have anyone under 20 in your life, you can be forgiven for not knowing a single thing about TikTok. Not to be one of those “get off my lawn” type older folks, but doesn’t it seem like there’s some new must-have app, channel or widget almost every week? You’d be forgiven for thinking that DooDad, PolyWak and ChimpCrimp are all hot social channels too. They’re not. We just made them up.
Getting to the subject at hand, TikTok differentiates itself by allowing users to make short (15 to 60 second), looping videos that include music, special effects, and other animations. The videos are often catchy, funny, and encourage interaction.
Here are a couple examples:
@therealdrmiamiWhen the ##lockdown is over… 💃🏼🧚🕺🏻🤸 ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##xyzbca♬ original sound – lyrics @tonyyounmdWhat everyone needs to know about implants! ##plasticsurgeon ##edutock ##plasticsurgery ##implants ##doctor ##learnontiktok ##fyp ##tiktokpartner♬ original sound – redbull
TikTok by the Numbers
- Only 4% of social media marketers are using the platform currently.
- Quickly closing in on 1 billion active users worldwide.
- 29% Engagement Rate (slightly better than Facebook’s 27%)
- Audiences pulling mostly from younger generations (13-30 years old)
- 55% of users are men and the biggest demographic are men ages 16-24
- It’s the only top 5 global social app not owned by Facebook (at least for now)
- 80% of users are on Android devices, so it hasn’t caught on as much with the Apple crowd
Do I Really Need Another Social Channel?
Looping back to our sentiment at the start of this post, it can be easy for practices to have social media fatigue. Unless you are an extreme extrovert with a natural creative streak and an eye toward fame, “blowing up” on social media is not so easy. Heck, even keeping up with all the notifications and communication that the events of 2020 have required takes more effort than many practices have to spare.
To make it simple, here’s a quick rundown of the major social channels and our take about how important it is to invest time on each for social media marketing.
You gotta be active on Facebook. Bring out personality and personability to build love for your brand.
There's no better social channel for highly visual/video content from your practice. Be on it and be active.
If you've mastered Facebook and Instagram, TikTok can be worth it to connect with younger patients.
Pinterest is still popular in certain communities, but medical/cosmetic surgery isn't one of them. Skip.
A few plastic surgeons are on it, but it's still a marginal play. If they expand ad options, it might be worth a second look.
How to Use TikTok
If your practice is firing on all cylinders on Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is a natural extension of your practice’s social media effort. Since TikTok audiences are mostly the younger generation (13-30 years old), the best focus is on procedures that are related to that age range. To us, that means nonsurgical options like fillers and skin treatments as well as select surgical procedures including breast augmentation, ear surgery and rhinoplasty.
As far as the type of content you need to start with, focus on videos like patient testimonial clips, doctor explainers, staff celebrations, etc. Being authentic, funny and engaging is the key to success in this platform. You don’t want to post a dry video of a doctor showing off a new piece of equipment. Keep it light and fun, talking about specials, giveaways or challenges with some added visual effects and humor for good measure.
Since a little over half of users on TikTok are men, you might want to pay particular attention to procedures you perform for the younger male audience. Male breast reduction might be an area of focus, along with miradry, Emsculpt, or other nonsurgical options that may skew more male.
So…Is It Time for TikTok?
There’s a lot to like about the “snackable” content being shared on TikTok. It’s proving to be highly adaptive for more serious themes like COVID safety and social justice that are making headlines today, while still being a place for users to find a bit of humor, info, or inspiration. We wouldn’t be surprised at all if it continues to become more popular, and we think practices that can create compelling content here will have a leg up.
If you’re looking for some inspiration or some help in coming up with creative ideas to share, just get in touch.