As a social media millennial at Syneos Health™, connecting the world of TikTok—one of the hottest social media channels today—and healthcare was a challenge I couldn’t pass up. The short-form video platform is a one-stop-shop for users to create videos and slide shows complete with effects and music. According to Hootsuite, it’s the sixth-largest social network and was the most downloaded app in 2020.
The platform’s purpose is to entertain, opening up possibilities for people to express themselves with impact and ease. With demographics fitting the Gen-Z mold, 41% of users are between 16 and 24 years old and represent those young adults who bridge the gap between two generations of digital natives.
The platform has multiple ways for users to engage with a max length of 60 seconds per video shared. For example, the platform has a trending hashtags feature built in where it shows what’s most popular based on views.
The main goal as a TikTok enthusiast is to create content that goes viral and ends up on the “For You” page of other users, who might be interested in the content.
This goal combined with the ease of creation on the app translates into an enormous amount of content for users to consume. That means that regardless of what you’re interested in, there is likely a stream of content for you. It also means that TikTok quickly became a place to which healthcare providers flocked to share their knowledge with anyone who is interested.
Some fan-favorite physicians on TikTok include:
Dr. Shah is a dermatologist and one of my personal favorite physicians on TikTok. He’s also the reason for my own skincare routine overhaul! Dr. Shah shares educational content, reviews products and provides his POV on all things skincare and dermatology.
Family Medicine Resident Doctor
Doctor Leslie is a family medicine physician that gives users the inside scoop on family medicine–related topics. Her content includes reaction videos, tips/tricks and insider doctor knowledge that could be useful for your next office visit.
Double Board Certified | Anesthesiology
Doctor Sood is an anesthesiologist who provides educational content as well as entertainment using the latest sounds and trends of TikTok. His content includes tips/tricks, reactions to questions, and other entertaining content.
There is an opportunity for healthcare companies to jump in on the action. Here are three ways your brand can use TikTok as an awareness tactic:
Activate Key Opinion Leaders
There are many specialties represented on TikTok, from dermatology to gastroenterology. Doctors from all backgrounds are looking to share their expertise and shine a light on their work. A great example of this is the @TikTokBabyDoc, Dr. Shannon M. Clark, who shares educational information and health information for pregnancy and other OB needs.
Does your target demographic include the 16-to-24 age range? If so, this platform offers an engaging way to reach them where they are. By activating influencers in the disease category, you could create entertaining and informative educational content to access them.
Share Disease Awareness by Partnering with Influencers
There are many trendsetting individuals who share their story on TikTok. Two amazing accounts in particular come to mind.
First, @rhysyarbrough: Rhys Yarbrough showcases her rare congenital condition called Goldenhar syndrome, which led her to be born without an ear. She educates and entertains by answering questions and using humor.
Second, @mr.colitiscrohns showcases life with a colostomy bag. Mesha Moinirad, the person behind the account, is dedicated to educating and spreading awareness about Crohn’s Disease.
Create a Movement to Spread Awareness for Rare Disease
Think #IceBucketChallenge but make it TikTok. There is a great opportunity to connect with the mass audience on TikTok to educate and spread awareness for rare diseases that might not get as much attention as other common illnesses.
This can be done through a diverse campaign that creates a hashtag or a custom sound specific to the activation that influencers can help you kick off.