Hootsuite, a leading social media management platform, recently released its “Social Media Trends 2020” report. The annual report, which is based on interviews with specialists in the industry and a survey of over 3,100 marketers, provides insight into current social trends and the best ways for brands to implement successful marketing strategies in 2020.
Hootsuite’s insights present exciting opportunities for medical marketers to reach new audiences and establish deeper and more-lasting connections with patients. In particular, brands are beginning to engage in more individual, private interactions with consumers through apps like Facebook Messenger, which enables healthcare providers to connect directly with patients.
Based on the Hootsuite report, here are four important social media trends for medical marketers to pay attention to this year:
1. Taking a Stand on Social Issues
A big trend in recent years has been brands beginning to take a stand on some of the most important issues that people are discussing on social media. In some cases, these issues are core to the brand’s identity and purpose, but in other instances they are only tangentially related.
There is an opportunity for medical marketers to enhance their brand by getting behind a social cause — particularly one that is related to medicine or healthcare. Given that these causes can often become linked to a brand’s identity, medical marketers should look for issues that have some form of natural, logical connection to the services they provide. For instance, an OB/GYN practice may want to use social media to support women’s reproductive rights.
2. Catering Content to Millennials and Gen Z
Younger generations — specifically Millennials and Gen-Z — are rapidly driving changes across industries, including healthcare. In order to attract this key audience, medical marketers need to keep up with the social media platforms and trends that those generations are embracing. The two main trends medical marketers should consider in 2020 are the growth of TikTok and the continuing influence of Facebook.
TikTok is a rapidly growing short-form video sharing platform. More than 50 percent of users in the U.S. are under age 34 and the highest number of unique users falls in the 18-24 age group. Yet, perhaps because it is so new, many marketers have been hesitant about experimenting with TikTok. However, with the right approach, the platform can be a great way to build brand recognition and reach new audiences.
One example of TikTok’s medical marketing potential is the ad campaign by Mucinex that asked influencers to create 15-second videos inspired by the brand’s Mr. Mucinex TV commercials. Other healthcare organizations have also found success in creating ads that engage with already-popular TikTok content.
3. Striking a Balance Between Public and Private Marketing
The rise of private engagement on social media — with many brands starting to act more like “people” rather than companies — has not reduced the importance of public social media efforts. In 2020, medical marketers should focus on striking the right balance between public and private marketing, providing seamless, personalized experiences in both spheres.
Public marketing continues to drive broad reach and brand discovery in 2020. Private channels, on the other hand, are important for developing deeper relationships through one-on-one engagement with patients. When considering both public and private marketing efforts, it is important for medical marketers to look at the ways that potential patients are using those platforms for their medical needs.
Facebook, for example, is adding preventative care capabilities including the ability to book medical appointments over Messenger. This means that Facebook is likely a space where public advertisements for healthcare practices and organizations will have a greater impact. This development also means that healthcare providers will be able to connect directly with customers through the Messenger platform for stronger private advertising.
4. Measuring Social Conversions With New Social Commerce Tools
The development of new social commerce tools is increasing the amount of data that is available to healthcare providers. With the new wealth of data relating to the conversion stage of the patient journey, medical marketers can gain a more holistic understanding of how people move through the process of researching a provider and booking an appointment. This data can be used to enhance brand awareness activities and better direct digital marketing efforts.
By following these four trends, medical marketers can optimize their social media presence in 2020. In particular, these guidelines can help healthcare providers ensure that they are reaching the right audiences and engaging patients with informative, relevant content.
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