Charting the Way Forward in Healthcare Social Media

Saloni Ghia

It’s hard to imagine a world without social media. While healthcare companies have not traditionally been at the forefront of social media activities, social media plays an important role in healthcare marketing. In fact, social media and emails are now the most commonly used tools for launching medtech products.

At Merryman Communications, we integrate social media into all our programs and know that tailoring a social strategy to match a company’s business goals is key. We also understand that social media in healthcare requires careful consideration and treads a fine line between promoting a product and raising awareness for a disease.

Social media is now one of the most commonly used tools for launching medtech products.

Here are five healthcare social media trends we’re integrating into our campaigns.

1. Tailoring Video Content to Platforms

Video is the king of content. There is no denying that video is able to grab your attention and generate more interest and engagement than static posts. Consider these stats:

  • Videos on Instagram generate more engagement than any other content type and tweets with video content get 10x more engagement.
  • A recent poll showed that of all forms of content, a majority of people (62%) paid the most attention to video and over half (53%) want to continue to see more video content in the future.
  • Over a third (38%) of healthcare professionals (HCPs) regularly follow/view videos for professionals.

In 2023, video content takes different forms – whether it’s a YouTube short, Instagram reel or Facebook live, we use videos to elevate user engagement with our clients’ pages.

2. Creating Patient and Physician Communities

We help create platforms for our clients that encourage exchange of information and ideas. This builds on research that shows more than 40% of patients use information available online to help guide their decisions and more than 50% of HCPs prefer receiving medical and promotional information from pharmaceutical companies on social media.

For Silk Road Medical, we doubled down on the community approach and created several resources to spur its development, including a YouTube series with physicians answering common questions about carotid artery disease and its treatment options (especially Silk Road Medical’s TCAR approach), physician-focused news on social media, and physician bylined articles that were promoted and shared on the company’s social pages. These strategies resulted in >500% increase in impressions across channels and nearly tripled the number of followers on LinkedIn and Twitter. Read more details here.

3. Storytelling in Medicine

We know medical jargon can seem complicated or a new diagnosis can be overwhelming for patients and their caregivers. That’s why we make sure that social media language for these audiences remains simple and consistent to humanize a product and make a disease relatable.

Happy Partners Agree banner adOur Boston Scientific client wanted to increase awareness and consideration of their product to treat erectile dysfunction and asked us to craft a campaign based on the key insight that men are motivated by satisfying their partner. This meant ensuring the language and creative was palatable and comfortable for the audiences, as well as for social media platforms. The “Happy Partners Agree” multichannel campaign was implemented via a compelling animated patient video and robust social media content that leveraged the core campaign creative and visuals that were also developed into programmatic ads, as well as patient testimonial videos. Check out the video here.

4. Leveraging Credible Content Creators

User generated content has gained significant momentum in recent years and is only getting bigger in 2023. In fact, last year 74% of marketers planned to invest at least a quarter of their social media budgets in content creator or influencer partnerships in recognition of the higher level of authenticity they give to campaigns.

Family Heart Foundation (FHF) WebsiteOur team worked with the Family Heart Foundation (FHF) and its patient advocates on a campaign called “Runs in the Family is not a Diagnosis” to educate about genetic cholesterol disorders that cause heart disease. FHF encouraged its advocates to film short videos about their family history and the path to an accurate diagnosis and post them to their social media profiles tagging the Foundation. FHF then shared the videos from its social media pages and pushed out those that performed best with ad dollars to reach new audiences. These videos directed viewers to their website’s landing page. In one month, the landing page received over 6.6K views – up almost 2,500% from the month prior to the campaign!

5. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools for Better Engagement

AI is here to stay and there is benefit in leveraging it to generate higher user engagement. For example, AI tools can help analyze user data so you can understand the best times to post for your audience.

Tools like SparkToro or Google Trends show the types of content with the highest engagement so you can tailor content to meet their preference. We also use tools to check readability levels for our consumer audiences, since a sixth-grade level increases views.

Wondering What’s Next?

Social media is rapidly evolving so whether you’re new to social or looking to up your game, Merryman Communications is here to help. Reach out to us if you have social media needs and are looking for a partner to set you up for success!