20 Jul Why you and your hospital should be on TikTok: How to win at the game of social media
If you don’t know, TikTok is a social media app. People take short videos of themselves and post them. That’s all the platform offers. Its simple and at the time of this writing, there are 70 million active monthly users in the United States. If you spend time watching the content produced on TikTok, you will invariably see themes, challenges, and videos that follow the same structure. You may also find that it is addicting.
But why is the newest, very dance heavy, social media app relevant in any way to a hospital or physician practice?
Simple. Because that is where the people you want to serve are spending their time consuming content. If you want to reach people, you have to find them where they are, not where you prefer they be.
Thinking about it another way, take older forms of communication. The radio and the television. We all know TV killed the radio star. When the shift first took place, what happened to the companies that refused to advertise on TV, because they either were not good at TV advertising or thought TV was a fad. Those companies probably lost. Or at least lost a tremendous amount of attention.
We can’t be romantic about the channels of communication. We just have to adapt to the new channels when they arrive. Did you know that when paper and printing were first invented, many people believed they would end oral traditions and lead to forgotten history?
The channel is not relevant. What is relevant is that when a new channel emerges with the attention of 70 million people a month looking at it, you should put effort into it.
I am sure you are at this point thinking, “This is silly, no one goes to TikTok looking for a doctor.” You may also be thinking, “Even if I do try this, what type of content would you even create for the platform, obviously people are there looking for something specific like dance videos.”
Let’s address both issues at the same time, because they are linked. And note, the principles noted here apply to every social media platform there is. Social media platforms are simply communication distribution channels, just like the radio, a billboard, or a TV.
What people are doing on TikTok is being entertained. Sometimes, they are learning. Any social platform is an opportunity to be entertained or educated. They are also places to connect.
Imagine you are a doctor (if you are a doctor don’t spend too much time on the imagining part) and you have decided to open your own practice. You need patients and you are asking yourself where to find them or how to connect with the community. You could take out an ad in some magazine or radio or TV or network the old fashion way. Or you could go on TikTok and put out one video a day on how to stay active and healthy and use a hashtag for your city or neighborhood. You could also search videos local to your geography and comment on ones you think are interesting or funny. This also works for every social platform.
If you were to do this, you immediately become part of a community. A visible community, that just happens to also congregate in the digital, but very real, world.
The key is to be contextual to the platform. On LinkedIn you could do a video that is more geared towards the working professional. Something like, “How to stay healthy when traveling for work.” On TikTok you may make it more fun. Bonus points if one of the ways is through dancing and you actually dance.
If you are still not convinced, lets look at an example for a hospital. Again, people are looking for entertainment or education. Why not have someone go through the hospital and have doctors do their favorite dance moves as part of a “move for health” campaign? Or short testimonials about an encounter that was inspiring.
Again, the important thing is to deliver content contextual to the platform. This solves the issue that you think people are looking for something specific. You can really say or do anything as long as you make it contextual. While it may seem like people on TikTok only want to see dance videos, they are really just looking for entertainment or education in short video form. You can entertain or educate in that format no problem.
How does any of this tie back to a person coming to your hospital or your practice? Its simple. If someone likes your videos, they will probably look you up to learn more. They may see your new practice. And they may get their physical there.
It really comes down to branding; an almost trite word that has become slightly without substance. However, it is incredibly important. If someone chooses you it is likely because they feel as though you will provide a superior product or service. Or they just like you more. Ask anyone who only buys Nike shoes. If it the superior rubber or textile? No, it is most likely because they are Nikes. It’s the brand. You can do the same with your hospital or your practice.
The great news is you don’t have to be on TikTok. You should, but you don’t have to be. You can tackle Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or Medium. Just create the content that matters to you and make sure that it is contextual to the platform. It is the best way to reach out organically and inorganically to your communities.
Social media has become real life. Would you ever consider ignoring a gathering of 70 million people sitting outside your office? No. They are looking for something and it may just be you.