What Your Medical Practice Should Know About TikTok
TikTok is a video-sharing platform that doctors and medical staff can use to share all kinds of tips and answers to medical questions. The format and style of these videos can be anything, from high-energy dances and comical skits to more serious educational content. In addition, TikTok has over 1 billion users, and it’s quickly surpassing Facebook and Instagram for engagement.
Here are some interesting facts you should know about TikTok:
Because of TikTok’s popularity, wide user base, hashtags, filters, and highly engaged users, you can use TikTok videos for your medical practice, increasing your social reach and engagement with new audiences.
There are a few ways you can use TikTok to grow your medical practice:
- Create engaging videos that educate viewers about your specialty and it’s a great way to attract new patients and show them what your practice has to offer
- Engage with existing patients, sharing information about upcoming events or news from your practice
- Become an influencer in your medical specialty by sharing expert tips and advice, and connect with other professionals in your field
- Engage with your employees and boost morale as you interact with the platforms fun features to share about your practice
You may be wondering how is this different from what your practice is already doing through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube? TikTok offers a number of video creation and sharing tools that boost engagement fast.
For example, TikTok offers one feature that allows you to “stitch” your video to another video. You can use this tool to find videos with high engagement and views, then stitch with the video to offer more thoughts. For popular medical topics like “surgery preparation tips,” stitching a popular video and tagging it in the comments can bring in new views and engagement from the same audience.
The truth is, social media is very different now than it was even just a few years ago, and strategies for using it to benefit your practice are changing rapidly. Jumping on the TikTok train may just be one of the bold moves that can keep your practice from falling behind, but it all depends on how you plan to use the platform.
Related: Check out our guide on how to use Instagram at your medical practice.
How Does TikTok Compare to Other Social Media Platforms?
Is TikTok becoming more important than Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? It’s true that TikTok is similar to other social media platforms in that it allows you to share short videos with your followers. However, TikTok has a few unique features that set it apart from the rest.
TikTok vs Other Social Media Apps
Social media platforms offer different ways for users to engage with one another and share content like videos, but they also have their own language. TikTok uses fast, short videos to grab your attention and earn engagement. The app also encourages more engagement with multiple response options and sharing features, such as stitching, dueting, video response, direct share links, comments, re-posting options, and favorite folders.
Here are some of the major differences between Tiktok, Youtube, Instagram, Linkedin, and Facebook.
8 Tips to Get Started on TikTok at Your Medical Practice
Now that you know a little bit more about the platform and how it compares to the rest of social media, let’s discuss some specific tips on using TikTok to market your medical practice.
Quick Things to Know for Doctors on TikTok
- Gaining followers takes time. Get 100,000 followers to get into Creator’s Fund and earn money
- Get 1,000 followers to unlock live streaming (perfect for interviews and special events)
- Create mostly shorter videos between 7 and 15 seconds long, focusing on most popular topics in your field at first
- Posting daily is best to earn more views and followers, but adding videos to trends and putting hashtags in your captions will earn views over time.
- Once in TikTok Creator Fund, you could earn between 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views
- After you have enough followers, going live will help you earn more followers in the moment, but viewers can also engage in real time and send you gifts
From how to set up your TikTok with medical videos to engaging with your followers, these tips cover almost everything you need to know. If you’re looking for a team to partner with you TikTok and build content for you, talk to our marketing team today.
1. Set Up Your TikTok Profile With Links and Keywords
The first thing every medical practice should do is create a TikTok account and set up a profile. Even if you just add your logo, website, and practice details, it’s a good idea to do this first. Patients may look for your practice on TikTok and follow you once they find your profile on the platform.
Next thing you want to do is add major keywords or what your practice is known for in the description of your TikTok profile. For example, if your practice’s specialty is gastroenterology, then include that keyword in description.
If you have more than one website you want to link to, then you can use a link in bio tool. This allows you to link to your main website, but you can also link to your blog, other social media accounts, patient testimonials, before and after galleries, HealthGrades profile, or even your ecommerce store if you sell products.
It’s also important to tailor your profile to your audience as well. You know what your patients talk about and what they’re looking for. As you build your profile and brand on TikTok, consider how you’d talk to those patients through this platform and what content you’ll create.
Before you start adding videos, you should think about content strategy and what topics bring in the most traffic for your practice. You may want to talk to a digital marketing agency to build a content strategy and editorial calendar for TikTok. Agencies also have more resources to help you with filming, video marketing, video design and editing, and engagement strategies.
2. Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Medical Practice
As with other types of content creation, an editorial calendar can help you organize the TikTok videos you plan to publish and keep you on track. TikTok requires much more regular posting than other platforms, so having a plan can be immensely helpful.
Now, you may be thinking, “Isn’t TikTok all about day-by-day trends? How do you plan ahead for that?” And while that’s a valid question, relying on daily or weekly trends to drive your production will likely leave you empty-handed on the days when trending topics are dry. It also helps your social media team have a framework for upcoming content, allowing them to acquire props, write scripts, and more ahead of the time of posting.
3. Focus on Professionalism Over Trendiness
One of the dangers of TikTok is that the content on the app can be bent toward fun, entertaining, and casual trends, which can affect how doctors are perceived.
Our advice? Focus on showcasing your clinical expertise over trying to squeeze your content into the box of the latest trends. Often when users on a social platform search keywords pertaining to your video topics, or if they find themselves viewing a lot of TikToks about a certain medical subject, they’ll find your content anyway because they’re looking for answers.
Set yourself up for success by making sure your TikToks include educational content that positions you as an expert within your field. Practices can explore their brand voice a bit more on TikTok, but it’s important to be professional to gain trust and authority on certain healthcare topics.
4. Add Captions and Hashtags Related to Your Topic
On the subject of trends, you don’t have to shy away from using the hashtags and sounds that are currently popular on the app. It’s important to find sounds that work with your video style. For example, one trending TikTik sound is called “Oh No” works well for a number of video topics, including medical TikToks.
Hashtags on TikTok will help users find your content if the algorithm discovers that they are prone to watching content or searching information about your specialty.
You can also look up the most popular hashtags and add them to your post. We recommend vetting them ahead of time to make sure the trend isn’t inappropriate.
Determining Hashtags and Captions for Medical Practices: 5 Steps
- Create hashtags with your practice or doctor name
- Add your location as a hashtag like #OrlandoFL
- Use popular medical hashtags related to your niche, for example: #doctors #doctor #medicine #medical #covid #nurses #health #healthcare #hospital #nurse #coronavirus #surgery #medicalstudent #doctorlife #medicalqa #medschool #medstudent #medico #surgeon #doctorsoftiktok #medicalschool #corona #medlife #pharmacy #orthopedic
- Add keywords as hashtags related to services you offer, procedures, specialties, diseases or medical conditions, equipment, treatments, and more
- Look at competitors, influencers, and other medical brands to get keyword and caption ideas
Picking the Right Sounds for Your Medical Practice
In the same vein, the sounds that users currently enjoy on TikTok, and the trends that result from using those sounds, are fair game for your medical practice more often than not.
If your favorite song or joke is being lip-synced all over TikTok, there’s no harm in jumping on the trend and doing a fun video with your staff or even featuring a patient who wants to be in your video.
However, as we noted above, don’t forget to balance the fun side with content that clearly showcases your experience in your field. To showcase more personality, consider having one of your staff be in charge of TikTok filming. You can share your expertise in interviews while your TikTok manager takes care of the brand voice.
5. Use Stitch and Duet Features to Get More Views
Another great way to use TikTok is by taking advantage of the platform’s interactive features, such as the “Stich” and “Duet” tools. You can use TikTok’s duet feature to create videos with other users and explore a topic in more depth.
You can also respond to comments on a video with another video, and your video will automatically show the comment you’re replying to. It keeps the conversation moving while making sure your audience is interested, and your response video show in comments.
Replying with videos also helps your follower count grow quickly on the app because every user on TikTok has a “For You Page” aka “#fyp.” If you duet, stitch, or reply to a video within a topic already trending and getting views, you’ll likely show up on that same audience’s FYP feed.
Additionally, answering questions with stitches and duets is a great way to build relationships with potential patients in the area or even the patients that you already know and love. It shows them that, while you are their medical provider, you are invested in your connection with them as well as their well-being.
Bonus Tip: How Doctors Can Go Live on TikTok for More Engagement
To go live on TikTok, you need to earn at least 1,000 followers. It’s important to unlock this feature so that you can go live in real time and triple your followers. Due to how TikTok is set up, your live can appear on anyone’s “For You Page,” especially as more people join your stream. It’s a quick and easy way to get more views and follows in a short period of time.
Doctors and medical practices can use the live feature to answer questions, but it’s best to do this with a moderator or TikTok manager, much like you would do with a webinar or video group chat.
6. Using TikTok for Local SEO
While we’re talking about local users, including your city or region name in your hashtags or descriptions can help local TikTok users discover you on the app. Many people forget that social media can act as a search engine, especially if there are patients hungry for answers to their medical problems.
You never know when someone is within reach with a condition that you are perfectly equipped to help them with, so don’t hesitate to make it clear where you are located and how local audiences can find you.
7. Reuse Videos for Other Social Platforms
It’s true that TikTok offers unique tools and a one-of-a-kind viewing experience for users, but did you know that other social media platforms are jumping to copy TikTok’s success in their own way?
For instance, Instagram now has a Reels feature and Youtube has Shorts, both of which are designed to house the same vertical, short-form video content that you’re creating on TikTok. Why not repurpose your most informative and successful TikTok content and add them to other pages?
Not every one of your target patient demographics may be on TikTok just yet, so finding other ways to recycle the videos you’ve already mastered could save you a lot of time and offer a great return on your efforts.
8. Avoid the Spread of Misinformation (As a Marketing Tactic)
The unfortunate reality about the internet, and social media specifically, is that misinformation is always a player in the healthcare sphere. This is especially true on TikTok where one viral video is enough to skyrocket someone into mainstream popularity, giving them a platform to say whatever they want, which may or may not be of satisfactory quality.
So if you see misinformation or find a video with dangerous medical advice, you can use your expertise to debunk the other videos and still jump on the trend. This could give you more views just by stopping the spread of misinformation.
TikTok’s interactive nature as we described above can help you craft reasonable and educated responses to the misinformation that crosses your feed, but even if you aren’t the confrontational type, it’s best to create content that is clear, compassionate, and compelling.
Authoritative content and medical answers from experts means audiences will listen to you and share your videos, which builds your views and followers over those who are spreading misinformation for trends.
Medical practices should include a disclaimer on videos that could be perceived as medical advice. A common disclaimer template looks like this:
- Note: This is for informational purposes only. See your doctor for medical advice before anything else.