TikTok is quickly shedding the new-kid-on-the-block status with a rapid increase in its user base over the past year. This has lead to an increasing use of the social platform among pharmaceutical companies. While these are still early days for the healthcare community and pharmaceutical companies, some information about the use of TikTok has been uncovered. Below are three case studies as to how Novartis, Reckitt Benckiser/Mucinex, and Johnson & Johnson have utilized TikTok. Following the case studies are a few reasons why the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are adopting TikTok’s platform.
Case Study: Novartis — Adakveo
- Novartis embraces social media and has utilized the celebrity dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss to headline its “Do U” campaign.
- The public has been invited to create their own version of Boss’ dance video and submit it via the official website, social media, and Novartis’ partner influencer channels.
- The company is calling this “the first dance challenge ever launched by a prescription pharmaceutical brand.”
- The social challenge was designed to highlight the treatment Adakveo and increase awareness of sickle cell disease.
- Boss posted the dance challenge to his TikTok account of more than 3.3 million followers and inspired more than 200 user-generated video posts with the #DoUChallenge hashtag.
- Novartis noted a fourfold increase in traffic to the Adakveo website and 94% of the social media comments were favorable for the treatment.
Case Study: Mucinex — #ToSickToBeSick
- Mucinex is owned by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc and stakes the claim to being the first OTC drug on TikTok.
- The campaign is zombie-themed, features the hashtag #ToSickToBeSick, and amassed more than 400 million views in just five days.
- The brand partnered with four influencers for the campaign; Jaydencroes, OurFire, dreaknowsbest, and Nick Tangorra.
- Each of these influencers created a 15-second video and viewers were encouraged to make their own “zombie-to-fab” video response. The campaign generated nearly one billion views.
Case Study: Johnson & Johnson — Masking For a Friend
- The Pandemic Action Network (PAN) is supported by Johnson & Johnson launched the campaign “Masking for a Friend” in order to advocate for the wearing of cloth masks.
- The celebrities enlisted to help with this campaign include “former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, actress Annie Potts, TV personality Andy Cohen and TikTok influencers.”
- This video includes the hashtag #MaskingForAFriend and gives a good example of the campaign.
- The campaign is larger than TikTok and encompasses all prominent social media platforms.
Reaching a Younger Audience: Gen Z
- Healthcare providers are increasingly looking for ways to communicated with younger audiences and TikTok provides a unique avenue to do so. From nurses to nurse practitioners to medical doctors, they’re increasingly using the social media platform to talk to young users ranging in age from 16-24.
- Campaigns are easy to set up, and videos can be easily consumed only being seconds-long.
- Its believed that the younger generation gravitates toward healthcare discussions on TikTok where they’re described as being the “most real, raw, and riveting healthcare interactions” on social media.
Unbranded Influencer Campaigns
- Unbranded influencer campaigns are currently what holds the greatest potential for pharmaceutical and healthcare brands.
- These niched experts are often referred to as micro and nano influencers. Unlike traditional influencers, these individuals run the range from healthcare professionals to mom bloggers, from nutritionists to patients. These influencers are seen as being more influential than the traditional social media influencers because they’re viewed as being of higher “quality” and authentic.
- Because of the above, TikTok is positioned to be an excellent platform for healthcare education.
- Pharmacists are using TikTok as a means for advocacy and education.
- As a word of caution, there have been several published instances of healthcare professionals who have provided incorrect information on TikTok or otherwise caused a negative view of their respective professions and the community in general.