What the TikTok Scandal Teaches Us About Social Media

As you may have seen in the news, the US State Department is considering banning the social media platform TikTok in the US.

The reason for this is that a Chinese company owns TikTok, and it is believed that the Chinese Communist Party may access user data.

Whether or not that is the case (and the TikTok CEO denies it), there are a few takeaways we can learn as we consider what social media platforms to be involved with when it comes to marketing physician practices.

Don’t Jump On the Fads

MySpace, Meerkat, Vine, and Google Plus are just a few examples of failed social media platforms. While MySpace had a better run than most of the others, this teaches us that it’s better to invest in social media platforms that are stable.

Those who spent time, effort, and money trying to reach patients on these platforms were likely disappointed with the results.

TikTok seems to be heading in the same direction.

Video Only Social Media Platforms Should Be Viewed with Skepticism

When it comes to video-only social media platforms, especially ones that are focused on live video, they tend not to last. Meerkat and Vine are great examples of this. Periscope could also fit into this category, but they were acquired by Twitter an integrated into the platform. Today though, very few people utilize the feature.

Additionally, from a physician marketing standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense to invest in creating video content that just goes away.

I would rather put more effort into videos that can continue producing results by living long-term on YouTub, Facebook, and your website.

Do the work once, and have it continue to produce results for the practice.

Know Your Target Market Before Adding Another Social Media Platform to Your Marketing Strategy

Even though globally, the TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times, 69% of TikTok users are under the age of 24. For most specialties, this is not the target patient demographic.

Investments in marketing on new social media platforms should be weighted heavily by the platform’s long-term stability and the active user age groups.

It’s common to be looking at the next big opportunity in social media. One will come someday that will upset some of the big players today. But from a physician marketing standpoint, it’s usually best to complete the due diligence and let things play out for a bit before investing too much time, effort, and money in a new social media platform.

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