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Top Social Media Trends of 2023

Five trends in pharmaceutical marketing from the past year.

Doctors as influencers

A recent Hootsuite social trends presentation focused on healthcare revealed that a significant majority of Gen Z use social media platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn to look up health-related information. Using a mix of medical, personal, and trendy posts—doctors on TikTok have gained millions of followers each; verified account or not. Some companies, like acne treatment Differin, utilize these doctors to answer FAQs to elevate trust and bring relatability to their product. Hootsuite also predicts that LinkedIn will become the new healthcare hub of social media.

Celebrity endorsement

Though the mask mandates have lifted, and the social distancing floor stickers have faded, COVID vaccine makers like Pfizer have turned to celebs like Martha Stewart, Michael Phelps, Travis Kelce and more to leverage their followings to encourage people to get their COVID vaccine and boosters. Other notable campaigns include Apellis’ Syforve being promoted by ‘The Fonz’ himself—Henry Winkler—and Lady Gaga taking center stage on behalf of migraine medication, Nurtec ODT.

Artificial intelligence/Generative AI

The Hootsuite presentation also noted the industry is planning to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) more across the board. Beyond the ability to edit images and gather inspiration, pharma companies are also utilizing AI for customer support activities. The good news? The main reason organizations are embracing AI is to reduce staff workload, not replace employees. Consumers have expressed that they would be wary and untrusting of content created with AI, furthering the need for the human touch on campaigns.

Weight loss

Interestingly enough Big Pharma hasn’t had to do much to make a craze over anti-obesity/appetite suppressing drugs. Jimmy Kimmel even included a joke in his monologue at the Oscars. Kimmel was onto something as many celebrities have cited the assistance of drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Jardiance as part of their weight loss journey successes—even if those medications were created for something like diabetes care. The hype has caused a significant increase in ad spend, nearly $500 million according to CNBC.1

Moving away from Twitter/X

With so much drama surrounding Twitter/X and Elon Musk, many companies have closed their wallets when it comes to ad spend on the platform. Always the more sarcastic platform, Twitter/X has become a place that has little to no rules, where any one can be verified and post whatever they please. Meta’s retort Threads hasn’t been proven popular enough to earn a vote of confidence, or significant dollars yet. Healthcare organizations have the most confidence in the ROI they’ll get from LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.




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