How to Use Healthcare Social Media Marketing to Reach HCPs

How to Use Healthcare Social Media Marketing to Reach HCPs

CTV, OTT, and OOH likely come to mind when you think about healthcare advertising. These tactics have become the backbone of almost every HCP advertising strategy.

But that’s changing.

Today, any healthcare advertising strategy should include healthcare social media marketing, too. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Reach HCPs With Healthcare Social Media Marketing

While avoiding social media healthcare marketing in the past made a bit more sense due to less socially inclined HCPs making up the majority of the workforce, this way of thinking no longer holds true.

Here’s why:

Don’t think those stats apply to you?

Think about it this way: The largest group of Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn users are 25-34 years old.

On Twitter, the largest group is between 18-29.4

Why’s this important?

Because these people are ushering in the next wave of HCPs — the ones you’ll be advertising to for years.

Still don’t think social applies to you?

  • 67% of doctors use social media for professional use.
  • A survey of 366 HCPs found that 87.9% used social media for about 1 hour a day.5

HCP social media is a must today, tomorrow, and every day after that.

Best Practices for Social Media in Healthcare Advertising

If social media hasn’t been a part of your HCP advertising strategy in the past, you may not have a page in your playbook.

That’s okay.

Here are some best practices you can turn to when thinking about social media marketing for HCPs:

Use First-party NPI Data

Your healthcare social media marketing strategy must start with first-party NPI data.

The social ecosystem is huge, which is why advertisers love it.

The thing is, you don’t need them all to see your ads.

For example, if you went into Facebook Ad Manager and started building an audience of doctors, you’d see what we mean.

Sure, you can whittle this down with additional targeting parameters, but nine times out of 10, you’ll end up with a larger audience than you need — a list that doesn’t target the exact HCPs you want.

For a brand awareness campaign, this is fine, but if you want conversions and cost-efficiency, a more refined list is a must.

This is where first-party NPI data comes into play.

Using this data, you can target the HCPs who fall into your ideal customer profile (ICP), so you’re not wasting impressions and dollars on those unlikely to convert.

Want access to NPI data on 1.5MM+ HCPs? You’re in the right place. Reach out today to see how our proprietary database can help you reach a refined list of HCPs across social platforms.

Take Advantage of Platform Data

No one can argue that first-party NPI data isn’t the most powerful source you can use to advertise to HCPs on social media. That said, you can make it stronger by augmenting it with the data inside the social platforms.

The data on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social platforms is powerful because people willingly share it, i.e., when an HCP signs up for Facebook, they voluntarily give their name, email, age, etc.

This means that there’s no guesswork or uncertainty as to whether or not you’re actually reaching the HCP in your target list. (On the contrary, when you target an HCP on CTV, you don’t necessarily know if it’s them watching it or someone else in their household.)

You can take this data and add it onto what you already have, enabling you to reach the HCPs who are most likely to convert.

Think of the first-party NPI data as the foundation of a custom-built house that you can lay however you want. Once it’s down, you can go into Facebook or another social platform and use its data to customize the interior and exterior.

No cookie-cutter houses here. Just a house — or in this case, a target list of HCPs — that perfectly meets your needs and campaign objectives.

Perfect Your Messaging to HCPs

Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J Walter Thompson, said, “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”

Let this be your motto when building your healthcare social media marketing ads.

When you’re at the point when it’s time to work with your creative team or healthcare social media agency, ask yourself questions that’ll help you intimately understand the HCPs you’re targeting.

Remember that the HCPs you’re targeting see a lot of ads every day.

While they may not see the 10,000 ads every day that some studies suggest, there’s a nearly 100% chance they’re seeing hundreds, maybe thousands.6

Heck, there’s even a phenomenon called banner blindness to describe people consciously or unconsciously ignoring banner-like information due to the ad load.

This is why perfecting your message is important.

Ask yourself:

  • What do they care about?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Which keywords will resonate?
  • What results will get them excited?
  • What type of imagery will catch their attention?

Here’s an example of what this could look like if you were promoting a device for pharma QC GMP testing as part of a pharma social media strategy:

  • The OK Ad: Try the #1 Solution for QC Testing
  • The Better Ad: Eliminate Impurities with the #1 QC Solution

The first ad is fine, but the second one speaks to a real-world benefit: Eliminating impurities.

If you were an HCP, which one would you notice?

Even better, turn your features into benefits. Say, for example, you’re advertising an at-home allergy test:

  • The OK Ad: Test Your Allergies With an At-Home Kit
  • The Better Ad: Find Out What You’re Allergic To – Without Ever Leaving Home!

Keep Your Content Engaging

Catching an HCP’s attention requires a two-prong approach.

The first one we talked about: messaging.

The second one involves the creative and the ad types you use.

Most of the time, you’ll want to opt for anything other than a static ad, so videos, gifs and light animations should be your friend.

These ad types give you the chance to bring your brand to life in a way that actually encourages engagement. It’s the best of both worlds.

People are 27.4X more likely to click a video ad than standard banners, while 64% of people purchase after watching branded social videos.7,8

That said, there’s a fine line between delivering an engaging experience with these ad types and completely overwhelming them.

While you want your ads to stand out, don’t do so at the expense of the HCPs. Use movement, color, and strong imagery to get your point across without going over the top.

Adfire Health: A Leading Healthcare Social Media Agency

Whether you’ve used healthcare social media marketing before or are just getting started, a healthcare social media agency, like Adfire Health, can help.

What to know about Adfire Health:

  • Our team has decades of combined experience in healthcare social media marketing.
  • We have a proprietary database of 8MM+ HCPs that you can use to target high-intent HCPs on social.
  • We’re pros at cross-channel campaigns, meaning that we can make your social strategy work seamlessly with existing ads running across other channels.

Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you maximize your healthcare social ads.


  1. Baer J. Social Media Usage Statistics for 2021 Reveal Surprising Shifts. Convince & Convert. Published 2021. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  2. Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2025. Statista. Published July 2020. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  3. Debra Aho Williamson. US Social Media Usage 2021. eMarketer. Published June 1, 2021. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  4. Barnhart B. Social media demographics to inform your brand’s strategy in 2022. Published March 2, 2022. Sprout Social. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  5. Zoya Surani et al. Social media usage among health care providers. National Library of Medicine. Published November 29, 2017. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  6. Carr S. How Many Ads Do We See A Day In 2021? PPC Protect. Published February 15, 2021. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  7. Steers N. Consumers more likely to click online video ads. My Customer. Published September 27, 2012. Accessed May 9, 2022.
  8. McCormick K. 75 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics. Wordstream. Published April 20, 2022. Accessed May 9, 2022.

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