Doctors are doing social so why aren’t you?

Social media is not usually front and centre of a marketing campaign targeting health professionals, but it’s time for that to change, according to marketing trends and the way doctors are consuming content.

Social media is the most effective form of content marketing in Australia, according to a new report which reveals 93% of content was pushed through Facebook alone in 2017. The data is published in the latest Content Marketing in Australia, 2018 (sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute, ADMA and LinkedIn), and represents marketing trends across all industries in Australia.

While pharma might yet be convinced to prioritise or allocate significant budget to social media, data reveals healthcare professionals are no different to other population groups in the way they consume social.

From a marketing and reach point of view, the numbers can’t be ignored:
– More than 78,000 people identify themselves as a doctor in Australia (Facebook data)

– More than 55% of GPs use social media on a daily basis (Australian Doctor survey, 2016)

– One Australian Doctor Facebook post targeting doctors reached 48,824 unique viewers and generate 866 comments and reactions.

While content developed by pharma for social needs to be brand-free, independent and educational, the Facebook campaigns that are created in this way as part of an integrated digital marketing campaign are punching above their weight, according to Australian Doctor Group.

The challenge for marketers then becomes how to develop the right content with the right tone for Facebook and other social channels.

“Social networks influence the content they distribute. It turns out that people on social networks prefer certain styles and types of content,” according to

All Your Friends Like This, a book on how social media has affected the distribution of news — and, inevitably, the news itself.

In their book, Australian journalists Hal Crawford and Andrew Hunter, along with software developer Domagoj Filipovic, argue that success on social platforms hinges on a publisher’s ability not just to engage, but to encourage a consumer to share, which in turn becomes a powerful content amplification strategy.

So what kind of content do people share? The authors identify three key motivations, all of which we consider at Australian Doctor Group when making decisions when we develop content for social channels for our audience of healthcare professionals.

  1. Newsmaking

This is the broadcasting of news, with the sharer as town crier: “This just happened, and it’s important.”

Take, for example, this article about new data revealing the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this year’s flu vaccine. It’s newsy and important.

  • Inspiring:

This takes things up a notch. This isn’t just something new and interesting, but something that makes a reader think: Wow!

This short video tells the remarkable story of Dr Munjed Al Muderis, who fled the oppression of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, arrived in Australia on a leaky fishing boat, and eventually became the first refugee to obtain fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

  1. Teaming

This is the desire to share content as a way of expressing identity and community — which ‘tribe’ we belong to. It is probably the most important of all three.

At ADG, we have the benefit of having a community defined by vocation: medicine. Content that speaks to the shared experiences and values of that group tends to fly.

Take this post — a simple graph showing how average GP consultation times in Australia compare with the rest of the world. It has the added benefit of being simple and native (readers needn’t click anywhere — all the content is right in front of their eyes):

Take these three rules of sharing into account and you won’t go too far wrong.

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