If you still think TikTok and Instagram are only for dance videos or beautiful fashion and lifestyle content, we are here to tell you that there is much more to explore on these platforms.
Doctor influencers are taking over social media in Indonesia and people are getting more educated (and entertained) about their health problems every day on the apps.
Indonesia’s public healthcare system has gone through significant changes in recent years, and more people now have access to proper health and wellness information from medical professionals. It has made an impact on how people in the country are becoming more active in looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.
Although it seems like a new trend, health organizations like WHO have already made their debut on TikTok way back in the height of COVID-19. The #SafeHands challenge allowed Doctors to demonstrate the correct way to wash their hands and invited medical workers to create informative and educational content on the app.
These range from veterinarians, general practitioners, pediatrics, OBGYNs, psychologists, surgeons, and dentists, all creating fun and educational content. Alongside their primary profession, these doctors are becoming social media influencers with many followers on their channels.
Who are Indonesia’s Doctor Influencers?
Our research shows that Indonesian doctor influencers are between 20 and 50 years old. Their chosen platforms are TikTok and Instagram. On average, Indonesian doctor influencers have around 6K to 1.7m followers and are known as nano to mega influencers.
While younger doctors tend to create more fun and exciting video content, doctors in their 50s prefer photos with helpful information and news articles that are beneficial to their audience.
“We find that doctor influencers aged 20 to 30, who have educational video content mixed with informative posts, often have a higher engagement rate. They tend to have more interesting ways to deliver their content,” says Claudia Graciela Pusung, Vero’s Senior Digital Account Executive in Indonesia. “However, their age is not the limit. We believe that if they are creative in telling their stories to the world, they will reach their audiences effectively.”
Additionally, we see a balance of social media use between Instagram and TikTok. Some profiles perform better on TikTok and vice versa.
What content are they creating on social media?
Doctors are creating TikTok videos replying to their “virtual patient” questions regarding their problems and concerns as if they are serving clients for free on the platform. Answering questions this way is an effective technique to generate relatable, educational content, as many will find themselves in the same situation but need help figuring out what to do. What is great about this is that it helps raise a flag to people to seek help when they are not aware of how severe their current health condition can be.
This is especially beneficial when it comes to mental health. Mental health care is still considered a low priority across Southeast Asia, making it harder for people to come forward if they experience issues.
“Recently, we have seen an increase in psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists joining Instagram, and TikTok. They have been doing a good job in raising mental health awareness on the platforms,” says Claudia Graciela Pusung, Vero’s Senior Digital Account Executive. “These influencers are using their platforms to provide useful information (that is not to use as self-diagnosis) when someone needs guidance, as well as self-improvement tips for young people who are struggling in their daily lives. For many individuals unable to afford mental healthcare, this educational information can significantly improve their lives. For Millennials and Gen Z users on social media this is particularly relevant, as these generations tend to be more self-aware and care more for their wellbeing.”
Like many other content creators on social media, these medical professionals also hop on viral trends and make entertaining content. Using trending sounds to help their content reach a wider audience, doctors create memes to talk about misconceptions and taboos in their fields – some of their most popular content. Even better, some more confident influencers are keen to show off their dance moves on the platforms, helping them to become social-media stars!
Health influencers also use social media channels to discuss emerging topics or news. This content helps them build more credibility as professionals and provides new perspectives to their audiences.
On the downside, some doctors, and nurses go against their ethics and share their patients’ cases on social media. Although their stories are shared anonymously, it is still considered a violation of the patient’s privacy, and they are risking their professional credibility for the sake of content.
How brands can step in
Recognizing the influence social-media savvy medical professionals hold online, many brands, from pharmaceuticals to beauty and other healthcare products, are engaging doctors as part of their campaigns.
To make the most of such collaborations, brands need to identify the right doctors for their products, considering their expertise and shared values between the brand and the doctor themselves.
Indonesian consumers like genuine reviews, and they trust influencers when making a purchase. Brands should have a tactical marketing strategy to make sure that their products reach consumers at the right frequency. They should also be able to share insider knowledge with influencers to help create valuable content that best resonates with the product and conveys the right message to the audience.