Important social trends you can’t ignore in 2024

Healthcare Marketing Social Media Trends

Don’t look now, but we are almost halfway into 2024. At the start of the year, we laid out our predictions for some of the trends that were going to dominate 2024. As with all predictions, not all of them will pan out, but some have already taken off! Before we all become too committed to our existing marketing strategies for the year, we thought we’d take a look at some of the trends that are holding true already. This way, if you haven’t explored these trends yet, there is still plenty of time to incorporate them into your social media strategy.

Trend #1: Social platforms as search engines

Gone are the days when Google and Bing were the sole gatekeepers of information. In 2024, social media platforms are emerging as the preferred search engines, especially among younger demographics. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are not just for entertainment or socializing anymore; they’re where users go to find travel recommendations, tutorials, product reviews, and more. 

Healthcare brands can use this to their advantage by optimizing their social media content for search, using relevant hashtags, engaging descriptions, and interactive content to drive traffic and engage with new patients. Consider incorporating user reviews, partnering with influencers, and having experts respond to relevant health questions to ensure that your clinic and providers show up in searches on social platforms.

Trend #2: The shift to direct messaging

Engagement is moving away from public comments and likes to more private interactions. Direct messages (DMs) are becoming a hotbed for engagement using automated messages and personalized interactions. You’ll notice more and more accounts requesting a DM from users to access gated information or special offers. Since you can automate messages, this is a manageable process on the backend and it gives users a sense of uniqueness and privacy, which is especially important for healthcare companies. 

“This has been one of the more interesting trends for social media that we’ve incorporated into our strategies, and to very positive reviews,” noted Billy Boulia, Director of Integrated Media at MDG. “Direct messages are delivering higher engagement and conversion rates, and our clients love that it’s a more personal approach. It makes social media seem more welcoming and puts a face to a brand, building trust with the audience from the start.”

Engaging in a one-on-one setting can reassure patients and potential patients and make them more likely to champion your brand. This also makes it easier for you to reengage those that lose interest as you can send them a direct message referencing your previous conversation or share relevant information. To make this strategy viable on a larger scale, use chatbots for instant replies and personalized messages. Then, make sure you also have someone managing the apps to respond to the conversations that require human intervention.

Trend #3: LinkedIn is not another social media

More and more LinkedIn is deprioritizing personal content in favor of more professional and business-related content. (A not so surprising maneuver after talks of people using the platform as a pseudo dating site.) Dating gossip aside, the move is aimed at reinforcing the platform’s position as a professional network rather than a personal social media space. For individuals and businesses alike, this means adapting content strategies to focus on industry insights, professional achievements, and business developments to gain traction on LinkedIn.

For healthcare companies, that shouldn’t conflict much with what you’re doing on the platform already. While LinkedIn might not be ideal for lead generation, it is perfect for partnerships and recruitment marketing campaigns. Recruitment can be challenging for healthcare companies, so it’s worth investing in building a robust LinkedIn strategy to take advantage of the more professional approach.

Trend #4: LinkedIn goes beyond just jobs

What we mentioned above still stands; LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool for recruitment. However, LinkedIn has also broadened its horizons beyond job listings and networking. As the platform evolves, we are seeing more features and content aimed at professional development, industry-specific discussions, and even B2B commerce. This expansion offers a wealth of opportunities for professionals and companies to showcase their expertise, engage with peers, and drive business outcomes in new and exciting ways.

For healthcare organizations, taking this approach to LinkedIn presents opportunities to share innovations, research findings, and case studies. Ultimately, organizations can establish themselves as thought leaders in their specific healthcare sectors while also facilitating discussions on different topics. With the wide variety of industries and professionals using LinkedIn, it is also a great way to stay informed of the latest healthcare trends and practices.

Trend #5: The unstoppable rise of TikTok

TikTok’s influence is not going away anytime soon. The platform will continue to be a major trendsetter, especially when it comes to new video trends that capture global attention. Brands and creators should keep a close eye on TikTok’s video trends and be ready to jump on ideas that align with their identity and audience. The key to success on TikTok lies in creativity, authenticity, and timely participation in trends.

We’ve talked about how important video can be for healthcare organizations, and with TikTok ruling the airways, it’s a surefire way to engage a younger audience and address relevant health topics. If you don’t have a TikTok profile already, start small and know that it will take a while to build up an audience, but an authentic and innovative presence will help you make an impact much faster. 

While far from an exhaustive list of the trends that are already taking off, it’s a good indication that we’re on the right track for 2024 already. Overall, these social media trends highlight the importance of adaptability, authenticity, and strategic innovation to help healthcare organizations stay top of mind and forge deeper connections with their audiences. Nowadays, audiences value personalization, professionalism, and genuine interactions above all. So, stay ahead of the curve, and try incorporating some of the above trends before we make it halfway through the year!