TikTok for Beginners in the Pharma Industry

23.03.2023 | Pharma 101

TikTok for Beginners in the Pharma Industry

Are you part of the pharmaceutical industry and would like to use TikTok socially as well as to engage with HCPs online? One of the reasons Tik Tok is so popular is that it really is very simple and visually engaging. If you’re an absolute beginner here’s a quick guide to get you started. 

People use TikTok for all sorts of reasons: privately, commercially, to serve others, to learn, to meet new people, or communicate with people they already know. If you’re already on TikTok, this guide is not for you – but you might want to read one of our other articles about how you can learn from the conversations of eHCPs (online healthcare professionals) to execute successful pharma strategies. This is a guide for those who are brand new to the platform – with six steps to get you started.

Six steps for Pharmaceutical companies to get started on TikTok

1. Start on tiktok.com

It’s free and easy to set up your TikTok account. At the bottom of the pop-up that opens when you click the link is a sign that says, ‘Don’t have an account? Sign up.’ You can either Sign up with your phone number/email or you have the option to use your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account. Nevertheless, whichever option you choose, by choosing to move to the next stage you are also choosing to agree to the terms and conditions of the platform so make sure you have a look at the guidelines before clicking next. 

The next step is to enter your date of birth. Don’t worry this piece of information will not be shared publicly on your profile. Then, based on the contact information you have entered, a confirmation code will be sent to you in order to confirm your account. You can then choose your password and lastly authenticate yourself as a human based on the question asked by the platform. 

2. Setting up your profile. 

Congratulations, you have successfully created a TikTok account at this point. Before connecting with your friends or exploring your feed you might want to set up your profile so that you can decide how your profile looks to others on TikTok. Click on ‘Edit your profile’, shown at the top half of the page. Here you can edit and add a few details to your profile that could make a difference. 

Here are some quick and easy things to do with your profile:

  • Add a profile picture or a profile video of yourself. This can add some personality to your profile
  • Add some details about yourself. In the section ‘About you’, enter in your name or even a nickname you would like people to know. TikTok would have automatically chosen a username for you however, in this section you also have the opportunity to change it at any time.
  • Let people know a little bit more about yourself through your Bio. You can write about any interests you may have or even where you’re from. It can be anything about yourself you would like to share with those who engage with your profile. There is also a tab to enter the details of an NGO you would like to show your support or association with. 
  • Share the link to your Instagram or Youtube page so that your followers can connect with you across multiple platforms. 

* Please note that all TikTok accounts are set as public accounts by default. However, if you would like to change this setting you can go to Settings and Privacy to change to a private account or vice versa. 

3. Connect with friends

There are many ways of finding and connecting with people on TikTok, but here’s the simplest:

You can type the name of the person you want to find in the search bar at the top right corner of your homepage, click enter and then select any of the results that come back (to check they really are who you think they are). Found a friend? Just click the ‘Follow’ button.

On your profile page, you also have a tab called ‘Add Friends’ which allows you to connect with Facebook friends or mobile contacts who also have profiles on TikTok. There is also a list of ‘Suggested friends’ which you can go through to see if you can find any of your friends you would like to connect with.

Of course, you can make new ‘friends’ on Tik Tok too! Try following people who post about things you are interested in. There are different timelines within TikTok that showcase content from different sets of audiences whose content might be of interest to you.

4. Timeline

There are eight timelines on TikTok that you should know about to help you on your TikTok journey. 

  • Friends: Posts on this timeline consist of posts from followers you follow back, accounts you follow, and other suggested accounts that may appear in ‘Friends’.

On your Homepage, there are also other timelines:

  • For You: This timeline consists of public posts of people whose content TikTok feels you might enjoy based on your engagement with other posts. 
  • Following: Consists of posts of people you follow 
  • Live: It consists of only accounts streaming Live on TikTok at the time of watching, irrespective of whether you follow them or not
  • Gaming 
  • Fashion
  • Sports
  • Food

5. Create

Contrary to other popular social media platforms, the only content on TikTok is short videos – often a collection of short videos/images edited together. At the centre of your screen at the bottom of the page is a plus sign (+) which is where you can create your posts. After selecting the videos/images you would like to post, Tik Tok initially automatically edits the video for you, with the inclusion of background music as well. However, you have the option to change the edits based on your own preferences. 

Moving on to the next stage, after choosing your caption and set of hashtags, you also have the option to either post it immediately or save it as a draft to post at a later date. 


TikTok Language

As with every social media platform, TikTok has its own language related to how you engage with content on the platform. Below are a few commonly used words on TikTok that can help you on your journey:

Like: It is the heart sign on the side of each post 

Comment: Found on the side of each post, you can share a public comment on the person’s post

Save: In the shape of a bookmark icon found on the side of each post. This feature allows you to save a post in your personal collection to view later or to keep as a reference

6. Search 

Searching on TikTok is easy and expansive at the same time. The search button is at the top right corner of the page. This section consists of ways other people can find your posts and vice versa. 

By entering in a phrase, eg: medicaltiktok, TikTok gathers content for you based on a number of factors:

  • Potential users with a name associated with the phrase
  • Content with captions that consist of the phrase
  • Content with hashtags that consist of the phrase 
  • Other search words/sentences people have searched for that are similar to what you have searched for

Here are some commonly used search words/hashtags used by HCPs on TikTok









Where Next?

As this is a beginner’s guide to TikTok, this article is focused on the features you would need to start your experience on the platform. However, there is still lots to explore and create. 

Once you are all set up you might want to explore some articles related to digital engagement in healthcare and government and how others are using social media platforms, including TikTok, in the pharmaceutical industry. Also, feel free to sign up for our free eJournal for communicators and leaders in healthcare and you’ll be kept up to date on digital engagement in healthcare.


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Meet the Author

Natalie Verghese

Natalie uses her passion for social media, content and all things creative to educate pharmaceutical companies on what HCPs think and CREATION.co’s services.

As a huge dog lover, Natalie enjoys spending time playing and walking her dog, Lucas. She also runs a food blog called Natknowsgoodfood, where she enjoys trying out different cuisines from around the world.