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Boosting your OTC, FS and Cosmetics sales in international markets with social media

Feature picture: Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

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A recent study has shown that 40% of OTC & Pharma products buyers are under 40 years old. This age group has high exposure to digital tools and social media, which is significantly impacting their purchasing behavior. This article will give you insights into social media platforms for your digital marketing strategies when entering a new international healthcare market.

1. Why should consumer health & Pharma companies utilize social media platforms when entering a new market?

  • Brand Awareness and Trust Development:

Healthcare consumers nowadays are not waiting for product information to appear on the television, they are actively seeking information online. Besides, they prefer a two-way communication flow, meaning not only receiving information, but also asking questions about the products. The effort to stay connected with consumers and resolve possible complaints immediately showcases the commitment of the OTC, FS, Cosmetics brands in the new market.

  • Competitor and Market Analysis:

In the era of digitalization, social media platforms are great sources of information for over-the-counter & food supplement companies to observe their competitors’ moves and strategies. Furthermore, analyzing conversations, comments, and trends on social media can provide in-depth insights into consumer preferences and patient journey in the new country.

  • Pharma influencers:

Consumers tend to seek opinions and experiences from the healthcare professionals (HCPs) about the medical products they are about to purchase, especially non-prescribed medicines, food supplements and cosmetics products. Having several local trusted key opinion leaders (KOLs) speak for your healthcare brand on the most accessible platforms also helps promote your consumer health and FS products.

2. Most used social media platforms in healthcare industry

  • Facebook:

Facebook is widely used among HCPs as well as consumers and patients all over the world. It has been proven to be the most effective platform for Community Building and Promoting in many countries, especially in the Asia region. The OTC & pharma companies can create their own Facebook Groups as a hub to support their patients. It includes sharing information, answering queries, exchanging personal experience and advice with the existing customers. Via this channel, the companies can easily promote their products and run their marketing campaigns to reach the real target audiences.


Youtube is reported to be the second biggest search engine in the world. And for the healthcare industry, it is not an exception. The platform is the best place for pharma & OTC firms to provide their patients with educational content, including video tutorials, testimonials, and patient stories. OTC, MD, and Pharma companies can also partner with KOLs to share their opinion and experience about the products. The advertisement can be placed at the beginning, during, or after the videos.

 Instagram and Tiktok:

These two younger platforms should be the focus of digital marketing strategy in the next years. The number of young users of these apps is steadily increasing every day, and this user generation will be the main target consumers of the future in the healthcare industry. Establishing your brand presence on these platforms today will enhance credibility and brand loyalty in the years ahead.

The most commonly used features of these 2 platforms include running ads in “Stories” (disappearing after 24 hours) and sharing short videos with direct links to the healthcare product sales platforms (product pages, online pharmacies, Amazon shops, etc.).


Boosting your OTC, FS and Cosmetics sales in international markets with social media

Figure 1. Social Media’s Impact in OTC & Pharma Market Entry

Tips and tricks when developing social media strategies:

Each country has its distinct regulatory requirements, cultural norms, and consumer behaviors. Therefore, it’s essential for companies to tailor their social media strategies to the specific target market and to ensure compliance with local regulations related to advertising and product claims. Additionally, continuous monitoring and adaptation of social media campaigns are necessary to optimize results in the new market/country.

  • Step 1: Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable goals for your social media campaign. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive sales, educate consumers, or build trust?
  • Step 2: Define your potential consumer profile: demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points that your healthcare products can address.
  • Step 3: Understand the new market’s characteristics and select the right platforms to focus on. Bearing in mind each country has specific reference of social platforms.
  • Step 4: Develop fitting contents and audience engagement strategies for the OTC, MD, or Cosmetic products.
  • Step 5: Make use of the platforms: product listing, in-app purchasing, partnerships with local online pharmacies and marketplaces. It is also important to utilize the data and feedback from those platforms to best adapt your strategies in the new market.

Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group, with strong expertise in international strategy with Social Media platforms throughout 300+ projects, would be honored to assist you in developing your own strategies beyond your home country. Contact us today with your individual questions regarding your interesting markets. We are happy to support!

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