Social media is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, modes of communication today. In 2019, it is estimated that roughly 2.77 billion people worldwide have active accounts across several social media platforms. This means that clinical trials need to have a presence in the social media spaces in order to have a competitive chance with patient recruitment. Let’s take a look at the different components that go into planning out a solid social media strategy for clinical trial patient recruitment:


There would be no clinical trials without the patients. They are the wheels that keep a trial moving. Unfortunately, patient recruitment can often be the most difficult part of the clinical trial process. When it comes down to it, successful patient recruitment heavily relies on strong marketing and outreach. Furthermore, the bedrock of good marketing is knowing the audience you want to reach.

What is the demographic of the audience?

Defining the demographic details of your target audience establishes eligibility requirements and helps make it easier to find participants. Data points to consider include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Household income
  • Marital status

To avoid redundancy, you can develop a general “site persona” that defines the common demographics, pain points and information about your site’s ideal patient population. This persona can then be tailored to each individual study by including additions and deviations from the initial site persona.

Where does the audience spend time online?

If you want to reach someone, you need to know where to find them. Demographic information comes into play here because it helps give insight into where your audience is most like to spend their time online and get their information – and where you need to meet them.

Methods of promotion might include:

  • Social Media (ads and/or posts)
  • Newspapers/Magazines (ads and/or sponsored articles)
  • Medical Clinics/Hospitals
  • Clinical Research Websites (Clinicaltrials.gov, etc.)
  • Google search ads



A great way to pique more interest in your clinical trial is to provide plenty of information about the condition you are studying. Give a little background of the condition, list the possible symptoms, and then a brief bit about the trial itself. This will be done on the website and on social media posts. If you want to take it to the next level, write a blog post centered around the particular condition and finish it by directing people to your study.


Why is it important that this study is happening now? Clinical studies that feel current or cutting edge will have more success in attracting potential participants. Find a way to tie a current aspect of life into your call for participants. It can be a connection such as a holiday, change of season, or recent news story. People who may be interested in the study will see how it directly relates to their lives and will be more likely to step forward.

Social media strategy doesn’t stop at planning. Don’t forget two of the most important steps: tracking and analyzing. Without proper tracking and analyzing, you essentially have no strategy or objective for your campaign. Careful tracking and analysis will show you what content is working, what is not, the channels in which you could improve, and those in which you are thriving. Take this information to heart and use it to make better-educated decisions with your patient-focused social media strategy.

Need help with your patient recruitment? Contact us today.