Updated: January, 4, 2023
Ever since its inception, social media has played a central role in commerce. And social media marketing in healthcare is no exception. However, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and providers felt they didn’t need to invest in healthcare social media marketing strategies that were the lynchpin of consumer-facing companies. And they were mostly right. But times have changed. Nowadays everyone begins the customer journey with online searches, even in the healthcare industry.
Today’s customer journey is more digitally integrated over more channels. Whether it’s an insurance company executive looking for specific technology solutions that integrate the patient and provider experience, a health system administrator searching for a better deal on PPE for their facility or a nurse seeking a pizzeria that will deliver staff lunch to the clinic, their roads all start and converge in the digital world, on search and on social media.
That’s why we’ve put together this mini guide on social media strategy for healthcare, including three fool-proof healthcare social media marketing tactics that organizations can use to up their social media marketing game this year and reach an even more targeted customer base.
Best practices for social media in healthcare
Healthcare marketing on social media involves the same research-based omnichannel approach as any other robust marketing strategy. You must know your target audience, what they do, what they care about, their pain points, their concerns and where they prefer to find information. Otherwise, it won’t matter how often you post content on social media. Your prospects won’t see it.
Before marketers dive into social post ideas for healthcare industry buyers, it’s necessary to perform in-depth research to collect valuable data. Speak with your internal stakeholders – your leadership team, marketing team, product development team, etc. Reach out to current customers, prospects, buyers and distributors.
Armed with your knowledge, create buyer personas that help you develop social media messaging for each audience segment. Social media for healthcare brands isn’t one prospection for every customer profile. For example, social media for medical manufactures won’t use the same types of messaging as social media for hospitals or healthcare providers or patients. And a social media campaign that markets a new medical device won’t use the same messaging to market that same product to patients as it employs to target doctors, surgeons and other providers.
Use Twitter for collaboration as well as promotion when you think about healthcare social media campaigns
Promotion solely for promotion’s sake is a marketing tactic that doesn’t resonate with today’s audiences in healthcare. Whether it’s hospitals, medical equipment manufacturers, providers or patients, 91% of people say social media has the power to connect people. Nearly as important, however, today’s audiences want to see the humanity behind the brand. Enter social media, particularly Twitter.
Twitter has been in the news a lot recently due to upheaval around restructuring and new feature launches that didn’t work as planned and are now on hold, including confusion over a fake pharmaceutical account’s tweets. Yet, in spite of the controversy, pharmaceutical firms, medical device manufacturers, hospitals, doctors, healthcare professionals and patients aren’t abandoning the social platform.
Therefore, Twitter is still the perfect platform for healthcare marketers to not only raise brand awareness quickly but to promote healthcare advocacy initiatives.
This is a strategy that leading healthcare innovator, Novartis, implemented perfectly. Rather than allow themselves to be lumped in with the many faceless biotech firms out there, they separated themselves from the competition by tweeting to about their A14HealthyCities program helping cities tackle heart health inequities.
You could also use Twitter to showcase social initiatives and partnerships with charities. Leading biotherapeutics company, Genentech, for example, leveraged the social platform to shine a light on their Futurelab+ high school curriculum program. And, healthcare industry giant, McKesson, used Twitter to highlight McKesson Foundation grant awards to four different food charities.
There’s also the biopharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen, which used Twitter to raise understanding of the importance of culturally competent care.
Again, it is social initiatives like these – and their promotion on Twitter – that do wonders to humanize brands.
Launch a stellar LinkedIn campaign
Despite Facebook being on the ropes as it sees its popularity diminish, it’s still a useful tool for marketing (that ad engine of theirs is still going strong). Even better – especially for marketing to enterprise-level healthcare prospects – is LinkedIn. As a healthcare company, you need to have a slick LinkedIn profile page and to launch a proper marketing campaign on this platform as well.
It’s not as difficult as you may think either. Below you’ll find some of the basic steps to creating a B2B healthcare campaign and how to use LinkedIn’s platform for healthcare social media management for all your advertising on the popular business channel.
- Set marketing goals and determine whether you want to use LinkedIn ads to direct prospects to a specific landing page, increase your website traffic, or simply generate leads.
- Open LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager and design your ad. You can choose from a few types of ads including simple text advertisements, sponsored InMail messages sent directly to prospects, and sponsored content that places ads within LinkedIn feeds.
- Link your campaign to your company page.
- Target your ideal audience.
- Set your budget and launch dates for your campaign.
These steps are straightforward in the Campaign Manager. What takes a bit more ingenuity and artistry, however, are the more advanced LinkedIn ad strategies. B2B healthcare companies can build on the basics by:
- Creating a showcase page to promote additional content
- Using the Advanced People Search option to further filter your target audience and narrow down your search
- Using the “save search” feature to keep track of your prospecting
- Searching for prospects by groups as well as individuals (to whit, there are over two million groups on LinkedIn currently), plus starting your own groups to engage with your target audience
- Publishing great content (blog posts, vlogs, webinars, etc.) that your B2B healthcare audience craves
Once you have this comprehensive LinkedIn strategy in place, expect your audience engagement to skyrocket.
Post videos on social media
It’s not enough to maintain a LinkedIn page and tweet every once in a while. You need to utilize all features of social media to raise brand awareness. Video is quickly becoming the dominant medium in which to consume online content, and videos are consumers’ favorite type of content to see on social media. Take livestreaming for example.
Sure, you can livestream keynote addresses, industry events, trade shows, and any other visible event in which your B2B company takes part. It is certainly a good tactic. But you should also get creative with your live-streaming ideas. There are always exciting developments and new trends and technologies in the healthcare space, so what better way to get this news out than on a livestream feed over a popular social-media platform?
That’s just what Medical Realities did. This company created a virtual reality platform to help explain new healthcare technologies and offer surgical training to medical professionals. And with a cool new piece of tech like that, there’s no better way to get the word out than by showing it in action on a livestream. Medical Realities did exactly that, which resulted in their livestream being watched by more than 200,000 people.
Partner with a B2B marketing agency that specializes in social media marketing strategy for healthcare companies
What’s clear is that for any B2B operation to thrive in this moment in time requires a strong social media marketing strategy. Healthcare companies are uniquely positioned to leverage social platforms by not just promoting their products, but the positive effects those products are having on people and how they are helping to create a better world. Because in the end, it’s the world that today’s audiences care about most.
If you need help developing a healthcare social media marketing strategy, work with an established healthcare marketing agency. With over 20 years of healthcare industry marketing experience, Elevation uses data to gain a full view of your customer and enhance the customer experience. We can help you develop digital and content tactics that increase social media engagement, drive demand and improve lead generation. Our approach can help you increase brand awareness and market share. Contact us to learn more about how our healthcare marketing services can benefit your company.