Ever since its inception, social media has played a central role in commerce. In fact, it is one of the three pillars of digital marketing in the online age. However, up until recently, many B2Bs like healthcare companies felt they didn’t need to invest as heavily in such consumer-facing marketing strategies that were the lynchpin of B2C companies. And they were mostly right. But times are changing.
As the customer journey becomes more digitally integrated over more channels, the once stark lines between B2C and B2B marketing have become blurred. Nowadays everyone begins the customer journey with online searches, whether it’s a farm-equipment-company owner looking for machine parts or simply a guy looking for a good pizzeria in his neighborhood.
Even the healthcare industry isn’t immune to this new reality. That’s why we’ve put together this list of three fool-proof strategies healthcare B2Bs can use to up their social media marketing game in 2019 and reach an even more targeted customer base.
Use Twitter for collaboration as well as promotion
Promotion solely for promotion’s sake is an advertising tactic that doesn’t resonate with today’s audiences. Whether it’s B2C or B2B industries, the new generation of customers value authenticity above all else. Nearly as important, however, today’s audiences want to see the humanity behind the brand. Enter social media, particularly Twitter.
Twitter is the perfect platform for healthcare B2Bs to not only raise brand awareness quickly but to showcase social initiatives and partnerships with charities. Biotherapeutics company Genetech, for example, used Twitter to announce an educational pop-up in collaboration with the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Foundation. There’s also biopharmaceuticals company Abbvie, which used Twitter to raise awareness of disease in South America.
You could also use Twitter to promote community outreach. This is a strategy that healthcare software company AthenaHealth implemented perfectly. Rather than allow themselves to be lumped in with the many faceless healthcare biotech firms out there, they separated themselves from the competition by tweeting about the volunteer work their employees do in the local community.
Again, it is social initiatives like these, and the promotion of them on Twitter, that does 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, however, especially for B2Bs, is LinkedIn. As a healthcare company, you need to not only have a slick LinkedIn profile page but you need to launch a proper marketing campaign on this platform as well.
It’s not as difficult as you may think either, and below you’ll find some of the basic steps to creating a B2B healthcare campaign.
- 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.
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. Take live-streaming for example. Video is fastly becoming the dominant medium in which to consume online content, and videos are consumers favorite type of content to see on social media.
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.
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.