Health care companies are increasingly tapping into social media, but there’s room for improvement. HubSpot's 2015 Social Media Benchmarks Report found that health care companies were in the middle of the pack when it comes to using social media for marketing.
Jeremy Meindl of Meindl Consulting says his company started many of its health care clients on an automated social feed comprised of news articles on their site. “This failed terribly,” he says. “We found that simply re-posting information from our clients’ sites barely drove any traffic.”
What worked? Interacting with the audience. “It wasn't until we actually started engaging with our social media audience that we saw the numbers really pick up.”
One of our clients, PreCheck, a health care background check and employment screening company, has gotten great results from social media marketing. The company shares interesting content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to reach its audience and has grown followers exponentially.
It’s no surprise that strong social starts with an effective content production engine. The PreCheck blog is consistent and award-winning. The three-member PreCheck marketing team won eight awards for its content marketing efforts in 2014, including honors for “Best Blog Website” in the Web Marketing Association’s 2014 IAC Award Competition, three 2014 Hermes Creative Awards and a Silver Davey Award for its blog.
Here's how to use social media marketing for B2B health care in an engaging, effective way.
Find the Right Content for Your Audience
Carlos Russo works at Relias Learning, which offers online training and compliance for health care companies. When he joined the company, he started experimenting with different approaches to grow audiences on social media.
Creating content that’s meaningful for the company’s different audiences is key, he says. Relias focuses on four markets: health and human services, senior care, intellectual disabilities and public safety.
He uses different social media channels for different topics, too. The company uses LinkedIn to reach people who want to grow professionally through training. “We’ve seen our best results and returns on LinkedIn,” he says. Facebook, on the other hand, is more of a storytelling venue, and he says it’s provided “mild success.”
Michael Melton, CEO of ChiroHosting.com, uses social media marketing to boost brand awareness and to bring traffic to his site, which offers digital marketing services for chiropractors.
Melton says Facebook works well for his particular niche. “We spend a lot of time making content around what potential clients will enjoy and share.” This may include information about how local search may affect a chiropractic office’s standings, or a video on what chiropractors can do for people.
Consider All Social Channels
Russo has experimented with using social media channels beyond Facebook and LinkedIn. The company uses Instagram more for internal marketing, posting photos that show why the company is a great place to work.
Russo says Pinterest may hold some potential to reach nurses. Infographics that illustrate the company’s training courses, such as how to wash hands properly, how to handle an IV or the steps to follow in an emergency situation, are perfect for sharing on Pinterest. “There are a ton of graphic possibilities for Pinterest.”
Measure Your Efforts
Track the responses you get on social media to make it more effective. “Back in the day, marketing was about gut instinct, but what’s great now is that everything is trackable,” Meindl says. “There should never be guesswork with social media. You can track every element, and if it’s working, scale it.”
The biggest mistake companies make, Russo says, is thinking that one strategy fits all channels. “Post after post that are the same on all channels just contributes to noise. In the B2B world, that approach isn’t going to work.”
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