Healthcare B2B companies have been late to the social media party. Traditional tactics like networking events, trade shows, and everyone's favorite, cold calling, remain but they're missing a lot of potential customers. And in this day and age, the expectation is that businesses will at least have some kind of social media presence. Why not embrace it, integrate it into your overall healthcare marketing strategy, and wave to the competition in your rear-view mirror.

The trick is to determine the type of content that your audience will appreciate, and not just be a stream of advertisements and blatant pleas for business.

If your primary customers are doctors, think about them as people who have a variety of interests other than seeing patients in their offices. In addition to posting about industry news, you can post about things that doctors (also known as people!) enjoy. Craft beer and sports and books and managing office staff and finance and… you get the idea. Make social media about your audience, not just your business. And do it in a voice that's unique to you.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get off to a good start:

Put your strategy in writing. It doesn't have to be complicated, just jot down:

  • Your target audience
  • Which platforms you'll use
  • Goals and metrics
  • What success looks like

Determine your goals and metrics. What is it you want to do? Develop your brand voice? Increase reach? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads? Watching the metrics will help you know what types of content is working and what isn't.

Show your personality. Be conversational, avoid technical jargon, and sound like a "real" person. No one (ok, almost no one) will engage posts that sound like the manual for a toaster oven. Don't be afraid to inject a little humor. People created social media for people, not businesses, so sounding like a real live human being is a must. A good test to see if you're sharing great social media content is to ask yourself: If I didn't work for this company, would I look at this post? If the answer is ZZZzzz, you may want to punch it up a bit.

Don't go for the hard sell. Some B2B companies think social media is the place to list all technical specs of their latest device. Yawn. As an alternative, pick one aspect in a post and talk about what it can do for the user or how it would impact their life. Avoid making posts that sound like a schlocky furniture company ad. People scroll through their social media feeds are looking for entertainment, so tell stories and spark conversations.

Put the right person in charge. Social media is a very public face for your company, so don't relegate it to the duties of an intern or Carol from accounting (unless Carol is a social media guru, of course.) If you don't have the current personnel bandwidth, tap a social media agency to help.

Post in groups. Contribute to conversations in relevant groups to your business on platforms like LinkedIn. But avoid coming off like a slick used-car salesperson.

Sharing is caring. Ask employees and constituents to participate and leverage your reach by sharing company posts on their social media.

Add social media buttons to email addresses and your web site to encourage people to follow you.

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