In this 4-part series, we’re discussing social media best practices for healthcare marketing. Specifically, B2B (Business to Business) companies that provide products and services to providers. There is a common misconception that social media isn’t a place for B2B, but it’s simply not true.

In conversations with prospective clients, we frequently hear, “I’m a B2B business. I can’t use social media… it won’t work for me.” Other times it’s something like, “I see B2B companies using social media, but I have no idea where to start.”

Social media is not about B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). There’s a new concept being used in the marketing industry, and it describes social media for businesses as “H2H” – or Human to Human.

While there are different tactics, depending on whether you’re talking to other businesses or consumers directly, everyone is on social media in some form or fashion. According to a study by Pew Internet, nearly eight-in-ten online Americans (79%) now use Facebook.

This means your prospects are on social media.

Your patients are on social media, the executive you’re trying to get your software in front of, is on social media.

How do I talk to them?

In the healthcare industry, and other B2B areas too, we see businesses wan to jump to the sale too quickly.  There’s too much “Call now” or “Click here for an appointment.” That is when things start to get “icky.”

They key is to create REAL CONTENT. Blog posts, video, and other resources are great examples of real content that you can use to engage your audience on social media without jumping down to the bottom of the funnel and asking for the sale immediately.

Create content across the entire sales funnel: Top, Middle, and Bottom. As you create content, make sure it’s helpful to your audience. Provide insight into the industry. Be informative.

Give value to whoever it is you’re trying to reach before you ask them for anything. That’s what creating real content is all about.

Real People, Real Stories

Healthcare, from what we’ve seen, is very rich with that kind of content. At its core, healthcare is an industry of caring and helping.  In that spirit, determine how your product or service is helping someone. If you’re a healthcare organization, you have nurses and doctors who are dealing with a patient one-on-one. Those stories should be easy to find because they’re walking through your doors every day. If you provide medical devices or software to healthcare practitioners, you are helping those helpers… and there is a story to tell there as well. 

If you’re creating content further down the funnel, we’ve found that data generates good results in healthcare marketing. That’s the time to move from the story to the ‘why’ and ‘how’. Data, charts, and stats are a great way to do just that.

Tell, Don’t Sell

Two words we’ve used a lot so far are “tell” and “help.” The stories and helpful information are allowing you to build trust and credibility – you’re building a relationship.

Help your prospects first! Rather than the sleazy used car salesman, you become a source of information. Helping folks all along the way is what leads to relationships and ultimately the sales and customers you’re looking for. 

In our next post we’re focusing specifically on Using LinkedIn for Healthcare Marketing.

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