To tweet or not to tweet? Here are a few reasons why you may consider using Twitter as part of your healthcare marketing social media strategy.
If you aren’t using Twitter as part of your healthcare marketing social media strategy, you may want to reconsider. Twitter averaged 317 million active users during the last quarter of 2016 — and considering that 88 percent of physicians use social media to research pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices, Twitter represents a great opportunity to connect.
Establishing relationships and sharing information with healthcare professionals is already a challenge due to their limited free time and the competitive environment they operate in. Using Twitter effectively, however, allows you to grab their attention, make connections, and educate them in a fairly relaxed setting.
To tweet or not to tweet? Here are four reasons to consider using Twitter as part of your healthcare marketing strategy.
1. Reputation management
Monitor what users are saying about your organization, pharma products, medical devices, and hospital services on Twitter, and respond when appropriate. If users are sharing misinformation, you can politely correct them in real-time to protect your brand. Reacting to people on social media shows that you are an organization that cares about your reputation and is tuned into what consumers are saying. An effective strategy, for example, would be to correct a statement about a false merger on social media — which happens often in the pharma industry and can affect stock prices — in addition to issuing a press release.
2. Become the expert
Using Twitter can show HCPs that you are a credible source of information and a thought leader in the industry. By posting valuable content, you can expand awareness of your brand and create an extensive list of followers who are interested in what you have to say. Share high-quality articles from reputable sources, retweet experts in your field, and share original content by linking to your own blog posts, white papers, and medical journal articles. Readers will trust you and share your content, which will further expand your reach. You will also be top of mind to HCPs when others inquire about an issue that your product or service can contribute to.
3. Expand your reach without advertising
The main purpose of engaging on Twitter is to create a community of followers. Consumers are skeptical and tend to believe advice from friends and colleagues over advertisements. A Nielsen report, for example, found that 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends over advertising. Expand your audience by posting frequently and engaging with your followers. The beauty of social media is that your tweets can then be re-shared with other potential followers.
4. Better targeting
When Twitter users follow you, they are opting in to receiving your content because they are interested in what you have to say. This group can be made up of physicians, colleagues, experts, patients, and industry leaders. Understanding your audience will allow you to be specific in your message and speak in the appropriate medical terminology. In doing so, may also be able to engage influential HCPs you wouldn't have had the opportunity to otherwise. The key is to tweet insightful resources, comments, and questions to create an engaging conversation.
Does your company have a Twitter account? If not, register with your business's name and fill out your profile with an informative bio and image. As consumers continue to seek relevant, real-time information in a quick and digestible format, Twitter will continue to grow — and you'll want to be a part of that community.