Whether your goal is to rid the world of infectious disease, end world hunger, cut greenhouse gas emissions, or just make life a little easier by using biotechnology, social media can help you get there!
Sound far-fetched? With roughly 2 billion Facebook users and hundreds of millions of Twitter users, you can amplify your mission and message, attract customers and investors, showcase your products and bring attention to your latest breakthroughs!
Biotechnology is a rapidly growing industry, and with so many new companies emerging, and competition from the biotech giants, it’s important to gain the interest of customers, investors and media alike. When done correctly, social media can act as an effective piece in your overall marketing plan. Follow these tips when utilizing social media marketing for biotechnology companies:
Find Your Audience
Don’t wait for your audience to come to you. You have to reach out to them first. Facebook recently announced changes to their newsfeed algorithm, which includes deprioritizing posts from businesses and showing more content that people are engaging with. This means organic traffic is less likely to find you. To ensure your content gets seen, invest in Facebook advertising and in boosting your posts. By spending a little on getting your posts seen, you’ll get more out of your online efforts.
You may be a little biotechnology fish in a big, big ocean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out directly to the people who matter most—and you certainly don’t need to cast a huge net to reach the right people. With Facebook’s targeted advertising, you can narrow down your viewers to exactly the people you want to target. You can target people by their age, gender, income, interests, and even job titles. Facebook’s advertising capabilities make it one of the most targeted forms of advertising—and therefore can save you many marketing dollars.
Encourage users to return to your page by putting out new content, and sharing relevant content from other outlets that your audience may be interested in. By positioning yourself as a resource for new information, technologies, and solutions, your customers will keep returning.
Tell the story
Now that you’ve built an audience, tell them your story.
The technologies you’re working with are likely complex concepts not always easily understood. When marketing to the general public on social media channels, it’s important to tell your story in a way that anyone can understand. Use analogies, break down concepts, and tell stories that have human elements. Even better—put a face or personality to your brand online.
What problem is your company try to solve with its products? What is your company’s mission? Use the answers to these questions to tell your company’s story.
Pick the Right Goals
Like all marketing, good social media marketing starts with setting good goals. That fact may seem straightforward, but it’s often overlooked, because the goals of social media marketing are often taken for granted. The thought goes: if you get more followers, that’s good – and that’s about all there is to it.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Yes, more followers are good. But, in all likelihood, that’s not the primary goal you should be shooting for when you’re social media marketing as a biotechnology company.
Increasing followers may be one of your goals, but, you’re more likely trying to educate customers about your products, drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, and sell products. Metrics like followers, likes, and retweets are certainly worth shooting for, but your overall purpose should be bigger. Social engagement metrics will nearly always play a contributive role in your success – but they should rarely be the primary goal.
Pick a primary goal. That will shape the content you produce, and give you more clarity as to which metrics matter.
Create Engaging, Multimedia Content
In Facebook’s new algorithm changes, they mentioned that posts will appear higher in newsfeeds if users interact with them. Create engaging content, but don’t directly ask for a “like” or “follow”. Users are often suspicious when you do. Instead, start a conversation and wait for the engagement to follow.
As video becomes increasingly popular online, live video is becoming even more popular. Don’t be afraid to draft up a few talking points, log in and go live to generate some user interaction. You’ll be able to interact with your users in real-time and answer their questions. And, the best part? Users can log in later to watch any live video they missed. It will be added to your library of content for users to watch at any time.
Keep in mind that your content should contribute to your social media marketing goal – so if it’s conversions you seek, include a call-to-action.
Follow a Consistent Cadence
Consistency in social media is vitally important, not only within each social channel but in all of your marketing efforts. Posting regularly establishes credibility and makes your business seem engaged. Posting once a month will leave customers wondering if you’re still in business. Consistency will build your brand and avoid your customers feeling any sort of dissonance about you. Keep in mind, this does not happen overnight. Building any brand takes time, but in the end it will pay off.
A Platform for P.R.
Gone are the days of sending a press release to a few reporters and hoping for the best. Social media has allowed businesses to take out the P.R. middleman. While it’s still important to share news with media outlets, we can also share news directly to our relevant audiences. Facebook and Twitter are perfect places to post your latest news, and allows you to share it with anyone you want – including your customer base, competition and media partners.
Keep Your Audience Up-to-Date
Facebook is the perfect place to keep your audience up-to-date on events and appearances, new products, and speaking engagements. As you travel to shows and conferences, be sure to keep a rolling list of events on your page. This will let your audience know when they can come see products in person and learn more about your company. This is also a good opportunity to develop relationships with online audiences.
Even if your audience will never come to see you at a show or event, it will also build legitimacy and position your company as an industry expert.
Keeping your audience informed on your social media channels is also a good way to cut down on how many email marketing messages you send. While email is another effective form of marketing, over-sending can lead to unsubscribes. Rather than 2 emails a day, try an email and then a follow-up social media post related to the email. People who have seen one may not have seen the other, so you’ll either be reaching twice the number of people, or the same people twice. Win/win.
Use your social media marketing as a chance to link to your other channels, such as your website and email marketing sign up forms. One major goal of social media marketing is to drive traffic to your website. Make it easy for your visitors to find links back to your website, and give them a good reason to go. Try maintaining a blog on your website about industry trends or new products, and link users to new blog posts regularly.
Post about exclusive content available to email subscribers such as case studies or videos to convince your social media audience to sign up for your emails.
Start a Conversation
Twitter is a great place to start conversations online and build a community, with the use of retweets and hashtags. By using the audience you already have and getting them involved in the conversation, you’re amplifying your messages to their audiences, too.
While the use of hashtags aren’t as prevalent on Facebook as on Twitter, this platform can still be another great place to start a community online. By posting engaging, relevant content often, you’re creating opportunities for those conversations to begin and the relationships to form.
Analyze the Results
One of the major advantages to social media marketing, as opposed to other types of marketing, is the ability to get instant feedback based on what you post. Although it is possible to receive data regarding a lot of other types of marketing, social media marketing for biotechnology companies is a lot more direct: your post either gets 15 likes or 5, you gain or lose 100 followers, etc. It’s not quite as easy to track these statistics with things like television or radio ads, because not everyone will tell you how they heard about your company to provide accurate feedback about your other sources of advertisement. Try to keep in mind what kinds of posts garner the most likes, which types of offers increase your follower count the most in a given week, etc. And always, always, optimize based on what’s working, and what’s not.
Use Social Media to Grow Your Biotechnology Business
These social media marketing tips are just the start. There’s more to using social media for biotechnology businesses, of course, but these concepts will be a good place to start.
You can put social media to use – and you’ll be on the path toward growth if you do.
Want help creating and managing a great social media plan? Or, do you want a free review of your current social strategy with recommendations on what you could do to improve?
Get in touch with us. At New North, we’re passionate about helping executive coaches grow with good marketing, and our years of expertise as a social media marketing company in Frederick, Maryland mean that we know what it takes to design a plan that works.
Jacob is a digital marketer who takes joy in translating complexity into clarity. He has a passion for helping tech and finance companies connect with their customers. He also has a small cat.