B2B healthcare companies are increasingly using Twitter for a very public social media footprint that on its surface doesn't mesh with the industry's previously secretive communications strategy. But not only is there now an expectation that all companies use social media, but those that do it well are also netting surprisingly positive results. Here are some examples of innovative content.
The B2B healthcare industry is going through a transformation in the way healthcare providers, insurers, and life science companies carry on their online communications.
Social media has brought a direct way for companies to communicate with their clients, potential partners, and their community, using social channels to strengthen relationships. Here are three ways healthcare companies use Twitter, the best practices they follow, and new ways they are finding to engage with their community.
1. Educating About Social Initiatives
Healthcare companies work with a fundamental aspect of human’s lives: their longevity, their quality of life, and most importantly, their hope. The ethical implications of selling life-saving drugs make healthcare companies, even b2b healthcare companies, prefer a human-focused communication style. That’s why all these companies sponsor social initiatives related to the diseases for which they develop drugs.
Genentech, a company that uses human genetic information to develop biotherapeutics, announces its collaborative pop-up store with the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Foundation and Third Bra. By partnering with these companies Genentech is reaffirming their dedication to the fight against breast cancer.
On the other hand, Abbvie (a biopharmaceuticals company) broadcasts their concern about Chagas, a tropical disease from South America.
Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, tweets about COMPASS, a social initiative to support organizations working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States.
2. Fostering Culture and Talent
When people think about high tech, they think Google, Facebook, and Amazon. But healthcare and biotech companies represent a large piece of the industry. To understand their market share, in 2016 the biotech industry in its entirety received over $7 billion in venture capital funding, that’s 10% of the total $69 billion invested in the United States for the same period.
Healthcare companies have to compete in a crowded space where talent is scarce. For that reason, they use Twitter to deliver content that supports their corporate culture, such as team building activities that support their community.
AthenaHealth, a healthcare software company, shares the volunteer work their employees do in Watertown, MA.
Greenway Health, a privately owned vendor of health information technology, did something similar when their employees volunteered at the American Cancer Society.
In a similar vein, DrChrono, a medical platform for physicians and patients, retweet their VP of Sales and Customer Success, who’s proud of working for over 4 years for their company, something that shows how well the company cares about their employees.
3. Distributing Content for Lead Generation
All B2B companies need to generate a large number of leads to expand their sales pipeline and hit their quarterly goals. Since B2B healthcare companies have product offerings that are very complex and costly, they need to plan their sales lifecycle so as to continuously generate more business opportunities.
That’s why they rely on content marketing to generate leads. From blog posts to whitepapers to podcasts to webinars, B2B healthcare companies use content to grow.
Kareo, a cloud-based software company for independent medical practices, hosts Twitter chats to connect with their audience in real-time.
McKesson uses Twitter to broadcast their latest blog post.
Cerner, a supplier of health information technology solutions, highlights the value of their podcast.
Finally, Cardinal Health, a pharmaceuticals and medical products distribution company, shares their webinars, which in this case, is focused on attracting laboratorians—their core target audience.
Twitter continues to be a key channel for B2B healthcare. While these organizations vary in their offers and audience, they all have one thing in common: they use Twitter to connect and generate awareness about diseases, attract talent, and create business opportunities. In essence, the B2B health industry doesn’t use social media very differently than the b2c industry. They do follow the best practice strategy of considering their audience and crafting content that their followers are receptive to and engage with.
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