Being in the healthcare marketing industry, you quickly learn that the audience of healthcare providers isn’t as tuned in to social media as the average consumer. With this observation, I believe it makes a healthcare marketing agency’s role that much more challenging when trying to strategically use social media tools for your clients when their target audience may not be as interested in social networking.

In addition, there are obvious challenges for clients in fulfilling FDA regulatory requirements. A Vine campaign could be a home run for brands like Nike or Sony, but would probably fail miserably for marketing Boehringer Ingelheim’s line of prescription medicines. This, however, does not mean social media should be ignored within the healthcare marketing space. It only means the tools and platforms you use should be tailored for your specific target audience and closely monitored with FDA regulations in mind.

A great way to utilize social media in the B2B healthcare space is through your existing tradeshow presence. Integrating the two marketing tactics not only enhances your social media campaign, but your tradeshow presence as well. Using social media to share pictures, updates and information from the exhibit floor extends your tradeshow efforts to the virtual audience and helps make the big budget spend count. Additionally, by setting up a social feed or driving Likes/Follows through your booth helps you further connect with any sales leads from the show and showcase your innovative thinking.

Having the opportunity to attend numerous healthcare tradeshows a year, I am able to see firsthand the techniques that healthcare brands use to stand out and draw a crowd. Below you’ll find some tips that will specifically help enhance your use of social media within this space:

  • Take advantage of the show-specific hashtag

Within Twitter and various other platforms, so much information is published every minute that your message could get lost very easily. The key here is utilizing hashtags  – you’ve probably seen them; words or short phrases proceeded with “#”. Tradeshow-specific hashtags are created to allow attendees and exhibitors to communicate and share information related to the event. By linking your message to a designated hashtag, your information will now be compiled with like information that tradeshow attendees and exhibitors might be interested in. For example, the upcoming American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting has created the hashtag #ACOG14 to get the conversation started across social media platforms. Overall, if you are exhibiting at this particular show, you will now be reaching your target audience directly and getting more eyes on your content by including the #ACOG14 hashtag in every post.

  • Use signage to make your social presence known

Social media does serve as an information source today. Not everyone is going directly to websites for their information anymore, so a good way to keep your brand up front is to make your social presence known. People like to know every medium that they can utilize to learn about your company and products. Providing them with the correct platforms where they can access this information makes the search less of an issue and the information more easily available.

  • Share your presentations

People love to feel like they were at an event, even when they weren’t. Making your tradeshow presentations available to the public after the event via YouTube or other slide sharing platforms will increase the range of your message to a larger audience. In turn, it also allows the people that were there to reconnect with your brand, make comments and share their experience with others. In addition, repurposing multimedia content like infographics and photos from presentations for use on social media drives increased engagement with your audience.

  • Consider Private Groups

There’s an opportunity to create private groups that are closely monitored and by invite-only specifically on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. As a healthcare company that has to be careful about public information and communications with clinicians and patients, closed groups are a great alternative to traditional social media marketing techniques. Within these closed groups, companies can get the word out pre-show, continue the conversation post-show and offer exclusive educational content to group members only throughout the year.  

These may seem like minor suggestions, but utilizing them correctly can make a significant difference when targeting your audience. What are your tips to reach your audience on social media, especially within the healthcare realm? Let us know!