10 social media best practices for medical device companies

28 Sep 21

Are you looking to connect with your audience on social media? In need of guidance to help you develop your medical device social media strategy? 

Social media is an integral channel to a modern-day marketing strategy and is a great way to connect, engage and communicate with your audience, which is why we’ve put together this guide on how you can take your social media to the next level.  

1. Choose the right platform

Before you can think about what you’re going to post, you should decide on which channel you are going to use.

Generally, B2B (business to business) companies will utilise Twitter and LinkedIn whilst B2C (business to customer) companies will focus more on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which are more e-commerce-driven sites.

In the end, your social media strategy comes down to where your audience is, so to be able to choose the right platform, you must have a good idea of who you’re targeting.

Companies with an e-commerce site or direct-to-patient sales capabilities (lower classification devices) may be better suited to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram which are more liked and used by potential patients.

To find out what platform is right for you head to our full platform guide.

2. Check out the competition

One great place to start with your medical device social media marketing is to look at what your competition is doing.

See what channels they’re using, what sort of content they’re posting and what their following is like. This will help you plan out your social media strategy to stand out and create content that you can see resonates with your audience.

3. Create guidelines for your marketing channels

Social media may be the first touchpoint where your audience encounters your technology and brand, but it should be a part of a much larger digital marketing strategy. So, you need to make sure your content is of a high standard, equalling that of your other marketing materials.

A strong and cohesive marketing strategy is one that’s consistent across channels. Your social media needs to match your website, leaflets, and exhibition branding, otherwise, the brand will feel disjointed, and you will lose authenticity.

Creating social media guidelines is one of the best practices to ensure you have consistency across all your marketing efforts.

They should include the visual aspects of your post, and common messaging when speaking about your technology or company, so irrespective of where your audience see’s you on social media, they see the same thing.

4. Create a social media calendar

The importance of having a well-thought-out content plan cannot be overemphasised when it comes to your digital marketing. Planning posts to go out ahead of time will allow you to think strategically about the image you are trying to imprint into your audiences’ minds through your content.  Not only that you will be able to take advantage of certain points in the year, such as special events and holidays or create ongoing series that go out at a certain time weekly.

Posting consistently on your social media platforms will lead their algorithms to favour your content, pushing it further than before.

5. Adding variety to your content

Medical device social media marketing is booming. There are so many companies out there competing for your audience’s attention, meaning it can be easy to feel like your brand is being lost in the noise.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Adding variety, personality and originality to your content will make you stand out from your competitors. Not to mention creating valuable content that answers their common questions and helps them to move forward in their buyer’s journey.

Using video is a great way to go, as it helps your audience to see that there are real people behind the corporate image. This is a big opportunity as few Medtech companies are really embracing this type of digital marketing, delivering authentic, value-added content to their customers. Another way to add variety is to change the formats of what you are posting as part of your medical device social media strategy. Including things like;

  • Infographics
  • High-quality photography
  • Polls
  • Videos (as mentioned before)
  • Animations
  • Articles

You may also think about trying unusual shapes, thought-provoking questions and emojis, as these break your post, grab your audience’s attention and make your content easier for them to read.

Not only do you need to vary how your posts are presented, but the subject matter should also change between posts. You should post on a range of subjects, including company culture, product information, and helpful content. This will keep your feed exciting and engaging for your audience.

6. Keep it simple

Simplicity is paramount when creating social media content. On average you have about 0.3 seconds to impress your audience before you lose their attention, and they move on to the next thing. This is why you need to convey your message quickly.

Be concise in your captions and fill your graphics with large lettering to tell your audience immediately what your post is about. If it interests them, they will then stick around to see what you have to say.

Videos have a longer attention span of 3 seconds which is why it’s important to hook your audience straight away and keep your video short (between 1-2 minutes).  Although viewing time can be a lot longer on YouTube if your audience likes your content.

7. Post consistently

What does it mean to be consistent in social media marketing?

In short, it means posting regularly each week across all your social media platforms.  On LinkedIn, this could be 3-5 times per week, whereas on Instagram it may be 5 times per day.  But consistency isn’t just your posting frequency, it’s also about maintaining your brand image and tone, so all your content feels part of the same portfolio.

A great way of thinking about this is that your content is creating a mosaic in your audience’s minds of who you are as a company, or how your technology can support their patients.  Each piece should add value to that mosaic. If it doesn’t don’t post it.

But why is this even important?

It has been estimated that your audience needs to encounter your brand between 15-25 times before they take action. However, if your brand is weak or inconsistent this number can drastically increase, or even worse if your brand really isn’t resonating, they may never get to the stage of taking action.

You want to ensure that when your audience has the problem you solve, you are the first company they think of.  Without consistency, this will be less likely to happen.

Need help with consistency?
Speak to our experts

8. Use hashtags

Hashtags are really keyword or searched topics that help your audience find your content, while also making it more discoverable to others on social media platforms.

When used correctly, they can be extremely effective, but too often medical device companies will add hashtags to the end of their posts and hope for the best, without having a clear hashtag strategy. So, what could a strategy look like?

Break your hashtags down into three buckets.

  • Your first bucket should be for your larger hashtags. General tags such as #medicaldevice or #healthcare. These larger hashtags will help you establish yourself in the right side of the platform where you can start targeting your audience.
  • Next comes the smaller tags, these should still be broad but more specific to the content that you’re talking about, for example, #scalples or #trocars.
  • The third hashtag should be very small and niche, targeting your audience precisely. While there may only be seven people following this hashtag it could eventually lead to 7 new clients.

9. Listening to your audience

Social listening is when a company seeks out the conversations that customers are having about them.

Medical device manufacturers should be aware of how their customers view them and the thoughts that they are publicly conveying.

Not only does this give medical companies a chance to engage and connect with their advocates, but it also gets companies ahead of the game when it comes to customer service. If issues arise, you can be there to help before any damage is done to your reputation. This is also great from a regulatory standpoint.

For successful social listening, you must do it regularly. This means checking your social media channels on a regular basis and proactively searching for mentions of your company or technology so that you can respond as soon as possible.

You could also set up alerts through Google, or on the social media platforms themselves, so you are notified every time a certain phrase or word is mentioned.

But if you don’t fancy doing this yourself there are also software’s that can do it for you. One of these is Brandwatch, however there are many others too. 

10. Monitor the data

Ignoring social media analytics is like walking through a maze blindfolded – you have no idea where you’ve been and less of an idea where you’re going, often ending up making the same mistakes again and again.

By analysing as much data as you can from your social media platforms, you can make judgements about tactics that have worked well and ones that haven’t. From that, you can adjust what you do going forward and make genuine progress.

One great way of collecting data is by using UTM trackers, that tell you when someone has clicked on a link to come to your website. You can find out everything you need to know in our article on UTM trackers.

There are also many software’s that can help you track visitors to your website, so you can analyse which healthcare social media channels are providing the best ROI.  Some of these include: Hubspot, Zoho and SalesForce.com

If you have any questions on how you should be pulling together your social media reports, then take a look at our full breakdown.

What happens next?

Hopefully, this article has now given you a good understanding of the top 10 things that will help you set up and implement your medical device social media strategy.

But what is our biggest takeaway?  Be consistent and be patient.

Consistency will help you to increase your brand’s presence over time so even if you’re not the most original in your post creations you’ll always be in front of your audience with high-quality content,

After all, you need to ensure that when they have the problem you solve, you are the first company they think of.

Working with Podymos

Are you aiming to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients? Do you aspire to deliver high-quality social media campaigns as part of your broader multichannel marketing strategy? You’ve landed in the right place.

Podymos is a dedicated healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream medical device marketing. Our services might be a bit pricier than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams, and that’s because our exclusive focus on the medical device space equips us with specialised knowledge and expertise that others might not offer.

For compliant campaigns that align with your business objectives, we’re here to assist. Simply provide your contact details, and we’ll reach out promptly for a no-obligation discussion. 

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