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Being social - harnessing the power of social media

With around 2.8 billion people using social media today, it’s a powerful force – one that encompasses a broad spectrum of websites and applications. In addition to well-known websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; there are industry-specific platforms, such as the HCP network SERMO, plus discussion groups where patients and industry professionals can connect. Below are some tips to help harness that power and benefit from the communications opportunities that it has to offer…

Being social involves exactly that – being social!
Don’t just stick to one platform – different platforms attract different followers with different demographics, so employ multiple sites in campaigns to reach the right audience. Build relationships with your followers and encourage interaction around your posts to gain the greatest reach. Tag people/organisations in posts to raise awareness of your message, find out their interests and share information around these areas. Following relevant parties as well as the people they follow, will create meaningful new connections. To extend the reach of, and engagement with, your posts add timely, relevant hashtags (e.g. to events or disease awareness days). The more links to other sites and publications, and the more tags and hashtags used, the greater the number of people who will to see your posts. Integrating social media with more traditional communications; such as meetings and publications will amplify awareness of these events and materials.

Get noticed! Content must be relevant, varied and have visual impact to attract attention – i.e. animation, an image or an infographic will encourage interaction with your post. With limited characters to get your message across, titles and posts need to be impactful to encourage the reader to click and share.

Plan your ‘social’ schedule
Social media is fast-moving so timing is important. This isn’t down to guesswork; marketing automation allows the release of posts to be scheduled and optimised to ensure the highest number of impressions is achieved. Content can be short-lived so repost your messages to reach the greatest number of people and frequently measure the effectiveness of your posts with analytical tools so you can see what’s working. And, remember to exercise caution; compliance with industry codes comes into play with social media, as with other medical communications.

Last (but certainly not least) planning, as always, is important to maximize opportunity so do have a comprehensive social media strategy in place.

Author: Jane Rodgers


14th August 2017

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