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PR ASSESSMENT

4 Social Media Marketing Hacks Your Biotech Startup Should Be Using

What’s the aim of your biotech company?

To cure diseases? Immunize against viruses? Improve the diagnostic process? 

It’s undeniable that the biotech industry is working on some of the most important projects in the world right now. But no matter how noble your mission, if you don’t get the right messages in front of the right audiences, you’re going to struggle to succeed.   

This is where social media marketing can really help you.

So here are the 4 social media marketing hacks your biotech startup can, and should, be using:

Start ASAP

As you’re probably aware, biotech is a precarious industry for startups. 

Whereas some tech startups can launch their products within months, a biotech company often requires several years of burning through money before its product reaches the market. Due to the trial and error stage that most biotech startups undergo, you don’t want to be scrambling for a social media following by the time your product finally goes live.

Building a relationship through social media with potential users and investors while your biotech business is in its infancy means two things:

– You increase your chances of investment during the product testing period.

– You already have an engaged community for when you go live.

Pick the right goals

If you have experience with marketing, you’ll know goal-setting is par for the course for any marketing campaign. However, biotech businesses are often unsure of their social media goals. For example, a newbie may go after increasing their number of followers. 

While making new friends and new followers is all good, it may not be the most valuable asset if you’re in biotech. Yes, it may be one of your goals but it would rarely be your primary objective.

Your primary targets are more likely to be:

1. To educate users about your biotech product – Whether you’re a new-kid-on-the-block or a seasoned pro, use different social platforms to simplify the complex projects you’re working on and educate your audience.

2. Drive traffic to your website – Social media is a great resource for leading potential investors or customers to your site.

3. Increase conversions – As well as navigating people towards your site, social media marketing also increases the likelihood of conversions and winning new leads.

4. Sell products – If your biotech startup is at the post-product launch stage, social media is a great place to build interest in your product.

Use Facebook to learn about your audience

There are over 2 billion Facebook users worldwide. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach them.

Why?

Facebook’s algorithm updates.

Posts from businesses are now deprioritized. Facebook’s updated algorithm favors posts from a user’s family, friends, or groups.  

As a result, it’s increasingly unlikely that organic facebook traffic will find your biotech business. This means you may have to invest a small amount in Facebook ads to reach your target audience.

Facebook’s audience insights is a great tool. It targets people by their age, gender, income, and interests. This makes it one of the most targeted forms of advertising (not to mention easier on your budget, if you’re in the slow-moving product testing stage)

After setting up your Facebook business page, you can open an Ads Manager account and begin your audience research.

Here are the 3 ‘prototypes’ you can sift through with audience insights:

1. Everyone on Facebook – This option is good if you’re looking for information about new followers and customers to reach through your Facebook ads. Using this option, you can change the audience insight filters to help you find a particular ‘buyer persona’. For instance, say you’re an agricultural biotech company who produce pest-resistant crops. You could change the filter to ‘35-44’ ‘male’ and ‘farmers’ and find an audience potentially aligned with your product.

2. People connected to your page – Choose this group if you want to learn more about your existing audience. This can give you ideas about what kind of content you can create. For example, if your business specializes in biofuel you may notice your audience is interested in environmental issues. With this in mind, you could produce content about green living e.g. ‘10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint’.

3. A custom audience – This is only viable if you’ve already created a custom audience. This could be your existing customers or email subscribers. If it is these two, use this method to assist you in uncovering ways to connect with them via Facebook.

Do you want to go further with your social media analytics? This page gives you the rundown of the best of the rest of the analytical weapons you can use.

Keep the conversation flowing with your audience

If you’re looking to grow via social media, you need to consistently converse with your followers.

Think of it this way, if you stay in the kitchen at a house party, you’re going to chat with fewer people (unless the food is particularly good at said party).

Now, imagine the same scenario but you’re a business with barren social media channels and your potential target audience is mingling outside the kitchen.

Whether you want success in social media or in social situations – you need to put yourself out there.

You may be thinking… 

1. Stop talking about kitchens

2. We don’t have anything to share on social media 

No sweat! 

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any recent in-house content, company news or external media wins off the back of biotech PR at this moment in time. 

Yes, it’s beneficial to consistently produce internal content and write guest blogs, but it shouldn’t prevent you from sharing content that your target audience finds relevant and interesting.

Here are a few different things you can post to social media:

1. News stories – You probably already have a good idea of the best biotech publications. Is there a news story your audience would be interested in? Share it on your social channels and monitor the comments for potential content ideas. 

2. Your own opinion or stance on industry news – Do you have a relatively strong opinion or counter-argument to a news story? You can open the debate up and share your two cents with your followers. For example, say you’re a company that specializes in nutrient supplementation and there’s an article doing the rounds about combating malnutrition in developing-world countries. You could use this to show how supplementing nutrients in crops can greatly benefit people who receive aid.

3. Memes relevant to your industry or target audience – Memes are literally the most shared thing on the internet. Even in biotech, dank memes are always a social media win.

If you do have content, even better! Blitz your own channels regularly with your own content. 

PRO TIP: If you’re unsure what content to share or what tone to take – spy on your competitors’ social media for ideas.

Another way you can engage with your followers is through Q&A sessions on Twitter. This kills two birds with one stone. Not only are you engaging with your audience but you can also increase your Twitter followers.

For example, a biotech business that used Twitter chats to expand its audience is Boehringer Ingelheim. It developed Twitter chats about specific topics and hashtags, including #COPDchat and #ChatAFib. It was such a success, Twitter produced a case study on it.  

Whether you target your audience through industry-relevant content, in-house content or using comment sections and Twitter chats to engage – make sure you DO engage. 

Otherwise, you’ll remain friendless next to the chip and dip.

#INCONCLUSION

Biotech is an industry that perfectly embodies how innovation can produce a better future. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fitting if you weren’t utilizing the form of marketing most ‘on brand’ with your industry. 

Social media presents a wealth of opportunities for marketing. Although, you’ll benefit from keeping it simple at first. 

Defining your goals, using analytics to learn about your audience, and consistently engaging across the different social media channels will see your biotech buds expand in no time.

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