Common Mistakes Life Science Brands Make When Starting Out on Social Media
If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, there’s a wealth of information out there—but what information should you follow and what should you ignore?
To quickly summarize what you SHOULD do to succeed on social media:
1) Start with a list of target audiences and create relevant posts for each group. This will ensure that your content is reaching the right people and generating the desired response.
2) Use social media to build relationships with customers and partners. Share interesting stories, discuss industry trends, and stay in touch with your followers on a personal level. This will encourage them to return for more content and trust that you’re committed to providing quality information.
3) Don’t overdo it on paid advertising or promotion campaigns – focus instead on creating valuable content that your audience will want to share. Spending money on marketing tactics like this is often worth it when it results in increased website traffic and conversions rates.
We’ve worked with life science brands for 20 years, and here are our top 28 mistakes LS companies often make when starting accounts from scratch.
1. Not having a clear strategy.
If you don’t have a well thought out plan, you’ll end up wasting money and resources without gaining much traction.
Before launching your campaign, ask yourself these questions to determine how you want to use social media: Who am I trying to reach? What type of content am I creating? How often will I post? Where will my posts go?
Most life science companies can boil down their social media strategy into 3 core ideas:
1) Be authentic, 2) Create content that is useful and interesting, and 3) publish on the right platform.
2. Not knowing where to start.
Social media has become a powerful tool for businesses looking to grow their customer base. However, most companies do not understand how to effectively utilize this medium. This leads to wasted time and money.
To avoid making costly mistakes, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Start small. Many companies jump right into social media without understanding the basics. This means they spend a lot of time and money before seeing any results.
- Understand your target market. Do research on the demographics of your customers. Then, create content that appeals to them.
- Find the right tools. To ensure success, choose the right software and apps. Also, find the right balance between automation and human interaction.
- Look into social advertising like Facebook.
- Create an Instagram page.
- Join Twitter chats.
- Follow influencers in your niche.
- Get involved in online communities.
- Once you’ve mastered one platform, move onto another.
3. Being too promotional.
Promotional content works best when it’s used sparingly. You want to engage your audience, not turn off anyone.
Don’t forget that people follow brands to learn something. They don’t want to see ads; they want to hear stories.
There are a few things that businesses should avoid doing on social media in order to ensure that they don’t come across as too promotional. This includes:
- Avoiding posting too frequently about company products or services.
- Bragging about company achievements.
- Using excessive marketing language.
By keeping these things in mind, life science companies can create a more positive and engaging social media presence that will ultimately benefit their overall marketing efforts.
4. Posting the same thing over and over again.
People get bored easily. If you’re going to be active on social media, you need to give them something new to look at.
Life science companies often have a few core messages (and supporting messages) that they want to include in evert post. Try to not include EVERYTHING in a single post. Break out your messaging, and repurpose content using different types of content such as images, videos, infographics, etc.
5. Using hashtags incorrectly.
Hashtags can help you connect with other users who share similar interests. But if you aren’t careful, they can also hurt you by diluting your brand message.
Use hashtags in moderation. Avoid using more than three or four per post.
6. Failing to understand the importance of analytics.
Analytics play a crucial role in social media marketing. Without proper data analysis, you won’t know whether your efforts were successful.
Here are some key metrics to track:
Engagement rate. This refers to the number of likes, shares, retweets, etc. divided by the total number of impressions.
Reach. This refers to the total number of unique visitors generated by all of your social media accounts.
Conversions. These refer to the number of people who have clicked through to your website after viewing your posts.
7. Focusing too much on one channel.
It’s important to focus on multiple channels because each offers a unique opportunity to reach your audience. For example, Instagram allows you to post photos and videos while Twitter lets you engage with your followers.
8. Failing to monitor competitors’ activities.
You should always stay up to date on what your competition is doing to avoid duplicating messaging and keep an ear out for new developments.
Monitoring your competitors on social media can be a tricky task, depending on the level of competition you face. However, some basic tips include using tools like Hootsuite or BuzzSumo to help you keep track of which accounts are being shared the most, and following specific users or groups that may be relevant to your business can also be useful.
9. Being afraid to share controversial opinions.
If you’re going to be active on social media—ESPECIALLY as a life science brand, it’s essential to maintain a positive image. If you say something unpopular or critical, you could lose followers.
However, if you believe in corporate responsibility, feel strongly about a topic, and it fits your brand, don’t hold back. Your voice can help change minds and inspire action.
10. Ignoring negative reviews.
Negative reviews can hurt your brand reputation. But ignoring them isn’t the answer either.
Instead, respond quickly and positively. Responding to negative comments helps you improve your service and resolve issues. It also shows your customers that you care.
11. Forgetting to ask for feedback.
Your customers are more than happy to give you feedback. They’ll appreciate it if you ask for it.
This way, you can learn from their experiences and use it to improve your business.
12. Making promises you can’t keep.
When you promise your customers great things, you need to deliver. Otherwise, they may stop trusting you. A comment on social media can be interpreted as a promise. This is particularly important for life science companies that are highly regulated.
13. Being overconfident about your brand.
Life science brands shouldn’t be arrogant. Instead, they should act like humble leaders.
14. Not being transparent.
Transparency is an effective strategy for building trust and credibility. When you show your customers that you’re open and honest, they’ll respect you.
15. Losing sight of your brand values.
A company’s values guide its actions. Make sure you communicate these clearly so your employees know how to behave—and your customers know what to expect from you.
16. Posting too frequently.
Posting too often dilutes your message. And, if you do this without any consistency, you risk losing your audience.
Don’t forget: The best time to post is right now!
17. Relying too heavily on automated tools.
Automated tools can save you time, but they won’t necessarily produce good results.
For example, many social media platforms offer automation features such as scheduling tweets, but they aren’t designed to create engaging content.
18. Using social media solely for marketing purposes.
Social media is not just for marketing. Use it to connect with your community and build relationships.
19. Not knowing who your target market is.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of people online. To find out who your ideal customer is, start by asking yourself some questions.
Who am I trying to reach? What do my customers want? How will they benefit from my product/service?
20. Thinking that all your competitors are doing the same thing.
Competition is healthy. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to copy everyone else. Find your own unique voice.
21. Failing to adapt.
The world changes rapidly. You need to stay ahead of trends and adapt accordingly. Your users and customers won’t stay on the same platform(s) forever, and you need to be prepared to follow them as they go.
22. Thinking social media is free.
You don’t have to spend money to grow your business. But, you do need to invest time and effort—and these can be costly when done at the expense of other marketing activities.
23. Forgetting to ask permission.
Good marketing is all about gaining trust and permission to market. If you ignore this step, you could lose potential clients.
24. Overlooking privacy concerns.
Your customers’ personal information is valuable—you’re probably aware already of HIPAA compliance requirements. Be careful where you store it and how you share it.
25. Relying solely on organic reach.
As of today, organic reach on Facebook is practically dead, and declining on other platforms. To deal with this, marketers can leverage promotions and paid ads to make sure content reaches the intended audience.
26. Trying to manage every aspect of social media yourself.
Many life science marketers are teams of 1. Light on time, and lighter on resources, managing social alone can be a heavy lift.
27. Getting lost in the numbers.
Social media isn’t just about numbers, it’s really about connecting with people. So, don’t overly obsess about analytics. Focus instead on building meaningful connections.
28. Being afraid to fail.
If you’re going to try something new, you’ll inevitably fail. It’s okay. Just learn from your failures and move forward.
Avoid These Common Mistakes on Social Media.
If you’re just spinning up some new social media accounts for your life science brand, its easy to throw up your arms and declare social media too difficult/risky. But social media can be a huge part of your overall marketing, and hopefully these recommendations help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes.