There are a lot of misconceptions about social media marketing out there. I was recently reminded of it by a tweet from a company which will remain nameless. This company provides market reports and market research services for life science companies, and I find most of their reports to be quite compelling so I don’t want this one misstep to reflect too negatively on them. When marketing for their most recent report, they tweeted:
anonymous tweetScientists report using LinkedIn to find vendor-sponsored info more than every other social media platform–combined
This exhibits something of a misconception about how social media marketing works and is the same misconception that many life science companies have about SMM. Put simply: scientists will very rarely use social media to “find” vendor information or product information. If a scientist is thinking about looking for a product, they know that twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube, etc., are not the best places to look. Not to say that social media marketing isn’t valuable, but you need to understand it’s purpose and how your target market is going to use it. Social media is used for engagement, for brand positioning, and for active presentation of information to customers, not simply as a repository for information which you can expect users to seek out (as a catalogue or a website could be). Because of this consumer behavior, asking “what social media platforms do you use to look for vendor information” is inducing an answer to the wrong question.
Poorly executed social media marketing will at best be a waste of time and money, and at worst can hurt your life science company’s brand. In order for your SMM efforts to be sucessful, you need to understand your customers and their use of social media networks.