There is a common misconception, and not just in life science but in many industries, that social media marketing is free. This misconception arises because the platforms that social media marketing occurs on are free to use. However, while the platforms are free, SMM is not free. SMM campaigns may be relatively inexpensive but they still need to be resourced appropriately.
There is, effectively, a minimum threshold of effort that must be crossed in order to effectively make use of social media as a marketing tool. It requires a certain amount of content and interaction to effectively engage the audience, and also requires a certain amount of personal management in order to maintain a “social” and personal feel (without which you’re largely defeating the purpose) and make sure the audience stays relevant. Both of these things require time.
Because of this minimum threshold of effort, social media marketing is not infinitely scalable as is, say, search engine marketing or most kinds of pay-per-click or pay-per-impression marketing. While it is true that what you get our of SMM is related to what you put into it, the relationship is not a direct one. Put in too little and you won’t get anything meaningful out of it. Put in too much and you may be well beyond inefficiency (although SMM effort are very rarely resourced to the point of that being a problem).
Social media marketing can be effective even when resourced at a very small percentage of most life science companies’ marketing budgets, but it does need to be resourced. Don’t take SMM for granted – create defined goals, build a strategy that will be effective in achieving those goals, and resource the effort appropriately to successfully execute that strategy. Only then will your life science company realize the benefits of social media marketing.