These days, health IT companies understand the value of being on Twitter. It’s a platform with 321 monthly active users, with a large, active healthcare community. Additionally, 67% of all B2B marketers use Twitter. The more common question now is not if a health tech brand should be on social media, but rather how they should grow their presence.
There are two main avenues to use when growing a social media presence: organic or paid. During the next HITMC Twitter chat – Tuesday January 14th at noon ET (for your local time click here), our guests hosts at KNB Communications will join us to discuss these methods and the appropriate mix for most health IT social media accounts.
- Q1 What are some effective methods to grow health IT Twitter accounts organically?
- Q2 Is growing organically, without any paid campaigns, feasible for health IT social media accounts? #HITMC
- Q3 What are some best practices when setting up a paid followers campaign on Twitter?
- Q4 What should be avoided when running paid follower campaigns on Twitter? #HITMC
- Q5 How much should one invest in a follower campaign on Twitter? #HITMC
- Q6 What are your 2020 follower goals for Twitter? #HITMC
Beth Cooper @crissi_beth from KNB Communications will be leading the chat.
To help get you thinking about this topic, here are some answers to the questions (provided by Beth) to consider.
Q1. What are some effective methods to grow health IT Twitter accounts organically? #HITMC
A1. Setting up a professional profile, posting relevant content consistently, and strategically engaging are the cornerstones of effective organic growth. #HITMC
First, you need to set up your profile. Use your logo as your profile picture, ensuring that it is squared properly. Customize your cover photo and write a short synopsis of your company in the bio section. Be sure you are consistent across platforms.
Post content that is relevant to your target audience. Stick to your niche: health IT. Posting about topics that do not relate to your core business will make the account seem less professional, and will undermine thought leadership goals. Post consistently. To the extent possible, post shareable content.
Engage by using industry-specific hashtags (like #HITMC!) Follow strategically. Random follow-for-follow nonsense can make you grow quickly, but ultimately, it is worthless and ruins your follower-to-following ratio. Follow people with accounts similar to yours. Twitter will be able to categorize your account and will serve up your account as a suggestion for others interested in beauty to follow. After you’ve followed great accounts, engage with them. Reply and retweet when appropriate and like their posts. You’ll get known in the right circles this way, and tweeps will help you out with retweets, showing your posts to their audience. Of course, participating in a Twitter chat is another great way to engage.
Q2. Is growing organically, without any paid campaigns, feasible for health IT social media accounts? #HITMC
A2: It’s always possible to grow organically. However, especially for health IT companies, it can be difficult to grow reach using only organic methods. Resources can be maximized with a paid component to show content to the right audience and invite them to your channel. #HITMC
Let’s be honest. As health IT companies, we don’t ooze sex appeal like Kylie Jenner or have the cool factor of the latest sports car model. Our accounts do not have widespread appeal and our content is not being widely retweeted. Even with high-quality content, it can be hard to grow organically.
At the core, growing on social media is about finding your tribe. You find them by getting your content in front of their eyes. When it resonates with them, they choose to follow you. There’s two ways of making this happen: the organic methods outlined above, and sponsoring content to a target audience.
While the organic activities can and will help a health IT account grow, they also take a lot of time and manpower. Resources may be more efficiently allocated by adding a component that allows Twitter to help you find people interested in your content by building a paid campaign.
Q3. What are some best practices when setting up a paid followers campaign on Twitter? #HITMC
A3. Continue organic activities, creatively build your target audience with a Twitter Ads Followers campaign, and optimize your sponsored content. #HITMC
The prevailing opinion is that organic growth is the highest quality. What we advocate doing with paid growth, then, is to mimic organic growth. We’re not buying followers; we’re putting great content in front of eyes we think will identify with it, and offering them a chance to get more by following. To that end, we would always continue organic activity in addition to running paid campaigns.
Here’s a step-by-step walk-through of the considerations when making a Twitter Follower campaign.
Type of Campaign
We suggest using Twitter Ads, and using their Followers campaign. This way, you don’t pay for impressions or clicks; you only pay when someone follows.
You can set your bid to either automatic or target cost. Using the target cost method is especially good for people who are concerned with cost. You may grow more slowly, but you can build a high-quality audience while also staying within budget.
Gender: You can choose gender: I don’t typically limit myself.
Age: Younger (under 25) and older (65+) follows tend to be cheaper. Of course, most of us in health IT are likely more interested in what’s in between those parameters. If you’re going for quality, limit the ages who see your ad. If you’re looking for low cost and high volume, don’t put any limits here.
Locations: Limiting your ad to the U.S. will make your follows more expensive, where allowing it to run globally will yield cheaper follows. Again, you can decide how important it is to you that your followers be potential customers versus people who are interested in what you do. When my budget is low and I want to grow faster, I typically leave this parameter pretty broad.
Language: Specifying “English” as the language provides a nice balance to leaving the location targeting open.
Technology: You can decide if you want people on certain OS’s, devices, or platforms to see your content. If you know your target is very tech savvy, perhaps you would prevent your ad from being shown on older OS’s. Since so many people access Twitter from their mobile devices, I typically do not limit platform.
Here’s where you can dig in and get creative. Twitter allows you to target by keywords, events, behaviors, interests, follower look-alikes, movies, and TV shows, to name a few things. In addition to choosing keywords, think about conferences your target attends. What media publications do they read, or professional organizations do they belong to? Use those handles to target the followers of those accounts with your content.
Twitter also allows you to turn on their recommendations and audience expansion. These are fine features if you want to reach the most amount of eyes, but I would not use them if you wanted to laser target as they are less accurate than I would like.
After you set up your campaign, keep going back in and looking at what people are responding to. Pause content that is not performing well, as it drives up your cost. Essentially, Twitter is trying to help people find accounts they will like. If people are responding to your paid content, Twitter will charge you less to show it to people.
Q4. What should be avoided when running paid follower campaigns on Twitter? #HITMC
A4. Stay away from third-party services, especially those that are based on a follow-for-follow model or those which sell followers. #HITMC
We recommend strongly against using third-party services that sell followers. The offers can be cheap and enticing, but those followers are for optics only, and do not really add any value to your channel. In fact, they can actually hurt your account. They’ll be providing a large, irrelevant, likely inactive follower base.
Even more discouraging is that you run the risk of Twitter downgrading your reach because you appear spammy to their algorithm, or even worse, shutting down your account for violating their terms of service. It’s not a good long-term strategy.
Q5: How much should one invest in a follower campaign on Twitter? #HITMC
A5. There’s no right answer to this question; it will depend on your budget and how fast you would like to scale. That said, we’ve found you can make a real impact with an investment as small as a few hundred dollars a month. #HITMC
There’s no right answer to this question; each company must determine their budget and goals. The more you invest, the higher-quality followers you can attract, and the more quickly you can scale.
Let’s be real about the numbers. We find that Twitter followers in health IT can range anywhere from about $0.30 to $4 each. If you have great, eye-catching content and cast a very broad net — say you target people interested in health IT as a topic globally — you can gain followers at a very low cost. These will be people who are interested in your content, but may not be a potential customer. If you target much more closely — say, physicians based in the U.S. who are interested in specific topics within health IT — you can expect to pay much more per follow. However, the quality will be superb. It’s all about striking a balance between quality and quantity.
All that said, we’ve found you can make a real impact with an investment as small as a few hundred dollars a month. Once you start seeing the initial successes and optimize your content, it will be easier to justify investing more.
BONUS: What are your 2020 follower goals for Twitter? #HITMC
A6: On 2020, we plan on growing slowly but with ultra-high quality followers, with a goal of reaching 3,000 by the end of the year. What about you? #HITMC
Your follower goals should include your strategy on quality as well as quantity. Just to give you a benchmark, in 2020, the average growth rate for an account is expected to be 2%. However, with the right mix of activities in place, you should be able to outpace the average considerably!
If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Beth Cooper, Marketing Director at KNB Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.