Looking for ways to utilize Facebook and LinkedIn groups for healthcare lead gen?
If you’re a healthcare B2B company, it may be difficult at first to see the potential of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to generate leads for your healthcare business.
Social media can feel too niche or too broad; it can also seem confusing and difficult to navigate.
But there’s no denying that it’s a great tool for connecting with potential customers and business partners. If you know how to leverage influence within your realm of expertise, Facebook and LinkedIn groups are a great way to access relevant business and generate leads.
Why use Facebook and LinkedIn to get leads?
Did you know that 396 million professionals worldwide are on LinkedIn, with over 4 million of them being in the US healthcare fields?
There are hundreds of millions of groups on Facebook, and a 2014 study showed that at least 522 of them (English language) are healthcare oriented - but that number is probably much higher now.
With this amount of healthcare professionals networking through these social sites, LinkedIn and Facebook groups are a great way to tap into a potential customer base.
How to determine which groups to join?
Groups for LinkedIn and Facebook operate a bit differently, so we’ll break down the best way to find leads for each.
A great way to get started is to do some searching for any lists that have been compiled for social media groups, like this one for the ’50 Best LinkedIn Groups for Healthcare Marketing.
By now you probably know that LinkedIn groups are all private. This is good and bad, for a few different reasons.
It’s good because individuals and companies who don’t really belong, or who don’t contribute anything of positive value, are either denied or quickly ejected. This ensures the quality of the group and the members belonging to it.
It can be bad, however, for companies who want to reach potential customers. If group facilitators are especially wary of businesses, or determine your intentions to be untrue, they could deny your entry.
Be sure your company’s LinkedIn page is professional, and not spammy itself in nature - one, because this is how it should be anyway, and two, because it will help you gain access to valuable groups.
To find groups for your company to join, determine which areas of the healthcare field are most relevant for generating quality leads.
If you’re a healthcare tech company who works with hospitals to enhance their vital sign monitoring technology, then maybe joining a group for lab technicians in blood testing isn’t the way to go.
Imagine who your target audience is, and use key terms to search for groups that contain those audience members. Consider the SEO strategy you use to help customers find you through search; use those same keywords to do a search for those who might be interested in your business and are already engaging in relevant groups on LinkedIn.
It’s also important to note that with LinkedIn’s recent changes, facilitators have less control over what gets posted in groups. Make sure to do some research in each group to see the type of discussion and content that is happening there.
Another great way to find relevant groups on LinkedIn is by seeing which groups have been joined by competitors, other companies that are relevant to your business, or current customers of yours. By seeing where others in your field are engaging, it may help you to better determine where you can disseminate your message to those who will find it useful.
Groups on LinkedIn are also broken down by location. If your business is relevant in a particular region, or you operate locally, you’ll generate better leads by joining groups which are specific to where you are located.
Facebook can be a little trickier for the B2B space, but when done right, it can be an asset to your lead generation.
Groups are especially crucial for quality lead generation, as they can improve the likelihood of the right people in the right industries seeing your content and contributions.
It’s important to remember that even though you’re a B2B company, you’re still appealing to people to generate business.
Facebook is the largest social site for people. And it gives your company the opportunity to engage in a meaningful way in a place customers don’t necessarily expect it - unless they are actively participating in groups that are relevant to business. If this is the case, the people that you reach within groups are probably more likely to enjoy your contributions, and engage with you further.
Keyword searches are important here, too. Find relevant groups by searching for the same keywords you try to rank for to find interested parties.
Facebook may also be a great place to search for more human-interest sided aspects of your business, rather than the professionally-facing groups you are more likely to find on LinkedIn. Consider the part of your business that not is only appealing in a business sense, but that would be compelling on a human-to-human level.
You’ve joined - now what?
It may feel tempting to blast your message in every group you join in the hopes for maximum exposure. But resist temptation, and be strategic about how and when you enter into the conversation.
As David Beebe from Marriott International said in this immortalized statement: “Marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
Others will be quick to notice if your contributions to the group are spammy rather than actual contributions. Spamming the group won’t help you to generate any leads, much less quality ones.
There are a few basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to interacting in groups to generate leads for your B2B company.
Some do’s and don’ts of Group interactions:
- Do engage in discussion and don’t only post your own content - Only posting your own content within a group is what will lead you to come off as spammy. As with all content marketing, not everything you put out should be a sales pitch. The more valuable insight you can provide without appearing to have an ulterior motive is what will actually drive leads to you.
- Do engage often in discussion, but don’t do too much - You don’t need to be that guy that adds his two cents into every conversation to be noticed in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. The more meaningful your contributions and credibility, the more you’ll be noticed.
- Do have a sense of humor and candor but don’t be inappropriate - There is a time and place for humor which allows companies to show their human side, and honesty and directness can go a long way in the eyes of potential customers. But it’s important to err on the side of caution in networking groups when trying to generate leads. Take direction from the tone and pace of the group when you join it - it would be remiss to land off the mark on your first contributions to discussion or when positioning yourself.
- Do showcase your expertise but don’t come off as a know it all - As mentioned before, don’t be so quick to join every discussion in a group. Be gracious in letting others contribute. Groups are meant to be open for everyone in them to add something to the conversation, so don’t monopolize everyone’s time (Even if you do know everything - which you probably don’t). If you can speak softly but carry a big stick in the sense that you aren’t domineering, but when you do contribute it is life-changing to group members, the impression of you will be far more positive.
- Do make it easy to for people to find you outside of your group but don’t send everyone to your homepage - Landing pages people, landing pages! If you’re engaging with potential customers through groups, they already have a higher level of interaction with you than people who are simply doing online searches. Make sure you have easy to find links on your company page, or include links in the original content you do share in groups. Direct users to strategic on-site content or forms that help continue the conversation and truly drive those leads.
When you leverage LinkedIn and Facebook groups to your advantage and contribute to groups in a meaningful way, quality lead generation will follow. Just remember what to look for in searching for groups and be thoughtful in your contributions, and watch your leads improve.
Still have questions about how to generate leads for your healthcare company? Check out our amazing resource below.