Social Media Marketing
by Tim Edwin Robinson

Consumers don't always trust everything they hear. Thanks to the internet revolution, consumers now have the utmost control, and they want to buy from people they trust. They also trust opinions from other consumers more than what brands say about themselves. It's no wonder traditional marketing is becoming less effective. Content marketing is truly about creating a focus for a single audience and delivering valuable, relevant and consistent content to them. It works because it does the complete opposite of the old-fashioned hard sell. Content marketing builds trust with customers because you are providing value ahead of the sale. The more valuable stories you can promote on your social media channels, the more leads you can generate. Below are suggestions for content marketing that you can employ right now to share on your business Facebook page.

Share Your Expert Advice

When you watch the news, often the anchors will interview authors about the topic they are discussing. They do this because authors are considered experts in their fields for having written so much about that topic. When you think about it, your area of expertise is unique, but chances are you have not shared that often enough. It's the value proposition that your competition can never duplicate. Say you are a pharmacist dedicated to helping people live healthier and at home longer, so you should write an article on ways seniors can do just that. The topic is targeted at a specific audience and promises value before consumers even read it. Submit it to a local newspaper, post it on your website’s blog or even send it as an email blast. If you don’t have time, ask your staff for ideas on expert articles.
Satisfied customer shared on Twitter at eCare Medical Supplies, Houston, TXSatisfied customer shared on Twitter at eCare Medical Supplies, Houston, TX

Review a Product

Run through the features and benefits of a particular product, and then put your spin on it. What do you like most about the product? What do you dislike? Compare it to other products you carry. Customers will appreciate the honesty, and it will also build trust with them to buy from you.

Customer Testimonials with Photos and Video

You can't beat showing satisfied customers just after purchasing a product in your store. If they are repeat customers, ask what keeps them coming back. Have them tell a story about why they are buying from you. Quickly share the testimonial to Facebook and Twitter from your phone. (Just ask for permission before sharing.) Collect all testimonials and display in a section on your website.

Product Demos

Demo a product for customers. From tips and tricks to full-blown how-to videos, there are limitless ways to show off everything in your store. Pro tip: Think of your videos as “vignettes,” or mini presentations. Don't jam too many topics, products or information into one video. Spread it thin, and keep it concise for easy digestion. People have short attention spans to begin with. Are you still reading?

Go Behind the Scenes

Pharmacies are so used to the technology that goes into filling prescriptions—such as automated pill dispensing machines—that they often forget the average person has no idea what goes on behind the counter. Show off how the machine works and how you use it to make your customers feel like they are getting the inside track, which will also serve to strengthen their bonds with you.

Highlight the Community

You don't have to stick with what's inside your four walls. Go around town and show off something happening in the neighborhood with a quick video. Promote an upcoming local event on your Facebook page. Sharing videos and photos from neighborhood events are social media catnip.

Share Pictures of Your Pets

Speaking of catnip, more than one hour of cat video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute! A pharmacy I work with has an office dog. The owner brings his dog, Sugar, to work every day, and Sugar loves to interact with customers. Photos of Sugar get huge engagement on their Facebook page. If you don't bring your pets to work, ask your employees to share photos of their pets. This is a common bond that can build community with your customers.
Buzzaround EX giveaway photo contestBuzzaround EX giveaway photo contest

Run a Contest

There's one sure way to get people to follow your social media channels, sign-up for your e-mail list and even come into your store: the chance to win something. Contests also work much better when you run them often, not just once. If you do run a contest, then you have earned the right to ask for something in return, such as a customer’s email address. Run an ugly holiday sweater contest in store and on your Facebook page. Ask users to enter their email addresses with submissions, give away a product package from your store and later run an email marketing campaign about your products to this targeted list. Remember, a contest should not be all you do, but it should be one piece of your content marketing plan. These are just a few ideas to get started. As with any social media endeavor, to be successful you have to make a schedule and stick with it. Start posting once a week, and work up from there. Be consistent and patient in order to grow your fan following.