7 big benefits to social media clinical trial recruitment 0

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social media clinical trial recruitment

Social media clinical trial recruitment is gaining greater acceptance and uptake with healthcare companies.

Clinical trial recruitment has many challenges.

  • 15-20% of trials never manage to enroll a single patient
  • 30% of the time dedicated to clinical trials is spent on patient recruitment and enrollment
  • 37% of all sites in a given trial fail to meet their enrollment targets (InVentiv Health)
  •  1,856 in 2009 to 22,832 to date in 2016 is the increase in worldwide clinical trials (NIH)

Most trials rely heavily on traditional methods of patient recruitment, such as flyers, posters, radio and television ads, as well as counting on physicians and investigators to promote the trial directly to potential patients.

As a supplement to other recruitment methods, social media has important advantages. Here are 5 big benefits to social media clinical trial recruitment.

  1. BETTER UNDERSTAND INTERESTS AND CONCERNS: Before doing any social media clinical trail recruitment, it is important to monitor social media channels and listen  to patient needs. Areas to be examined include: 1) Where on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Forums, Blogs) are patients for a particular condition going, 2) How many communities are there, 3) What are topics of the greatest interest, 4) Who are influencers and 5) How do patients support one another. While a company might engage a service to help in this monitoring, this is information that is readily available.
  2. SPEAK MORE DIRECTLY TO NEEDS: In the monitoring process, you should study users’ language, including the specific words and phrases they use to describe their symptoms. This can help you to use ‘patient speak’ in your social media and website content, rather than less accessible and potentially off-putting medical terms.
  3. TARGET WITH PRECISION : Social networks have certain age differences. Twitter and Instagram are younger. Pinterest is more female. Facebook is most effective for reaching Baby Boomers and the older generation. 72% of people aged between 50 and 64 use Facebook, one of the largest growing demographics on the platform. These aid targeting. But there is an important distinction to make between social networks as social platforms and ad platforms. For example, as an advertising platform, Facebook offers advertisers quantified reach of people based on not only their age but interests and behaviors. You can target people in a specific geographic areas. You can do mile-radius targeting around a facility conducting a trial and geo-fencing for people who are near it. With such a large population, Facebook can reach a high percentage of potential patients across all levels of income and education. Traditional media can’t even touch those results.
  4. PARTNER WITH ADVOCACY GROUPS: Peer influence to generate interest in participating in a trial is another method to generate social media clincial trial recruitment. PatientsLikeMe hosts all kinds of disease communities where patients can track their medications, symptoms, and health outcomes and can learn from other patients whose profiles resemble their own. It allows the industry to look at aggregated data from its communities. And now it allows them to partner with pharma companies to announce clinical recruitment trials through its online communities. Other patient sites like like MyHealthTeamsInspire (utilized by the Mayo Clinic pilot study) and do the same.
  5. SPEND LESS AND SAVE TIME: Advertising on social channels is cheaper than TV, print or radio so it costs less to reach your audience. And it also saves time. Connections can be realized immediately, conversations can occur in real time and concerns can be addressed on the spot. Each day that a drug development program is delayed costs the sponsor $37K in operational costs 4 and $600K to $8M in lost opportunity costs.
  6. GREATER TRANSPARENCY: Because most social media clinical trial recruitment efforts drive patients to a website or download an app, these can be greater transparency than directing someone, for example, to a phone number. The website can and should provide relevant information, details of the trials, mission, sponsor, forms, regulation, payments or costs, time requirements and any restriction. The depth of information, relevancy and compliance can actually offers a greater levels of transparency than traditional means.
  7. MORE THOROUGH FOLLOW UP: One of the inherent benefits of social media is it interactivity. Not just for initial follow ups but for any ongoing communications. Also, the creation of key hashtags and regular online chats, so you can effectively and easily take part in conversations can make follow up for social media clinical trial recruitment a thorough user experience from end to end.

Certainly, there are do’s and don’t for executing any initiative in social media. And these should be carefully reviewed and understood. But, in examining the benefits, the trade-off between risk and reward would seem more than worth considering.

Do these benefits peak your interest in social media clinical trial recruitment? Are you interested to learn more?


5 top ways influencer marketing works for business (infographic) 1

Posted on August 07, 2016 by Rob Petersen

  • 93% of professionals say influencer marketing is effective for building brand awareness
  • 76% say influencer marketing is effective for generating customer loyalty
  • 73% say influencer marketing is effective for lead generation

These are just some of the stats and facts from Shane Barker’s infographic below. And, as the graph from Google Trends shows above, influencer marketing is on the rise

Influencer marketing can be loosely defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.

When a brand identifies influencers, they often look at number of followers that identity has on social platforms. Influence isn’t just having a lot of followers. It’s also driven by expertise and credibility on subject matter and the relationship between the influencer and his or her followers.

Is influencer marketing right for your business? How do you go about it. Here in an infographic on the 5 top ways influencer marketing works for business from a number of vantage points.

influencer marketing

We’re grateful to Shane Barker for this thoughtful and well-researched infographic.

Does this explain if influencer marketing is right for your business?


Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

22 facts show social media is pay to play now 4

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Rob Petersen




social media pay to play

For many businesses, an allure of social media is it’s a free way to promote your company. Seductive thinking. Maybe that’s why 88% of U.S. businesses use social media marketing.

Companies worldwide spent $23.68 billion on social media advertising in 2015, according to eMarketer, a 33.5% increase from 2014. By 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion, representing 16.0% of all digital ad spending globally.

Seductive thinking to social networks and their shareholders raising the question: Would a social network favor someone who pays for an ad over someone who posts for free?

Here are 25 facts that show social media is pay to play now.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Social network revenue from advertising is growing at significant rates.

  1. Facebook advertising revenue jumped 57% in the first quarter of 2016 to $5.2 billion from $3.3 billion. Mobile ads, which command a higher price than those shown on desktops, accounted for roughly four-fifths of that revenue. (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. LinkeIn’s ad revenue grew by 29% in the 1st Quarter of 2015 to $154.1 million. (MarketingLand)
  3. Twitter in fourth quarter 2015 made $641 million from advertising, up 48% year-over-year and with mobile accounting for 86% of that sum. (Ad Age)
  4. By 2017, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion, accounting for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues. (eMarketer)
  5. Snapchat sold its first ad in October 2014, brought in $3 million that year, and is on track to generate $100 million in revenue in 2016. (Business Insider)
  6. Pinterest’s leaked financials revealed the company is targeting $2.8 billion in revenue by 2018. (Business Insider)
  7. Social programmatic ad platforms are growth engines. Spending on FBX, Facebook’s programmatic platform, increased by 150% year-over-year globally during the second quarter of 2014, based on a sample of advertisers compiled by Ignition One. (Business Insider)
  8. Social networks earned an estimated $8.3 billion from advertising in 2015. (Jeff Bullas)

AD PRODUCTS FOR ALL BUSINESSES: It’s a very sophisticated marketplace. There’s an ad product for every business.

  1. Small businesses spend an estimated $5 to $50 a day on promoted posts and ads on Facebook. (Reuters)
  2. 76% of B2C respondents use promoted posts – boosted Facebook posts and promoted tweets and pins. 61% find promoted posts effective. (Social Media Examiner)
  3. 80% of LinkedIn’s revenue growth is from sponsored content. (MarketingLand)
  4. Google+ advertising is changing the way social ads work. Called +Post ads, they allow businesses to pay to have content shared on Google+ appear as an expandable, interactive display ad across the web. (Modern Connection)
  5. Snapchat charges $750,000 for a disappearing ad on its platform drove an audible gasp from the industry. (eConsultancy)

ORGANIC REACH IS DECLINING: It’s getting harder to achieve the same results posting for free on social networks.

  1. “Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2 percent of all fans. (Inc.)
  2. In December of 2013, Facebook changed the algorithm that determines who sees what content, resulting in business pages losing 40-80% viewership of their posts. (Modern Connection)
  3. Company Facebook pages reach as little as 2.6% of their followers. (Adweek)
  4. Of the 2.6% of users pages reached with their posts, 11.8% engaged with those posts, on average. (Adweek)
  5. Pages with more than 1 million Likes saw link posts perform the best, at 3.78% reach. For those with fewer than 1,000 Likes, video posts perform best with reach up to 30.0%. (Adweek)
  6. Average organic likes growth was 0.53%, and pages with fewer than 1,000 Likes saw that figure rise to 1.62%.(Adweek)

SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS: Is social media worth it? The facts say “yes.”

  • People are spending nearly an hour every day scrolling through Facebook status updates, liking Instagram posts, or chatting on Messenger (Business Insider)
  • Facebook has 50 minutes of your time each day (NY Times)
  • 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. (Source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012 (Zephoria)

Do these facts convince you social media is pay to play now? Does it change your thinking? Does your business need help navigating social media in a pay to play world?

22 practical tips on how social media listening builds business 1

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Rob Petersen




social media listening

Good listening is the key to developing fresh insights and ideas that fuel success. If you talk less than you listen, are respectful and pick the right time to challenge assumptions, you display the characteristics of an effective listener; one that usually succeeds at what they set out to do.

The benefits of being a good listener apply to social media marketing. If you find social media too time consuming, too big to manage and question its business contributions to the bottom line, the chances are you haven’t done enough good listening.

What should you do? How does it benefit your business? Here are 22 practical tips on how social media listening builds business.


  • REACH: Start by determining the size of your audience adding up how many people you reach – the number of all the people who you are connected, follow you or like you.
  • KEYWORD AND CONTENT IMPROVEMENT: Use keywords, topics and conversions from social media listening to improve not only social media engagement but branded content, SEO and SEM strategies and programs.
  • SENTIMENT ANALYSIS: Is used to measure opinions about topics you would consider or are talking about by scoring text in comments as positive or negative. It is the social equivalent of an opinion poll.
  • COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: Do the same exercises for your primary competitors and determine your competitive advantage.
  • TAG CLOUD: Is a visual representation of user-generated electronic tags or keywords that classify and describe online content in different font sizes, to show relative frequency or provide links to further information.
  • CONVERSATION MAPPING: Is an efficient way of collecting a large amount of data from a diverse group of experts and/or stakeholders in a short period of time. The purpose is to provide clarity on key issues.
  • COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: With these building blocks, you have the tool to create a Communication Strategy, your blueprint for exchanging relevant information with your target audience.


  • KEY INFLUENCES: Need to how to reach Key Influencers? Use social media listening to see who is engaging on social media and the size of their social following. Look at their their Klout Score as a ranking tool. Start a Twitter Chat to accelerate the process. Build relationships with the people you’ve identified.
  • COMMUNITY BUILDING: Interact with customers in a way that builds a positive image of your brand and fosters better relationships, which eventually form a tight community of loyal followers.
  • LIST BUILDING: Create a list of those who have an interest in your industry, category, competition or brand that is authentic, more reliable and less costly through social media listening.
  • CRM INTEGRATION: If your business uses a CRM system, integrate your list with your CRM system to make social media listening work with marketing automation and prove cost savings.
  • TARGET AUDIENCE IDENTIFICATION: Whether you are a B2C or B2B business, these social media listening activities help create a high value target audience.


  • ANSWER AUDIENCE QUESTIONS: Connect people with questions to people with answers.
  • RESPOND TO COMPLAINTS: Quickly address a gripe before it snowballs into a bigger undertaking.
  • SHARE COMPLIMENTS: Find compliments and leverage them to position yourself as a trusted information source. Don’t forget to say “thanks.”
  • AGILITY: Time of reaction is also important for building a positive brand image. A recent study from Lithium Technologies shows 53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour. Things get even more extreme when the tweet in question is a complaint – the figure above rises to 72%,
  • CRISIS MANAGEMENT: If a sudden peak occurs, or a conversation appears to be increasing at an unusual rate, it’s a good idea to monitor conversations about your brand and respond to negative posts on a regular basis. Customers who are angry or dissatisfied are likely to be get more indignant and angry when they feel they are being ignored.
  • READY PROSPECTS: Know who’s looking for what you offer right now. Only social media gives you this kind of instant insight into the habits of your best prospects.


  • SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION: Connect all of your social media accounts in a cohesive, consistently branded network that points your potential customers where you want them to go. By connecting with people in various online venues, you extend the reach of your business and increase opportunities for people to link to your main business page.
  • CONSUMER BEHAVIOR: Understand the main problems, motivations and issues customers might have with their products or services. This in turn helps them to come up with more efficient customer service.
  • PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT: By intelligently listening in social media, you can uncover various problems consumers experience when using your product and then address them when releasing a corrected version. Monitoring the reviews of your product, you’ll gain additional input and lots of ideas on how to improve it.
  • KEY INFLUENCER RECRUITING: Uncover new key experts and influencers and build the social currency of your brand on a continuous basis.
  • EVALUATION: Determine how the use of social media listening has helped not  business results directly and indirectly. Plan for social media listening to be a part of your operation based on the value it provides.

Do these reasons prove the value of social media listening to you? Does it convince you to do it? Does your business need help being a good social media listener?

15 powerful facts to guide your social media strategy 0

Posted on August 17, 2015 by Rob Petersen



social media strategy #1

Guest post from Nora Flint at TruConversion.

If you think you’re going to hit the social media jackpot just by setting up a Facebook page and creating a Snapchat account, you’re fantasizing.

The landscape has evolved; there’s way too much noise, and users are tired of constant self-promotion.

The good news is, the social media platforms are bigger than ever before. That means, there’s much more you can potentially achieve in terms of reach and brand awareness.

Some brands are doing amazing things in social media. They’re the ones who get it right. So while social media got huge, the rules to succeed changed. Showing up is just not enough.

To help you develop the right social media strategy, we looked in some of the most recent statistics and here’s what we learned.

1. Weekend Posts Generate a Far Better Engagement on Facebook

Sounds obvious, right? Well, the surprising thing is that only 18% of all Facebook posts are shared over the weekend, according to TrackMaven.

The website analyzed over 1.5 million Facebook posts from 6000 brands and the results shown that weekend posts generate 25% higher engagement.

2. Facebook Engagement Levels Vary by Industry

Here’s an interesting data. Interaction levels vary by industry as it all comes down to the type of content people like to talk about.

Depending on what kind of industry you’re in, you may find it harder or easier to create and engaging content, according to SocialBakers.

social media strategy #2

3. Facebook Posts With Hashtags Get 60% More Interaction

When we say ‘hashtags’ people automatically think of Twitter or Instagram. It’s a feature that Facebook introduced just recently (in June 2013), so people don’t expect to see them as much as they do when they’re on Twitter.

The same study from TrackMaven revealed that posts with hashtags see 60% more interaction on average.

To get the most out of hashtags on Facebook, you should use them strategically and link your posts to trending topics and relevant discussions.

4. Video Dominates Otherwise Low Organic Reach on Facebook

Social media analytics company SocialBakers analyzed over 670,000 posts by 4,445 brands and found that native video content has the best organic reach of all types of content on Facebook.

social media strategy #3

However, the data from Ogilvy show that you can only expect to reach about 6% of your followers on Facebook. That’s a major decline compared to 50% reach a year before the study was conducted.

In other words, it makes sense to pay Facebook to boost your content through advertising if you want to reach someone. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the fact that Facebook, now a public company, has to show profits to its shareholders.

5. Youtube Has the Highest Engagement and Lowest Bounce Rate

Speaking of engagement, here are some interesting stats. Shareaholic analyzed over 250 million unique visits coming from social media sites, and it concluded that YouTube drives the best traffic.

social media strategy #4



The traffic coming from YouTube shows the highest engagement and lowest bounce rate. A great example of integrating YouTube into your social media strategy is the #AskGaryVee show.

6. Instagram has the Highest Conversion Rate from Browser to Shopper

Engagement is a great metric. However, no level of engagement can beat the paying customer. At the end of the day, business with no customers is not really a business.

A 2014 study conducted by Olapic found that Instagram is not only the fastest growing social network, it’s also a leader converting your audience to paying customers.

And while Instagram is smaller than Facebook there are 2 more reasons why you should invest in your Instagram strategy.

social media strategy #5

The first one is the cross-posting feature. Once a user shares something related to your brand it can also reach all other networks of that user. The second is more simple; everyone understands pictures, no matter what language they speak.

7. Pinterest Converts Too, But it Takes Time

The first important thing to note about Pinterest is that it’s traffic is low engagement and high bounce rate.

The second thing is, it doesn’t work for every business. Your Pinterest strategy should to be aligned with it’s demographics (predominantly 24-35 y/o women) and the type of content that does well on Pinterest (fitness, travel, design, food, etc.).

The good news is, Pinterest converts pretty well. According to a study by Piqora, one pin is worth 78 cents in sales and the traffic from Pinterest is 10% more likely to convert than the one from Facebook.

But it doesn’t happen instantly. On average 50% of orders happen 2.5 months after the pinning.

8. Facebook Drives the Most Referrals

While data on Facebook reach isn’t too encouraging (unless you pay), it turns out that the users are more likely to click on the links in your post on Facebook than any other platform.

According to a study by Shareaholic Facebook is the top referral platform among all social media sites.

social media strategy #6

That’s an important information if you’re currently running a referral campaign. If you’re not, you should because referrals are the top way to bring down your customer acquisition costs. And as it turns out, Facebook can help.

9. Instagram Has the Highest Percentage of Viral Content

At the time when Facebook posts struggle to reach 6% of your own fans, Instagram is all about good news.

social media strategy #7

According to TrackMaven Instagram has the highest percentage of content going viral. Not only it outperforms all other social networks, it blows them away with 49% of photos and 60% of videos reaching 250+ interactions.

10. Your Top Promoters Have the Fewest Followers on Twitter

Focus on the super-users, the popular advice goes. Well, it turns out it may not be most viable strategy after all.

A social monitoring app Mention analyzed over 1 billion brand mentions on Twitter and on average 91% of those mentions came from users with less than 500 followers.

social media strategy #8

11. Content on LinkedIn Boast The Highest Level of Trust

And what about LinkedIn? It turns out it’s great for B2B. But that’s hardly surprising. What is surprising, however, is that the content published on LinkedIn can be quite effective.

According to a recent user study, LinkedIn users do not only value its content, they also actively seek it as a valuable source of industry news and professional advice. Especially men under 35.

As it turns out, LinkedIn can play a big role in your social media and content marketing strategy.

12. Twitter Users Expect a Quick Response

Twitter can be a great customer support channel. Among the companies using Twitter for customer service are the big brands like Tesco, Nike or Amazon.

It can also be a huge mistake if you don’t pay enough attention to it. According to Lithium study, 65% of Twitter users expect a response in less than 2 hours.

social media strategy #9

And not only that, 60% will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction if you don’t. In most cases these actions will include publicly shaming the brand on social media or spreading dissatisfaction in another way.

However, if you do respond quickly, you can expect to get a reward. For example, 34% are likely to buy from you, and 43% are likely to encourage friends and family to do so as well.

13. Seniors Are The Fastest-Growing Demographic on Facebook

More than 50% of U.S. adults over 65 are now using Facebook, according to Statista. Additionally, 63% of U.S. adults over 50-64 are also using it.

This makes Seniors 5x more likely to use Facebook than Twitter, where they represent just 12%.

social media strategy #10

Millennials age 18-24 represent the most users on SnapChat, Vine, and Tumblr. In general, the 25-34 age group is the most dominant on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. LinkedIn stands out with 35-44 year-olds leading the way.

social media strategy #11

Source: Social Media Week

According to BI Intelligence, YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network.

14. Social Media has Greatest Impact on the Middle of the Conversion Funnel

According to AOL research, social media interaction usually happens in the middle of the conversion funnel.

social media #12


This is basically the point at which your sales pitch happens. In other words, your strategy should be built around creating trust within potential customers and showing you can provide value to them.

The chart above also reflects that YouTube and Facebook are best for introducing new products to the market. They also show a greater impact on conversion than the other social media networks. Note that Instagram is excluded.

15. Email Totally Beats Social Media With an ROI of 4,300%

What has an email to do with social media? Well, it has a huge ROI. Much higher than any social media network.

According to a survey of the owners of e-commerce sites conducted by Custora, following chart is an overview of where these sites got their customers.

social media #13

The clear winners are organic search, CPC, and email. This statistic only confirms that social media marketing does belong to the middle of the funnel.

What’s even more surprising is that marketing performance of email is getting better and better. Who would have thought after hearing media declare email dead on multiple occasions?

There’s also another metric which email completely dominates. Namely the customer lifetime value (CLV). It turns out email marketing crushes social media by a huge margin.

social media strategy #14

What does it mean for your social media strategy?

It means you should definitely investing in email marketing and combine the two strategies together.

For example, use email marketing to stimulate social media referrals and sharing and likewise, use social media to grow your newsletter.


  • Weekend posts generate 25% higher engagement on Facebook.
  • Interaction levels vary by industry.
  • Use hashtags for better engagement on Facebook.
  • Native video content has the best organic reach of all types of content on Facebook.
  • YouTube traffic is the best in terms of engagement and lower bounce rates.
  • Instagram has the highest conversion rate from browser to shopper
  • Pinterest converts too, but it takes time.
  • Facebook is great for the referral campaigns.
  • Instagram is a clear winner in viral marketing.
  • Your top promoters have less than 500 followers on Twitter.
  • Content on LinkedIn comes with the highest level of credibility.
  • Twitter users are impatient, they expect an immediate reply.
  • Facebook is your social network if you’re selling to seniors.
  • Social media have the greatest impact on the middle of your conversion funnel.
  • Email is the clear winner in ROI.

So what do you think? Which of these statistics has the greatest potential to impact your marketing strategy? Why? Let us know of your views in the comments section below.

Many thanks to Nora and TruConversion for such a comprehensive post. TruConversion helps you turn your abandoned website visitors into leads and future, meaningful sales.Start your conversions with TruConversion today

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