10 social media strategies pharma must know

social media pharma (Sean MacEntee http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5423283748/)

In today's "open 24/7" world, it is riskier not to engage in social media that it is to engage, according to a new report by Weber Shandwick. Pharma companies are increasingly realising the benefits of monitoring and assessing social media postings (something which has been discussed over at the Vaccine Nation blog), but is a lack of confidence in social media still holding pharma back from engaging with their audiences?

The report, Digital Health: Building Social Confidence in Pharma, recommends these "10 Rules of Engagement" to maximise social confidence:

  1. "Focus on the content, not the channel" – If you follow the same codes of conduct online as you do offline, this should allay fears of breaching regulatory standards
  2. "Start small" with pilot programmes to gain experience and assurance
  3. "Prepare, but remain flexible" as strategies will evolve over time
  4. "Choose your channels wisely" by monitoring specific audiences and understanding what platforms they engage on and what content they engage with
  5. "Ensure transparency and honesty" with a digital code of ethics, or using supportive tones that are most effective with consumer audiences
  6. "Deputise a person or team, and give them full support" – Empower your social media team with the authority to post without the need for pre-approval
  7. "Bring others into the fold", especially from legal, regulatory and medical teams
  8. "Ramp up internal education efforts" to boost support for the medium, using case studies and examples of what's not worked, and offer hands-on opportunities to explore the medium
  9. "Staff for social confidence" by offering ongoing training on company guidelines and codes of conduct, and shape an environment where socially-skilled professionals can flourish
  10. "Continue pushing the limits of ROI" by articulating the ROI from social media and placing value on the benefits of listening to audiences and developing new market insights.

According to the report, 75% of online adults in the US have looked for health information online in the past year. The figures are likely to be similar in Europe. "Patients are increasingly harnessing the internet to gain knowledge about health conditions and even self-diagnose, leading to a more empowered health consumer and contributing to more informed patient-physician discussions," said Laura Schoen, President, Global Healthcare, Weber Shandwick.

Read the PMLive article or the full version.

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  1. Pingback: New report seeks to quantify the impact of digital and social marketing for pharma - Total BioPharma

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