Learn From How Pharmaceutical Companies Use Social Media

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Learn From How Pharmaceutical Companies Use Social Media

A recent report written by Lakshaman Narayan, CEO and cofounder of Unmetric, Inc., sheds light into how pharmaceutical firms are able to use social media in a highly regulated environment.


In a recent interview with Joanna Belbey published in Forbes, Narayan shared his top findings from his report “The 7 Social Media Trends in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” His conclusions are particularly intriguing given the amount of regulations and compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to which pharmaceutical brands must adhere.


Pharmaceutical Firms Focus their Social Presence on Four Independent “Silos”


There are 4 “silos” in which the pharmaceutical firms use social media while still complying with regulatory constraints:


  • A corporate social profile including a company overview, history and employee profiles.
  • Careers in pharmaceuticals to attract the best talent.
  • Over the counter branded pages to discuss their products.
  • Community pages to discuss diseases and health problems, rather than their brands, to serve as education for the public.


The firms appear to make a determined effort not to discuss specific drugs in order to comply with FDA regulations.


Pharmaceutical Social Media Trends


Narayan found 7 trends in how these firms use social media:


  1. They are publishing less social media content, perhaps to reallocate funding from content creation to content promotion, or to extend the life of existing content.
  2. Video and technology like Facebook Live is increasing in use, which may be another reason for reductions in other content.
  3. Facebook engagement, with its capacity for two-way conversations, is on the rise.
  4. More content is being promoted on Facebook.
  5. Over the counter brand profiles are declining.
  6. The firms reply to fewer tweets than in the past.
  7. The pharmaceutical companies are active across multiple social networks, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube as the preferred media.


Lessons Learned


In his report summary, Narayan makes predictions that can resonate with businesses of all sizes. Video produces good engagement so increasing those efforts can pay off. Businesses can continue to benefit from social media utilization data in order to concentrate efforts where they can really make a difference. Employing analytics can create more responsive campaigns and content in the future.


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