Pharmaceutical Social Media
In today’s virtual world, social media conversations are directly impacting pharmaceutical sales and brand reputations. Every day, patients are investigating their treatment options and making product choices based on online conversations. For many patients the first place they seek medical information is in the online medical community.
The tides are shifting and patients now play a greater role in their own healthcare. They engage in and form online communities, with or without the involvement of the pharma or healthcare industry. And they are not just seeking health information online in unprecedented numbers, they are making decisions about their diagnosis, treatment and after-care based on the information they receive online.
Helping Pharmaceutical Brands Better Understand Patients
This shift in influence presents a new opportunity for pharmaceutical companies. Patients are not only learning but are also sharing valuable information online about their thought processes and behavior. Leveraging the Visible Intelligence® platform, companies can listen and understand how their patient base interacts online, and even engage with them. Social media presents a channel to maximize your digital assets and medical communication strategies to gain actionable insights from your patient base.
There are many components to a successful social media strategy but no matter where you want to go with your social program, leveraging social media begins with the critical first step of listening. And while the pharmaceutical business requires more caution about what it is said than many other industries, it is critical to be out there having the conversation, directing people to the right content.
Gaining a New Perspective
Take a moment and think about someone who has recently been diagnosed with an illness such as diabetes, cancer or a dietary condition such as gluten intolerance. The natural thing for them to do these days is to go online and research as much as possible about their health issue, as well as join forums, communities, subscribe to feeds of blogs and groups where others have the same condition. The more serious, permanent or life-affecting diagnoses, the deeper the online research goes.
For example, a woman who learns she must begin a gluten-free lifestyle will look for tips on places to shop, research recipes and products, and seek recommendations on how to make the lifestyle changes work with her schedule and her family for long term success. Like shoppers on sites such as Angie’s List, Consumer Reports and Trip Advisor, people are looking for advice from those they feel do not have an agenda behind their message (like brand or product advertising). This is why it is important for every pharma brand to become a skilled “conversation architect” engaging with consumers online in the social sphere.
Keeping the Health and Interest of Consumers a Priority
At Visible®, we believe there are two great opportunities for pharma in social media—the first of which is community and innovation. The importance of establishing a community of brand advocates who will stand up for and share why they like your company, in good times and in challenging times, is priceless. In the old days, finding those advocates was as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Today however, with the help of the Visible Intelligence platform, identifying, engaging with and building a community who genuinely wants to help and support each other is easy. Having a community of advocates online can help ensure that positive and accurate information is shared and can help detract from negative voices, even helping to mitigate potential crises.
Finding New Routes to Innovation
The second great opportunity for pharma is in the area of innovation. Innovation can be costly, particularly in heavily regulated industries like pharma. Social media provides a new channel of insight. Insights gained through unprecedented access to consumers, their experiences, their needs and wants. This access can help you gain insight into ideas for new products, campaigns, messaging, and the ability to understand market needs and what consumers are saying about competitor’s products. It gives you the opportunity not only to educate your customers but to be educated by them.
Want to Learn More?
To read a white paper about pharma in social media, click here.
To read a white paper about Adverse Event reporting in social media, click here.