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Josephine Borrillo

the heart of a #pharma company demands more than advertising


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#pharma is your ad worth clicking (aka interruption marketing). Forget traditional advertising and think engagement marketing.

what is engagement marketing

how to think engagement marketing: content 

  • provide useful content
  • provide relevant content
  • provide content with value to your audience
  • publish high-quality content

how to think engagement marketing: be authentic

  • let employees tell the story not an agency
  • answer questions your followers ask
  • lead a conversation online
  • share thoughts via social media platforms

how to think engagement marketing: know your audience

  • consumers today are informed and savvy
  • consumers have more control over the content they want to see and receive
  • know what your followers are saying about you online
  • know what your followers are discussing online

how to think engagement marketing: have a social media team in place to handle engagement

  • have social media team work with all departments
  • make sure the social media team has the right workflow in place
  • social media team must have direct access to senior management to streamline and respond rapidly
  • have a social media team that cultivates a culture of content
  • a must for the social media team is social monitoring

#pharma questions the difference between a testimonial and an influencer


Image by Kiều Trường from Pixabay 

Question from #pharma: “are testimonial and influencer the same thing?”

are testimonial and influencer the same thing

  • no

an influencer

  • creates online engagement
  • have started or created their careers online and their business model is built on their social media platforms
  • have a following and know their audience
  • are transparent about advertising

a testimonial

  • is a “recommendation” from a celebrity
  • usually, an actor, musician, athlete or other pop figure promotes a product
  • very expensive

what role if any do testimonials and influencers play in content marketing

  • consumers are spending more time online so there is more need for influencers
  • influencers can help to create content
  • influencers can A/B test online
  • influencers know their audience best
  • working with either influencers or testimonials good content is always a must

pharma whom to choose for online marketing

  • working with influencers is today the mainstream marketing approach to online marketing
  • with influencers, it is easier to reach your target audience
  • with influencers, you get more value for your money

#pharma needs to be thinking like a media company


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When big #pharma came to be there was no social media. In today’s digital age #pharma needs to have a social media mentality and to think like a media company.

what do we mean to be a media company

  • revenue is essentially based on audience

revenue is essentially based on audience

  • build interest on what your audience wants to see
  • are you helping them to solve a problem
  • remember it’s not about you

content marketing strategy and creating a connection are vital

  • are you giving value back to your audience
  • continue to give customers value before asking for something in return
  • create genuine and original content that is useful to them

just don’t be the commercial

  • don’t sell me something rather tell me about it, write about it
  • content does not have to be product-related
  • try to humanize your brand
  • you know viewers can opt-out of ads online

lots of competition

  • newsfeeds travel so fast, you need to be interesting to grab attention
  • remember to always ask yourself *would I share this with my followers*
  • learn from others/brands that have been successful
  • show true commitment and have a budget and the right people with expertise in-place

#pharma and the need to creating unique pieces of content


Image by pixel2013 from Pixabay 

Question from #pharma: should I post more content? My answer: No, but do post more unique pieces of content.

what do we mean by unique content

  • it is original
  • it is creative
  • it helps to answer questions
  • it provides useful information
  • it engages

why do you need content to be original

  • if you want to grab attention then you have to be original
  • it enables people to discover who you are and what you do

so where should you start

  • your audience will tell you
  • what are they talking about
  • what are they commenting on your feed
  • are you answering their questions or needs

can repurposed-content be original

  • hell yes, just create more original content

are traditional #pharma ads considered original content

  • ask yourself are people stopping to read or engage

some thoughts about kid influencers


Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay 

Could kid influencers one day collaborate with #pharma?

why kid influencers

  • social media is a big part of their life
  • they get how social media platforms work
  • some are doing it for the experience (for example making and editing videos)

parents are behind the kid influencers

  • there is a high level of parent involvement
  • parents are usually the ones working behind the scenes
  • kids can complete the package, where parents are already influencers

ethical concerns

  • audiences do not like to see kids used for profits
  • appropriate age would be teenager
  • cyberbullying is a concern
  • there is a need for more legal protection regarding:
    • earnings
    • work permits
    • limit of working hours
    • work not interfering with education

what are the benefits

  • they are authentic
  • they are likable
  • kids have a huge effect on online content creation
  • two audiences: children and parents, they view the same videos
  • kids can change how other kids feel about themselves (for example mental health, rare diseases)
  • they can also encourage other kids in the right direction if heading down the wrong path

Some famous kid influencers

  • the Parkland kids @AMarch4OurLives
  • Greta Thunberg @GretaThunberg

#pharma you have a responsibility to put out content that improves and helps society


Image by Erzetic from Pixabay 

#pharma putting patients first also means putting out more quality content.

less promotional content and more relevant content

  • follow the 80 (information) /20 (promotional) rule
  • ditch the traditional ads – they were not created for social media platforms

content is what makes people take action on

  • content needs to be relevant
  • content needs to be informative
  • content needs to help solve a problem

hire in house content creators

  • create your own content
  • align content across your entire organization
  • align content with off line content ( e.g. brochures, leaflets)

relevant content will help you to connect with your audience

  • if it is helpful then they will share it
  • if it is of interest then they will comment
  • if it is engaging it will help build your community

employee advocacy

  • get more people in your company to create content
  • get in house subject matter experts to create content
  • teach co-workers why content is important for your company

what can #pharma learn from small businesses about social media


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Small businesses have an advantage over big business when using social media. What can #pharma learn from small businesses about social media?

it’s all about building a community

  • engagement is key
  • building relationships is vital
  • there is a real connection with customers

advertising is limited

  • less about traditional ads
  • open to experimenting with social media platforms
  • open to user generated content (UGC)
  • more organic versus paid content

presence online grows slowly

  • patience and no overnight success
  • more organic then paid social reach
  • produce content that is relevant and informative

small businesses manages social media in house

  • has direct access to the right internal people
  • has direct access to senior management
  • builds an internal expertise

interacting with customers is important

  • more likely to respond to customer online
  • more likely to respond quickly
  • more likely to respond to negative comments

the power of the 24/7 news cycle, what does it mean for #pharma


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

The fast paced news cycle for a #pharma traditional old fashioned organization, can be a challenge. So what does it mean for #pharma?

it means people turn to social media for trending news

  • people are getting their news from social media
  • people are scanning their news feeds
  • people are looking for what is trending
  • people are looking for trending hashtags
  • you don’t control the message anymore
  • you are not the gatekeeper anymore

it means you need to capture attention with informative and useful content

  • people are scanning the headlines – no one reads full articles anymore
  • people are looking at photos
  • produce content that people will read, share and comment on
  • you are competing for content attention
  • ask yourself is your content relevant to my readers
  • ask yourself, would I stop to read my content

it means you have to stay relevant on social media

  • traditional ads don’t work anymore
  • try experimenting with different platforms
  • try experimenting user generated content (UGC)
  • remember to always stay authentic
  • be willing to be flexible, news feeds are constantly changing

it means you have to spot opportunities

  • are you monitoring social media platforms
  • do you have a social media team in place in house
  • do you respond rapidly – long internal sign off is long gone
  • are you staying up to speed on current events

it means you better have in place a crisis communication/management

  • how will you tackle social media mistakes
  • if wrong know how to humbly admit to the mistake
  • ask for feedback
  • be transparent

social media reveals your personality #pharma

Image by Günther Schneider from Pixabay 

Hey #pharma you may be revealing more about yourself than you think on social media.  Below are some questions to think about.

How do you connect with others communicates the type of relationship you want

  • are you creating an intimate relationship
  • are you creating a network
  • are you just looking for followers
  • are you taking part in social causes if called into action
  • are you responding to positive comments
  • are you avoiding negative comments

Are you painting an inaccurate image of who you are

  • painting your life to be perfect
  • things you are doing right
  • everything is amazing
  • only posting the good

Do you reveal your values

  • what do you believe in
  • what are your beliefs
  • what are your values

How about employee advocacy

  • is it only management
  • is it only select employees
  • is your CEO active on social media platforms, or hiding behind closed doors

Are you creating *unique* and useful content

  • are social media platforms just an add on
  • still advertising your TV ads on social media platforms
  • still same old agency cookie cutter marketing messages
  • have you considered using user generated content (UGC)

recognizing social media opportunities


Image by Kirill Averianov from Pixabay 

Social media may be a challenge for #pharma, but it can also open many opportunities. Is #pharma taking advantage of them? 

Employee advocacy

  • employees are probably already are on social media platforms
  • it makes your company human
  • it enables you to reach a broader audience
  • employees are real people that can engage with real people online

CEO advocacy

  • a CEO is a human being creating a human connection online
  • a CEO can use the platforms to become thought leaders
  • a CEO cannot lead behind closed doors anymore

Online hiring/ recruiting

  • it allows for creating contacts 
  • it allows to show your company culture
  • it allows for engagement and conversation with people

Monitoring social media in real time

  • social media platforms are 24/7
  • need to keep watch for negative sentiment / or positive sentiment
  • keep up with what is trending

Hashtag activism

  • it raises awareness to causes that have been neglected
  • it is a potential for global participation
  • it is the new form of advocacy