Pharmaceutical CEO influencers

I came across Allergan’s CEO on twitter following the hashtag #forbeshealth. I was in awe. Yes! All pharmaceutical CEOs should be on Twitter. We live today in society where people can directly interact with others and establish human relationships. This is definitely a excellent example of pharma’s new role in the social media universe.

1) What is influence and what makes someone influential on social media?

Hootsuite sums it up very nicely “an influencer is quite simply someone who carries influence over others”

In the social media world a social media influencer can influence others mainly through engagement. They carry on conversations, respond and ask questions, give their opinions, even outside the business sector.

2) Can CEOs be social media influencers?

Yes. Most of the success will rely on their distinctive online personality. Below are a few of the non pharmaceutical CEOs that are on twitter:

Tim Cook (@tim_cook)

Mark Cuban (@mcuban)

Elon Musk (@elonmosk)

Jack Dorsey (@jack)

Jeff Weiner (@jeffweiner)

The wining factors are having that distinctive online personality; being outgoing and authentic; and directly communicating with people.These CEOs have understood that the social media platforms aim is establish human relationships. Being “social” on “social media”. People today want and can engage in conversations with thought leaders, and that includes CEOs.

3) Any pharmaceutical CEOs on Twitter?

It is very exciting to see also that some pharmaceutical CEOs are taking this leap and are engaging on Twitter:

Brent Saunders (@brentlsaunders) Allergan CEO

Axel Steiger (@axel_steiger) Bayer Benelux CEO

4) How can you recognize influence or the capacity of a CEO to influence?

According to a study conducted by Claudia Kubowicz Malhotra and Arvind Malhotra there are four different types of CEOs that use Twitter MIT Sloan Management Review.

Generalists, those CEOs that share broad information and links. However, they tweet very little information regarding any new initiatives.

Expressionists, these CEOs mainly share their opinions. Mainly see Twitter as way to build their self brand.

Information Mavens, CEOs that share links to information and news.

Business Mavens, these CEOs although their tweets are mainly business related, they have a healthy mix of opinions, information, new initiatives.

5) What are some of the overall business benefits of CEOs being on social media?

First and foremost it allows for creating human connections with followers. This indirectly creates a connection with the company. A retweet can be very powerful too. The more followers you have the more easily it becomes to spread your message. When tweets are re-tweeted they can reach a greater and even diverse audience.

References:

Hexagon, Crimson. “How CEO Influencers Impact Social Branding on Twitter.” How CEO Influencers Impact Social Branding on Twitter | Crimson Hexagon. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.

“How CEOs Can Leverage Twitter.” MIT Sloan Management Review. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.

Why CEOs should be on Twitter. Twitter UK. Web. August 22, 2013

Interesting reads #11

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“How Did We Get Here?”: Topic Drift in Online Health Discussions. Park A, Hartzler AL, Huh J, Hsieh G, McDonald DW, Pratt J Med Internet Res 2016;18(11)

Online conversation in health can lead to a change in topic discussions – otherwise referred to as topic drift. Can an automated tool help detect and bring the discussion back on topic?

                                                                                                    

Use of Social Media in the Diabetes Community: An Exploratory Analysis of Diabetes-Related Tweets. Liu Y, Mei Q, Hanauer DA, Zheng K, Lee JM. JMIR Diabetes 2016;1(2):e4

The study sets out to examine how patients, consumers and physicians are using social media to facilitate discussions related to diabetes. Discussion related to diabetes are taking place and the study also demonstrates that the location of tweets indicates are happening at a global level.

                                                                                                    

5 Best practices to augment a pharma social media strategy. By John MacDaniel, senior director, digital and voice of the consumer, Telerx. October 7, 2016 Life Science Leader

A must read for pharmaceutical companies on embracing social media and the need to advance on the social maturity scale.

Highlights from Digital Pharma East Conference 2016

 

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Very interesting and intriguing tweet from Digital Pharma East Conference 2016. What will pharmaceutical digital marketing look like in 10 years?

Will pharma still be discussing the same things over and over again? Or will they be a true disruptor and move away from the status quo/ business as usual model?

I followed the Digital Pharma East Conference on twitter and I would like to share what I believe to be important take aways for the future of digital pharma.

 

 

1.) The patient

Pharma still continues to throw around terms such as “the patient”, the need to be “patient centric, mapping the “patient journey”. The key take away, for me, is “Be what people are interested in”.

Pharma needs to stop pushing their message, and listen but really listen to what people are talking about. This is where social listening becomes a very important component to understanding the patient journey and to the digital strategy roadmap.

 

 

2.) Trust

The Epipen pricing controversy (or #epigate), along with Turing Pharmaceuticals’ Daraprim pricing scandal (beginning of 2015) and the Theranos’ scandal (earlier 2016), have eroded any trust within the pharmaceutical sector. Even if a company was not directly involved, the scandals did have a domino effect on the entire sector.  Pharmaceutical companies, today more than ever, have a social role. By this I mean they need to be companies that develop high quality drugs at a reasonable price.

 

 

3.) Content marketing

Yes! Finally content marketing is being talked about at a digital pharmaceutical conference. Traditional marketing is making way for content marketing.

Content Marketing Institute has defined content marketing as:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Pharma is still very far behind in content marketing. Instead of the traditional “push” mode of information, pharma needs to provide relevant and useful content and be engaging to their customers.

 

 

4.) Multi channel

I see this still being thrown around within pharmaceutical companies, and most pharmaceutical companies are still struggling to launch successful campaigns. This is due still the siloed organization within pharmaceutical. (Please read my post on “Which department owns social media in a pharmaceutical organization?” ) For true success you need more integration.

 

 

5.) Learning from other sectors

Pharmaceutical sector, like the healthcare sector in general, have what I call the “I am different” attitude. We live in digital-first world and it is very sad to see 3% of global pharma promotional budget going to digital.

Yes, each industry sector may be different, but there are learning experiences (both good and bad) that one can learn from other sectors. (Please read my post on “ Silicon Valley versus Wall Street” )

 

 

Below you can find my curated transcript of the Digital Pharma East Conference 2016 .

Interesting reads #10

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Pharma 3D: Rewriting the script for marketing in the digital age. Wharton, Google, McKinsey & Company.

The 3D approach: Discover hot to effectively engage with patients and providers at the moments that matter most; Design customer experiences that align content, messages, and media to build a mutually beneficial relationship; and Deliver those experiences consistently, superbly, and efficiently.

McKinsey research shows that companies that are most advanced in integrating their digital strategies into their business model (referred to as Digital Quotient) also show a growth in revenues.

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Why sales leaders are reluctant to adapt to the digital age. July 14, 2016 trap!t Blog.

Still using the playbook from the past? Or otherwise you are still in a dinosaur team? If you are a laggard you will risk extinction.

                                                                                                    

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The benefits and pitfalls of blogging about your illness. Marie Ennis-O’Connor. October 25, 2016

People have always shared their stories and experiences. The Internet has just made it easier for people to connect and share.

Virtual support groups

Haythornthwaite and Kendall (2010) state “People are using the Internet in ways that are driving change in communities – specifically, where and how they are constituted – and creating transformative effects on how we define, attach to, and retain communal identity across online and offline venue”. Whether online (via the internet) or offline (face to face) support groups are where people can share experiences, information, challenges and seek emotional or moral support. Moving from what was once listservs or support groups via emails to online Twitter or Facebook support groups. If you want to be patient centric, then you need to participate or listen in to online support groups.

1). What are online support groups? And what do patients gain in participating in online support groups?

Preece, Maloney-Krichmar and Abras (2003) define online communities as a group of people who interact in a virtual environment with a purpose, supported by technology and guided by norms and policies. Basically the social interactions take place online.

Patients and caregivers gain the following from online support groups:

  • Health related information
  • Emotional / social support
  • Access to individuals 24 hours
  • Global connections / reach
  • Sharing of experiences
  • Ability to ask questions
  • Possibility to meet and talk with others that have their same shared experience
  • Overcoming geographical location

2). How are online support groups organized?

Online support groups form around topics of interest and like minded others. Value of an online support group is provided by the ability to answer questions and concerns. On Twitter they form around tweet chats or hashtags. On Facebook they form around groups. These support groups are all open to the public, which allow for greater participation.  Closed communities such as mail lists, closed forums and closed chat rooms are not discussed here.

In 2012 Yasi, Taylor, Wells, Howell, and Raphael stated that social networking sites on Facebook provide a “psychological first aid as a support to community resilience building”, “Overwhelmingly people reported feeling a sense of connectedness and usefulness, felt supported by others and felt encouraged by the help and support being given to people. To a lesser extent people reported feeling hopeful about the future, actively involved and less worried”

3). How are online different to offline support groups?

All support groups offer informational as well as emotional support, whether online or offline. However, online support groups may help especially those that have difficulty in participating in face to face groups due to geographical location or may have a disability therefore not allowing for participation.

4). Good online support groups, what to look for?

  • A skilled moderator
  • Meets online at regular times or posts regularly
  • Has a proper hashtag
  • Tweet chat or hashtag is listed on symplur.com
  • Has doctor participation
  • Focus is on learning and on sharing of experiences and stays positive.
  • Stay away from bashing in general (doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical)
  • Stay away from data mining and spamming

5). Can pharmaceutical companies work with online support groups?

Below is one example of pharmaceutical company, @JanssenUS, working with #IBDSC online support group.

August 31, 2016 #ibdsc tweetchatibdsc-1ibdsc-2

What seems to have worked in this tweet chat:

  • Disclaimer was upfront @JanssenUS sponsored tweet chat and no talking of product was allowed and no sharing of personal information

What can be done better in this tweet chat:

  • Pharma working at arms length. If you can’t join in the discussion then thank the participants for a great tweet chat.
  • I hour and 1/2 can be pretty long, especially if you do not have a lot of participants. Tweet chats usually last 1 hour.
  • Keep the conversation going in between tweet chats you will build a larger following, which adds to the strength of the online community
  • Register the hashtag and tweet chat on symplur.com so that others interested can find and participate

Check out previous #IBDSC tweet chats:

April 2016 (https://storify.com/Sara_Ringer/dudes-with-ibd-recap-ibdsc?utm_content=bufferfdafd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer0

Previous one in 2015 (https://storify.com/Sara_Ringer/teen-life-with-ibd-chat-hosted-by-sara-ringer-dan-?utm_content=buffer4ee38&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Resources

Online Social Engagement by Cancer Patients: A clinic-based patient survey. Lawrence C. An, MD et al. JMIR  Cancer August 19, 106 in Vol 2, No 2 (2016): Jul – Dec

Finding healthcare support in online communities: an exploration of the evolution and efficacy of virtual support groups. Donna Z. Davis and Willemien Calitz. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. Volume 7, Number 3 Lantern (2), August, 2014.

Interesting reads #9

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Case study Spectrum Health System (2013). Engaging, responding within 24 hours and being HIPPA compliant on social media.

“Nothing about us without us” – patient partnership in medical conferences BMJ 2016; 354 Published 14 September 2016 Larry F. Chu et al. BMJ 2016;354:i3883. One key new highlight from this publication, in my opinion, is the dissemination of information from medical conferences by patients. The greater the participation of patients at medical conferences the greater the number of tweets.

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Juror over drug prices puts patient advocacy groups in bind. By Katie Thomas New York Times September 27, 2016 Interesting take on what is the future of patient groups. Their absence in the debate of drug pricing and donations they receive from pharmaceutical companies leaves one to think what role these groups will play in the future.

Pharma and health hashtags

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Health hashtags are transforming healthcare research online, are encouraging collaborations and can bring like minded thoughts together and turn tweets into conversations. Let’s take a look at how pharma is using healthcare hashtags in their online engagement.

1) Is pharma using health hashtags?

I have selected some random tweets from pharmaceutical companies and below each tweet you can find my comments on health hashtags.

amgen

I would have added a specific oncology hashtag.

az-nami

I would have added psychology / mental health hashtags and also NAMI twitter handle.

gilead-science

If you can’t find a specific hashtag then submit one to Symplur.

az-fit2me

I would have added some diabetes hashtags.

Overall, I truly believe pharma can do a better job in using health hashtags.

2) How can pharma benefit in using healthcare hashtags?

It is an excellent way of getting your brand seen and heard

It is an excellent way of getting relevant information to the right audience

It is an excellent way to get clinician perspectives, since clinicians use hashtags

It is an excellent way of discovering important voices in healthcare

It is an excellent way to put lay people in touch with recent research & researchers with people with lived experience

It is an excellent way to encourage collaborations, especially around health care topics

It is an excellent way to identify topics of discussion

It is an excellent way to help collaborators identify each other.

3) Getting the right hashtag?

Sometimes hashtags can be overly specific and too generic making them hard to find and hard to collaborate on specific topics. I have come across hashtags that only have one or a few tweets. The Symplur Healthcare Hashtag Project is free platform for patients, caregivers, advocates, doctors and other providers that connects them to relevant conversations and communities. Can’t find a specific health hashtag, you can also add a hashtag on Symplur.

symplur-homepage

4) So how can pharma adapt to health hash tagging effectively?

First and foremost be sure to research a health hashtag before using it. If it’s rarely used it won’t reach a large audience. Do some social listening to identify health hashtags and topics of discussion. Sometimes pharma companies create their own specific hashtags, but it’s hard to develop a following. The best approach would be to have brand teams include in their campaigns popular health hashtags.

5) What are some of the most common health hashtags?

Symplur is your go to resource. On their website you can identify Tweetchat hashtags, Conference related hashtags, Disease hashtags and health hashtags that are regularly used.

symplur-healthcare-hashtag-project

Resource:

Symplur: http://www.symplur.com

Interesting reads #8

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Invest in CX to drive customer loyalty, advocacy and smiles. June 6, 2016 presentation by Kevin Cochrane at Gartner’s Digital Marketing Conference. We need to remember that behind every device is a real human being. Customer experience is learning about real people.                   

Is AI Better at Diagnosing Disease than a Doctor? August 18, 2016 by Steve Arar. A look at how artificial intelligence such as IBM Watson, Google Deepmind and Babylon are being used in the medical field.                                      

How to run an empathy & user journey mapping workshop – medium – Harry Brignull Jan 4 2016. Understanding what real people want and need. Thinking in terms of users and journeys.

Self forming groups the new form of patient advocacy

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Pharma working with traditional patient groups may look like old school or so yesterday.  Inspiration for this blog post comes from  the New York Times article by Tara Parker-Pope, How parents harnessed the power of social media to challenge Epipen prices (August 25, 2016). Today self forming groups is the new form of patient advocacy.

Q1: What is the difference between self forming patient/consumer groups and traditional patient/advocacy groups?

With the advent of internet and social media, self forming groups have been coming together to organise online. They tend to quickly organise themselves around a certain cause or issue, driven be a passion and motivation and tend to generally be short lived. Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell referred to these consumers and their voice as Citizen Marketers. Traditional structured patient advocate groups on the other hand can be defined as “an individual or an organization, often, though not always, concerned with one specific group of disorders. Typical advocacy activities may include: patient rights, matters of privacy, confidentiality or informed consent, patient representation, awareness building, support and education of patients, survivors and their carers”.

Q2: How are they different in driving patient advocacy?

Traditional patient groups, which are built as traditional hierarchical organisational structure, which in todays internet world can slow decisions. Membership, plays a key role in sustaining these patient organisations and as political clout. Also fundraising is a cornerstone to sustainability and several, if not all, are bound to pharmaceutical sponsorship. Whereas self forming groups come together when there is a need, have no internal reporting and no binds to sponsorship. In fast paced world of internet and social media they are free and more quick to respond to consumer needs.

Q3: Should pharma pay attention to these groups?

They are a force with which pharmaceutical companies must learn to contend with. The self forming groups have the ability to gain momentum very rapidly and have the potential to bring about change. Through crowdsourcing, broadcasting or making our opinions concerns heard across the internet or through social media can come about very easily. Crowdsourcing can be defined as:  the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially an online community, rather than from employees or suppliers. Each person’s contribution combines with those of others to achieve a cumulative result.

Q4: How could pharmaceutical companies work with these new groundswell groups?

Usually these groups are initiated by one influencer which has the capacity to bring together a crowd, through crowdsourcing. One way pharma could approach these groups would be to identify and build a relationship the influencer. Responding or engaging, which pharma is still trying to figure out, to the online discussion would also be vital. I also believe there is a possibility to work in both real and virtual spaces.

Q5: Do self forming groups have success?

Yes. Just take a look at the recent #epigate. A perfect catalyst for change initiated by one influencer, who had strong feeling of rage and anger, created a kick ass hashtag, and through crowdsourcing, was able to raise awareness and challenge epipen prices.

Resources:

How parents harnessed the power of social media to challenge Epipen prices. Tara Parker-Pope. New York Times August 25, 2016.

Citizen Marketers, a book by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell

Interesting reads #7

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Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. In his book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell, highlights the 10,000 hour rule. People that are or have been successful is because of opportunities given to them and because they had dedicated 10,000 hours of practice that allowed them to be masters in their field.

Pharmaceutical companies and their drugs on social media: a content analysis of drug information on popular social media sites. Jennifer Tyrawski, MA and David C. DeAndrea, PhD. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Jun; 17(6): e130. Reviews how pharmaceutical companies are using eDTCA (electronic Direct to Consumer Advertising) on social media platforms. The research articles attempts to answer the following questions:

  1. To what extent is eDTCA present on pharmaceutical companies’ social media accounts?
  2. What is the nature of the user – generated content present on pharmaceutical companies’ social media accounts?
  3. To what extent are (1) drug efficacy claims, (2) personal testimonials, and (3) illegal pharmacies present when searching on popular social media sites for pharmaceutical drugs?

                                                                                                    

Turned off: how brands are annoying customers on social.  The Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index