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social media

what can #pharma learn from small businesses about social media


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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

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)

#pharma these are the unwritten rules of social media



Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

#pharma is used to working in a very highly regulated environment, but the social media platform has its structure and unwritten rules. Some of the unwritten rules of social media include the following.

self-promotion rule: 80 % information 20% self-promotion

stay away from trolls

it’s not about followers but about the quality of relationships

stay away from click bait

no substitute for authenticity / authenticity rules on social media

#pharma, constraints are a big driver of creativity on social media



Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay 

Social media constraints can be drivers of creativity. As social media platforms evolve, people are ways looking for ways to *pushing the boundaries* to grab attention. Pharma should be *thinking outside the box*.

character limitation

  • you have limited space so get to the point
  • long ads don’t work

capture the opportunity

feed moves fast

  • capture people’s attention with great content
  • traditional advertising doesn’t cut it anymore

hashtags say it all

  • this is what people will remember
  • communicates your key message

videos and images rule

  • the best way to grab attention in a busy feed use images

#pharma can understand patients better through #socialmedia



Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

A lot of discussion around being patient-centric or patient first during #efpphilly.  #pharma you can learn a lot through social media platforms about patients.

finding patients on social media platforms

  • get the right hashtag
  • try using symplur
  • participate in tweet chats on dedicated medical topics (symplur is great for this)
  • follow medical conferences on twitter
  • #pharma conferences some patient participation here also
  • during awareness days
  • clinical trial updates

listen to patients online

  • what are they talking about
  • what problems are they trying to solve
  • what kind of information are they seeking or sharing

each platform a different audience (so listen to all)

  • ways of communicating may differ on different platforms
  • younger more popular on certain social media platforms than others
  • family friends pretty popular of FB
  • twitter is fast, information and engagement can be overwhelming at times
  • patients are always experimenting with ways to use social media platforms (for example emergence of patient influencers)

engage with patients online

  • besides listening ask questions
  • answer questions quickly
  • experiment with UGC (user generated content)
  • get input / feedback on the content before posting
  • provide useful content not advertising

integrate in your social media strategy

  • integrate findings into your social media strategy
  • refine often, social platforms are evolving fast
  • a lot of experimenting still ongoing on social media platforms

when are followers, shares and likes important?

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay 

I get asked these questions all the time by #pharma.

How important is the number of followers on your social media platforms?

  • well it is the number one criteria by which all are judged upon on social media platforms
  • look at who is following you and not only the number of people following you
  • look to see how many of the followers really have an interest in your content
  • need followers otherwise your message doesn’t get any where
  • the bigger the brand the more followers you should have 

When are shares of your content / posts important?

  • everyone’s wish is for content to go viral
  • everyone likes to see sharing of their content – it gives a certain psychological high
  • not all likes and shares are the same though – are your followers sharing because it is good content
  • when people share it means they are introducing your content to others
  • sharing of content may also make you vulnerable and set you up for judgement

How about the importance of likes?

  • the question to ask yourself is what do you do with the likes you receive
  • likes could mean that content was relevant
  • likes can also be viewed as an engagement

“Likes are always an indicator of social standing, at my age,” says an anonymous 17-year-old survey respondent. “As someone who gets anxious and occasionally struggles with self-esteem, the amount of Likes on my posts can be both hugely uplifting or depressing.”

2017 January The New Statesman

How important is engagement?

  • it is where people thank you
  • it is where people criticize you
  • it is where people turn for answers
  • it is where relationships are built

Is how fast your audience grows important?

  • yes
  • it must be organic
  • don’t buy followers
  • create content relevant for your audience

social content as an extension of #pharma traditional advertising

#Pharma still continues to see social media as an add on of traditional advertising. There needs to be a communications strategy that will combine social media and traditional media. Call it a modern communications plan.

Traditionally

  • Communications or PR staff would write a press release
  • Send to traditional media outlets (journalists, TV, radio)
  • Hope journalists would pick up the story
  • No relationships with the audience was formed

Social media

  • Bypass traditional media filter
  • Allows for fast and easy access to information
  • Allows for instantaneous information
  • Provides for a two way conversation
  • Has allowed for consumers to express themselves

How is #pharma using social media today

  • Still looks like an add on, that is content is not adapted for social media
    • still TV ads on social media (TV ads are designed only for TV)
    • Are people watching your ads?
    • Do you ever ask yourself why would anyone click and watch this?
  • Social media content is still an uncreative process
    • content should be designed for social media
    • try to limit vanity content

What are some of the challenges today for #pharma communications staff

  • PR or communications will have to let go of controlling the message
  • Will need to respond to the wants and needs of the audience
  • Will need to understand how the audience is using social media and traditional media together

How can #pharma combine traditional and social media to benefit the organization

  • Social media and traditional media should compliment each other
  • Traditional media will allow for a broader audience whereas social media a more targeted audience
  • You are providing options for your audience with both social media and traditional media
  • You cover more generation span 

#pharma social media is an evolution, be open to the journey

Social media platforms are very dynamic and constantly evolving. Events or things you did not plan for or did not foresee in your social media strategy can throw you off. #pharma needs to be flexible, be quick to adapt and be open to the journey.

Some changes on social media platforms include the following

  • Mobile first
  • People turning to social media for news first
  • Getting harder to stand out and get your audience’s attention
  • Announcements are no longer made on traditional / conventional news channels

Privacy concerns and transparency

  • Repeated scandals of tech and social media platform companies
  • People concerned about privacy issues / data and how it is being used
  • Trust and accountability

The power of the audience is growing

  • Citizen journalism is growing
  • Being at the right place at the right time
  • Being pulled into political issues (e.g. call for boycotts)
  • The need to respond quickly

The coming of influencers

  • Influencers, vloggers and bloggers have turned into the new celebrities, therefore, the creation of influencer marketing
  • Consumers, however, are also not naive to the fact influencers make money
  • The need for transparency of influencers and brand relationships

Physicians are becoming more outspoken on social media

  • One tweet was enough to bring an online grassroots movement by physicians (#ThisIsOurLane and #ThisISmyLane)
  • Beginning to see a new generation of doctors not afraid to express themselves on social media platforms

what can #pharma learn from the fashion industry about social media

Fashion industry has been experimenting with social media platforms for a while now. Here are some observations #pharma can learn from the fashion industry about social media platforms.

Power of the audience

  • Fashion is being shaped by the consumer
  • Influencers (people) create their own *fashion trends*
  • Because of this influencers are gathering a large following

Social media is an engagement tool not a sales tool

  • Develop a strategy that engages with your audience and does not sell directly

Influencers

  • Fashion is always exploring new ways of working with fashion influencers
  • Influencers are the key to keeping people interested and wanting to follow the brand or influencer
  • Fashion understands the importance of tapping the reach of influencers

Traditional forms of marketing are starting to get *old*

  • Many fashion houses realize this and are looking for new innovative ways to market to their audiences
  • The fashion industry is searching innovative ways of connecting with audience without pushing a product 

Each social media platform can do something different for your brand

  • Each platform is continuously evolving and changing
  • Pick one or a few platforms and develop those well
  • Have a social media strategy for each platform in place

#pharma and hiring through social media

Social media platforms allows for tapping into a large pool of potential candidates. How can #pharma attract the right talent using social media platforms.

What are some of the benefits of social media recruiting?

  • It allows for creating contacts that a company may never have have come in contact with
  • It allows for a company to see beyond just a written resume (I am not referring to stalking and checking candidates) 
  • It allows for increasing job posting visibility
  • It allows for opportunities to come in contact with *passive candidates* (those not actively seeking)

Which is the best social media platform for recruiting?

  • IMO all platforms provide a source for finding excellent talent
  • Each platform brings with it different demographics and creativity
  • Do not limit yourself to one social media platform
  • Do not focus on just the traditional big three FB, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Do incorporate: YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest

What are some ways to find candidates and connect on social media platforms?

  • Use hashtags
  • Join a community
  • Join a TweetChat
  • Follow influencers
  • Get your employees involved in the process, this will broaden your reach and audience
  • Experiment new techniques and platforms
  • Build relationships early on not only when you are just looking
  • Create engaging content rather than just plain posting
the traditional corporate job posting
https://twitter.com/NickAtHootsuite/status/1082698979995922433
a more engaging job posting

Do you have a social media recruiting strategy?

  • Every company should have a social media recruiting strategy
  • Recruiters are responsible for creating the social media recruiting strategy
  • Make sure to track and analyze everything and use data to fine tune
  • Each social media platform should have its own dedicated strategy section: content should be adapted to each social media platform 
  • Track your analytics from each individual platform:
    • Which platform gives more engagement
    • Which strategy has engaged most people
  • Is it aligned with your employee advocacy strategy
  • Is it aligned with your corporate strategy
  • Keep in mind: how active is your company (corporate handle) on social media platforms

I was once asked “Can influencers be hired as employees”?

  • My response: No
  • An influencer is one that has social clout or currency
  • Influencers are experts in their fields 
  • Influencers can help you move your content
  • Influencers can help with access to a different audience
  • Influencers should not be considered an employee
  • On the flip side do look within your organization for those employees that are influencers – they reflect the company culture and are passionate about what they do and can help in reaching potential candidates