Other industries are using social media platforms to converse. Pharma is still using social media platforms to broadcast news. This includes corporate news, regulatory approvals, conferences, disease awareness and corporate responsibility. Why is pharma afraid of social media?
Why is pharma afraid of social media?
- Pharma is a heavily regulated industry
- Guided by external rules (for example the FDA) and internal rules (legal and regulatory)
- Fear of getting a warning from FDA
- Fear of being hit with fines from FDA
- Fear of illegal or unprofessional behavior on social media platforms
- Fear that they will have to change their business model
Is it the social media platforms or the content that pharma gets in trouble for?
- Obviously, pharma gets in trouble for the content, not the platforms
What does pharma need to change?
- Right now it looks like it is just marketing thrown out or press release posted on the diverse platforms
- Pharma is still trying to find their way in social media and still does not understand how it can be used beyond branding
- Pharma needs to enrich the experience of readers with content – competition for content is increasing and harder to grab attention
- Work on enriching content; make the content interesting and fun and want to read and share
- Make social media and content strategy a priority
- Build in-house social media & content marketing expertise
What can pharma learn from other highly regulated industries such as financial/banking sectors that use social media?
- Set content standards – communication must be accurate, fair, balanced and not misleading
- Consider pre-approved content or messages
- Plan content and implement carefully
- Have a system in place to capture and preserve social media communications
- Have in place a supervision of communications – enable but at the same time be compliant
- Focus on risk management and have in place a risk management plan
So how can a highly regulated industry use social media?
- Need to have a clear vision of why you are on social media
- Learn and understand through social listening
- Promote unbranded health awareness
- Rethink core business – think in terms of a service and not in terms of selling a product