With almost 2.7 billion social media users worldwide it is vital that pharmaceutical companies form a social media strategy. Social media has transformed the way both consumers and companies communicate and has become the norm across other industries creating an expectation for consumers and patients alike.
There are some simple strategies to adopt to make the most of your social media channels.
Set Brand Objectives
Knowing what you want to get out of social media will help to create your strategy. It may be to promote new products, engage with customers or increase brand awareness. It is important to ensure your objectives are both attainable and measurable. Your social media presence should be tied to your objectives and it is essential to remember that not all social platforms will match every goal. Do your research to ensure you get the maximum engagement by leveraging the correct channel be it Facebook, LinkedIn or growing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Know Your Audience
Social media is a great way to reach a large variety of audiences such as healthcare providers (HCPs), consumers, caregivers and patients. These audiences can be segmented and targeted through social advertising by their location, age range, interests and job titles. This will ensure you reach the correct audience while also keeping costs low if you choose to advertise on social media. For example, as we know the average Instagram user is under 34 this makes it the ideal place to market to younger audiences using compelling images and engaging content. Whereas LinkedIn has a high percentage of well-educated users so the strategy towards this audience would be more in depth content targeted to job titles such as ‘physician’, ‘pharmacist’ or ‘healthcare professional’.
Monitor and Listen
Social media is always on and there is now an expectation for consumers that they will receive a timely response via all social channels. If your brand is active on any social channel it is vital to ensure all user comments are responded to and especially important to monitor for any AE’s to comply with regulation. Compliance is key as many conversations may need to be taken off public forums which can be done via direct message on social channels. Developing a pre-approved template of responses to standard queries can be a great way of handling social customer service for Pharma companies.
Curate Your Content
Engaging content is key to social media. Any content posted should be thought out and relevant to the audience and the social channel. 41% of users say they would unfollow a brand that shared too much irrelevant content. For example, if you are posting a video or gif for a smoking cessation campaign these would work well across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whereas an informative article or infographic may be more engaging for a LinkedIn audience. If you perfect your social media content, you will see higher engagement rates, more followers and generate more leads and sales.
Even with a social media strategy, you cannot prepare for every eventuality. Being reactive to events and comments is an important part of having a strong social media presence. This can be the case when responding to consumer complaints or adverse events. However, it is also important to be reactive in terms of worldwide events – often scheduled social media posts will need to be paused or adapted to be conscious of news or circumstances either in the region you are posting or worldwide.
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