Should Pharma Abandon Social Media?

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Not only do I like Brand X, I LOVE it. I LOVE it so much that all I want to do is sing from the rooftops, shout from the mountains, and take out a full-page ad in the New York Times. I tell everyone on my Facebook page that they have to buy Brand X right now. I tweet that Brand X has changed my life, that it will change yours too, that my followers should follow Brand X’s hashtag right away! But, most importantly, I set up a Pinterest page to share themes that remind me of Brand X, maybe other brands too.

Hey, Pharma—does this sound like your greatest dream or your worst nightmare? I bet it’s the latter. While this kind of brand recognition is critical in the potato chip industry or the mobile phone world, our industry is simply not set up for this kind of promotion. After all, we deal in science, and science is serious business. Personal health is a serious matter, and while it’s true that we want to sing from the rooftops when we are well, it’s quite the opposite when we are sick. Illness is usually not something to be celebrated, or followed, or promoted.

Before jumping in to social media, you need to truly understand its premise: it’s about building relationships. We all know that the industry may never have really deep relationships with its customers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity. Health is personal and emotional—excellent seeds for starting a relationship. The real problem is with Pharma sustaining any relationship it does create. My recommendation: plan carefully and realistically. Good relationships take time to cultivate, constant attention, and the resources to support them. And good relationships last longer than 18 months.

Read the full story, Should pharma abandon social media?, on MM&M’s website.

Zoe Dunn
Zoe Dunn, President and CEO of Hale Advisors, is a digital marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years of experience in the field. She has extensive experience in both the agency and commercial marketing side of the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and biotech industries.

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