A blog exploring pharmaceutical relationship marketing, emarketing and innovation with a focus on rare disorders.
The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Fake Patient Facebook Profile: Do Good Intentions Trump Truth?

Posted by | 10:07am on Saturday, May 15, 2010
Sara Baker
Sara Baker

Truth is usually more powerful than fiction so why fake it? 

Sara Baker’s Facebook profile includes a wedding picture, photos of her adorable twins and comments about her son’s painful ear infection. But it turns out that Sara isn’t a real person.  She’s a persona created by MEDSEEK as a “sort of ‘everyman’ of health care, representing web-savvy people across the country who are ready to interact with their healthcare providers the same way they interact with their banks, travel agencies and retail merchants.”

In theory it sounds okay, but in practice on Facebook it’s weird to see people congratulating this persona on the birth of the twins and commenting on the nursery décor. It doesn’t appear that the company was attempting to trick anyone, but is this an effective way to connect with people on Facebook and communicate ideas? Instead of thinking about this brand or online health, I’m wondering about the real woman in this photo and her story.

Andrew Spong, Digital Conveyancer at STweM, created a quick poll with the results as of this posting below.

Facebook poll results

Personally, I’m a fan of using real patient stories.  Truth is usually more powerful than fiction so why fake it?

Big thanks to Daphne Swancutt, Director of Healthcare Strategy at IMRE, for finding this. It’s one reason I love Twitter – I get information I won’t get ANYWHERE else.

This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

12 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

Siren Interactive
  • Siren Interactive
  • Rare Disease Relationship Marketing Experts
  • 626 West Jackson Blvd, Suite 100
  • Chicago, IL 60661
  • 312.204.6700
  • 866.502.6714 (Toll Free)
  • www.sireninteractive.com