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Successful Pharma Social Campaign & More Digital Health Coalition Learnings

Posted by | 12:37pm on Friday, October 19, 2012
Rosacea Facts Facebook page with spokesperson, Cynthia Nixon

spokesperson, Cynthia Nixon, is featured on Facebook and a YouTube video 

“Social media is the world’s largest focus group, we need to be quiet and listen,” said Charlotte McKines at the Digital Health Coalition’s Fall Summit. The Vice President of Global Marketing Communications at Merck shared her views on October 15 in Philadelphia. “Success comes when you know your customer, drive value for your customer and learn from every customer interaction.” Other speakers echoed the need to use social media listening to gain insights and help drive better results.

“Hiding behind ‘if we don’t hear it, we don’t have to respond to it’ is just not right,” according to Bob Brooks from WEGO Health. He shared preliminary data from their health activist survey including the quote, “Social media is a vital connection between patients and the companies who serve them.” When the full data is released I’ll be sure to blog about it.

What about regulatory?
Preeti Pinto, formerly of AstraZeneca and now a compliance/regulatory consultant, provided practical advice on getting approval for social media projects. “Draw analogies to existing services that are working. For example, chatting at a conference booth is similar to a chat room,” said Pinto. “We need skilled individuals who can interact with a person who is talking off label, being inappropriate or disruptive in social media, just like at a conference booth.”

Pinto recommended establishing clear rules in advance. Terms of use provide clear direction for users, and if someone breaks them, they can be asked to leave the community. She feels that loss of control, not regulatory constraints, is the reason that companies don’t want to engage in social media.

McKines also noted, “Social media is just one channel, we need to integrate it as part of the marketing mix.” In response to a question about the rise of the ePatient, she said, “An empowered patient is very good for pharma. They keep us on our toes; it’s the best thing that could happen to the industry.” These views resonated with the audience.

Using social media for disease awareness
Bill Drummy of Heartbeat Digital shared the social media awareness campaign for Rosacea Facts from Galderma, which has a few products for rosacea. The spokesperson, Cynthia Nixon, is featured on Facebook and a YouTube video and channel, which has had about 400,000 views in the few months since launch. The Facebook page with almost 8,000 likes has generated engaged conversations from patients. John Patton from Facebook added this great advice, “Think about what is shareable, because if it isn’t then it won’t drive engagement.” Galderma lets the comments go live, and then regulatory reviews them within a few hours and removes anything objectionable. Galderma moderates the page themselves. They have not had to ban any Facebook users. Drummy was not at liberty to disclose the specific ROI related to sales of the Galderma products but said that they were pleased.

Another point that seemed to echo throughout the event, that it’s no longer about mobile apps but about mobile content. What do you think about these ideas?

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.

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