Is social media right for pharma?

KEY TAKEAWAY: GWI Social examined the very latest figures for social media engagement, social behaviors and trends within the social space.  Among the key findings…filling up spare time is the main reason for using social media among 16-24s, while older groups see these platforms as a way to keep up with friends and the news.  But is social media right for pharma?

Almost every internet user can now be reached via social media – 94% of digital consumers aged 16-64 say they have an account on at least one social platform and 98% have visited/used one within the last month.  So then, is social media a channel for pharma to reach patients?

Pfizer is using Facebook as an ad platform, but are men really going to click on the ad because Viagra now comes in individual dosage envelopes?

Facebook has become a media rich RSS feed with users following interests and participating in social media activism via the share button.  We can easily express outrage by simply sharing content we agree with but as facebook seems to know where we have been on the web and what we have done will “suggested post” health content become too intrusive?

In research, earlier this year, a lot of older facebook users were surprised to have suggested content appear in their facebook feed.  A number of older women said they were offended and shocked that facebook seemed to know what health content they were researching online.

So is social media right for pharma?  In some cases, yes.  At a minimum pharma should be listening to what patients are saying about their product as well as competitors’ products and using the input for content that addresses questions/concerns.

As for advertising on social media there are opportunities, but rather than advertise “single packs” perhaps Pfizer would do better to talk about men’s health as a way to engage the social media audience.

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