POST SUMMARY: As the FDA prepares final guidelines for pharma social media marketing more and more agencies and marketing analysts are questioning the real value of the number one platform in social media, Facebook. In fact Ogilvy recently said “organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.” Time for pharma marketers to question the value of social media marketing with THEIR audiences.
The ability to build communities of fans, and then maintain contact and encourage engagement using content published to fans’ News Feeds was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers. The opportunity of achieving engagement at scale motivated many brands and corporates to invest millions in developing communities and providing for care and feeding via always-on content.
“We’ve lowered our expectations from Facebook in regards to collaboration and partnership,” said Jeffrey Melton, chief distribution officer at digital agency MRY. “At this point, we’re so used to it. Facebook is kind of like your C student who is not failing, but they’re definitely not your A student looking to be the class leader.”
Nate Elliott, the Forrester analyst says “is there any doubt now that Facebook has abandoned social marketing, and that its paid ad products aren’t delivering results for most marketers? Research by the ad agency Ogilvy shows that brand pages reach just 6% of their fans. Pages with more than 500,000 fans reach only 2% of them.
(1) With average per-product returns constrained by tighter payer controls, and higher commercialization expenses, over $35 billion of cost reduction is needed through 2017 in order for large pharmaceutical manufacturers to maintain their current levels of research and development activities as well as their operating margin levels. Therefore pharma marketers are going to be asked to justify every dollar they spend and those dollars are going to have to drive ROI. I can think of other tactics to use before social media right now.
(2) Before investing in Instagram or other social media platforms get out there and do some research to identify patient needs and ask if social media can fill that need?
(3) Don’t invest in just one social media platform.
(4) More than 80% of people access Facebook on mobile devices so do they really have the space to see ads?