How to become a pharma social media rock star in 2018

It’s undeniable that social media can be a real challenge for Pharma companies.

  • The restrictions imposed in a regulated industry when publishing content
  • The strategic decisions global organisations have in establishing global and regional social presences
  • The need to balance corporate, brand and product content and messaging
  • The challenge of deciding who their social outposts should cater for … patients, payers, policymakers, HCPs?

Therefore, it may not be surprising to learn that many of the pharma companies that have adopted social media marketing are still finding their feet. They may simply be using these channels to promote corporate news or re-publishing marketing campaigns. They may have also started following key influencers including KOLs, HCPs or patient groups. The primary KPI may currently be the number of followers or fans accumulated.

As a team who’ve been helping digital teams in global corporates across many sectors succeed in social media over the past decade, we’ve got 5 hot social media tips to help pharma social media managers push ahead, find their confidence and become social media rock stars in 2018.

1. Nurture your pharma social media community spirit

Have conversations. Don’t just start them, find, join and foster them. Consider retweeting or curating great content which you know your followers and fans will find relevant.

Adopt an always-on and real-time mindset, as the conversation doesn’t revolve around you and the working hours of pharma social media managers.

The number of replies or comments on your posts as well as your average response times would be good KPIs in helping understand if the community is accepting you.

2. Only create content that’s brilliantly relevant, valuable and timely

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of routinely creating content calendars full of mediocre content. It’s time to gain a deeper understanding of your followers and the broader social media community around your key therapeutic areas. Only then can you create brilliantly relevant content whether that’s valuable or timely content for your fans, followers and community. Likes and retweets would be useful KPIs here.

Pharma social media managers need to ensure their content is part of a broader content and inbound marketing plan which is informed by the brand strategy.

3. Fully embrace paid social media or leave the stage

Facebook announced on 11th Jan that they would prioritise family and friends posts over companies and media outlets. This was an inevitable move which further reduces the organic reach of companies posts on Facebook.

Therefore, as social media increasingly becomes another pay-to-play channel, as well as needing relevant content, pharma companies need to budget for promotion to reach their fans and followers as well as the wider community.

4. Get in touch with your inner filmmaker.

As the consumption of video content on social media channels continued to grow during 2017, pharma social media managers need to ensure video is part of their format mix in 2018. If it’s not being used already then it’s time to start experimenting with video and live video content during 2018.

All the main social media platforms are video-ready so it’s important for pharma social media managers to get to grips with how to get the best from each of them.

5. It’s time to ‘really’ listen to what social media is telling you

Use social listening tools to gain insights which can be used to inform and then make improvements across the whole company. ROI should be the ultimate KPI here.

Social listening tools can also help identify influencers which may or may not be on your KOL radar. Some of these may be micro-influencers, which means that even though they have relatively small communities in particular therapeutic areas, they hold incredible influence. KPIs here would be the number of micro-influencers following you and their engagement with your content.

And to find out who are the pharma social media stars take a look at our Social Media Ranking — Global Twitter Edition 2018

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