There has been much debate on the value that social media can bring to a well-developed marketing plan. After all, speech is strictly governed to avoid content that is inaccurate or objectionable. However, no matter where your pharmaceutical company finds itself in its product development process, the advantages of digital marketing—specifically organic social—can add significant value without compromising integrity. According to Statista, the average daily social media usage worldwide has increased to 147 minutes per day in 2022, up from 145 minutes per day in 2021. Even though it appears to be a small increase, the implications are substantial. The sooner you act, the less you’ll miss out.
Building the Corporate Foundation
While creating your company’s corporate foundation, you first want to confirm which platforms your target customers prefer, and then develop a plan to make yourself visible on those platforms in a relevant and meaningful way. Creating a strong social strategy to establish the brand’s identity online comes next. An effective social strategy will assist your brand in reaching its overall business goals. Remember, your social media should be seen as an extension of your sales and business development teams, and as a place to generate more qualified leads.
Clinical Study Phase
Once your company has reached the clinical study phase, social media can generate buzz around patient recruitment. According to preliminary data from the Journal of Medical Internet Research, social media can increase participation and reduce per-participant cost. By sharing specific content series around patient recruitment, data, and trial results, your company and brand will be able to reach a new audience online that may not have known about the trial otherwise.
Disease State Education and Market Shaping
As your company enters the disease state education and market-shaping phase of development, there are increasing opportunities to prove that both your company and leadership team are experts in your field. By distributing content across social media that consists of conference coverage and webinar-related news, as well as joining relevant disease forums and groups, your company and brand will more naturally be seen as a thought leader within your therapeutic category. During this stage, you can also co-create valuable social media materials with advocacy groups and non-profits.
Brand Launch and Activation
While your product is newly launched into the market, consistently monitoring social media channels is imperative in staying abreast of what the public says about your brand. This will also present the opportunity to quickly respond to any comments, negative or positive, keeping your brand ahead of the competition. During this stage, content should be shared to both corporate and brand pages. Content should consist of activation tactics, upcoming conferences or events you will be attending, testimonials from new patients or HCPs, and engaging video messages. Interacting on social media with other like-minded accounts during this stage will assist in creating long-term relationships with HCPs, advocacy groups, and distributors. Aligning your social strategy with your selling strategy will help guide messaging overall.
After your brand has been launched, organic social media should continue to play a significant role in your overall marketing strategy. Now is the time to reassess which areas of social media your brand has been successful in, and which areas could use some improvement. In this stage, you should be looking at which channels are—and are not—working for your brand. Post-launch marketing is also an appropriate time to share with the world how well-received your product has been with patients and doctors through testimonials shared on your social pages. Revisiting your following and hashtag strategies is essential to confirm that you are up-to-date on industry best practices. By adjusting your current tactics and adding new ones in, you will set your brand up for continued success.
In summary, social media has the power to:
If your company or brand is still considering whether to join social media or not, the answer is simple: there is no better time than now.