Traditionally, Pharma is all about direct-to-consumer advertising, by-passing the back and forth and cutting straight to medical professionals. But this is just no longer an option, you need to get out of your cubicle, go stand by that proverbial water cooler and start communicating. Whatever the product! A Pew Survey found that in 2012, 72% of Americans searched for medical advice online, so how should these big pharmaceutical giants be adapting to the socially invested?

Creating unity within your social message on Facebook

Johnson and Johnson are a great example: currently boasting 625,738 likes on their Facebook page, they use the platform to push a family-centered universe. Alternating posts between fundraisers and activities they slip products and services into an approachable format. Increasingly important in a Facebook market, geared specifically away from head on marketing. 

Their “J&J Mom” campaign, not only includes the audience and encourages active involvement, but again it reaffirms the family image. They even got involved in #MuseumCats, who doesn’t love cats? 

Be Specific, using Twitter

A less obvious social contender would be Shire pharmaceuticals. Instead of encompassing the whole brand onto Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, and the rest of them, they chose precision targeting.

ADHD and You cleverly works with Twitter * to address sufferers and those affected:

“Six Facts about #ADHD”

“9 Homework strategies for students with ADHD”

“Three tips for educators to help students with ADHD keep on task”

The posts are short, informative, and written in a way consumable by sufferers of the disorder. Shire realised that in order to reach a larger market, you need to be specific. Focus on a target audience and you will attract more interactions and a higher click through rate per post. 

* The ADHD and You Twitter account is no longer available. However, there are a number of other helpful resources still available on their site.

Inspire on Tumblr

Between 2012 and 2013, Tumblr mobile engagement grew by 251%. So how do you adapt your posts for this type of audience? The Wellcome Trust brought out a new Tumblr, targeting the public with creative images of brains. They used posters, digital art, paintings, illustration and even knit work to fill the platform. The site didn’t contain any scientific information, but it evoked excitement!

Mobile networking needs to be instant and accessible, if you need to scroll twice to read an article, it isn’t going to work. So Tumblr’s image oriented UX on mobile devices is putty in your hands.  

But above all, be social, be friendly, be approachable / Linkedin

Multinational corporations have always struggled with the threat of public alienation. Pfizer met this head on, using social media as a combatant. Via Linkedin, Pfizer share posts about self-development and career improvements. They show that they care about the individual, not the title, attracting more professionals to the company.

In short, Pharma brands must begin building their online social presence, in order to appear more transparent.

Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook allow companies to:

  • Reach a larger, specific audience
  • Scope out competitors
  • Improve brand appearance
  • Use images as an alternate marketing strategy

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, e-commerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

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