The pharmaceutical and biotechnology have finally jumped on the social media bandwagon after sitting on the sideline for about 5 years. Initially, pharma marketers saw an opportunity to increase sales revenues by leveraging social media. But in the age of healthcare reform and concerted pressure on pharma to consider health outcomes rather than drug sales to development better and safer drugs it became apparent that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter et al. would not be the panacea that most pharma marketers thought they would be.
So this begs the question, how is pharma using social media? Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog and a recognized social media enthusiast provides some insights today in a post entitled “What Are They Tweeting? Uses of Twitter by Pharma.”
According to Mark, there are about 44 life sciences companies actively using Twitter. And, not surprisingly, different companies are using Twitter for different purposes. To that point Mark offers four common pharma uses for Twitter.
Some companies have created Twitter feeds exclusively focused on the product that they sell. These feeds provide followers with product news, updates and in some instances customer service.
Mark determined that no fewer than 26 companies are using Twitter to identify and recruit qualified job candidates for open positions at their respective institutions. The use of Twitter allows employers to interact with job candidates to determine whether or not they are qualified for certain positions and whether to invite job applicants in for face-to-face interviews.
Some pharma feeds deal with specific indicates or diseases to build awareness and also to help to indirectly promote treatments for them. These feeds provide information about the diseases, treatment options and connections to patient advocacy groups.
A few companies use Twitter to help to promote patient advocacy around certain therapeutic indications. While this is not common, there may be growth in this area as healthcare becomes more focused on outcomes and preventative medicine strategies.
I am certain that companies use Twitter for other purposes but these appear to be most common uses to date. While pharma and biotech companies are finally beginning to understand the power and reach of social media, the pharmaceutical industry is light years beyond other industries uses of social media. These will likely change in the not-so-distant future as the generation of children who were born and grew up with social media come of age!
Until next time…
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!