Social is not a brand Facebook page or a corporate tweet. It’s not a one-way push. Social is engaging and interacting with individuals at a personal level; that’s a two-way street. Â To date pharma has barely scratched the surface of one-way social, let alone done much of anything in terms of true, two-way communication.
Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…regulatory concerns. Â But if pharma uses common sense, a sound strategy, and sticks to their corporate mission, participating in two-way social is a win-win for everyone.
A recent article by Vernessa Pollard entitled FDAâ€™s Social Media Enforcement: Emerging Rules of Engagement nicely lays out a handful of social guidelines pharma companies need to consider in the absence of specific guidance from FDA.
Should be required reading for all of Pharma.
With all the legal and regulatory issues surrounding pharma, how can the 21st century pharma company truly leverage the full power of social? Â It’s starts with listening and understanding.
In the researchÂ world, social is NOT just Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Â Social is over 200 million sites with user-generated content…it’s the world’s largest focus group. Â Real-time, unbiased, incentivized, unmoderated, patient and caregiver conversations…the holy grail of qualitative data!
In late 2010, theÂ Marketing Research Association publishedÂ MRA/IMRO Guide to the Top 16 Social Media Research Questions. Great introduction that reviews the role of social media research, ethical and legal issues, processes and providers, and much more. Â It should be required reading for the pharmaceutical market researcher (or brand manager) who is just dipping their toes in the social market research waters.
Michael Brito recently summarized Â The State of Corporate Social Media Report, by Useful Social Media.
Many interesting points. Â But the one key item that I believe is most relevant from a pharmaceutical corporate perspective is:
43% of surveyed corporations keep their social team within marketing, while only 15% keep them within corporate communications (and another 35% aren’t within any specific department)
Social should be an enterprise-wide initiative, with applications in product development, market research, corporate communications, marketing and more. Â Think big.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for formal rulings from FDA on how to deal with potential Adverse Events in social. Â But in the meantime, here are just a few of my favorite AE/social links: