How to use social media for pharmaceutical marketing?

Social media for pharmaceutical marketing is a bit of a curious topic to discuss. However, social media marketing for consumer products is largely popular. According to the survey done by Sprout, 84% of marketers believe they have successful brand engagement through social media platforms. 

A few pharmaceutical companies carried out social media marketing campaigns in the USA. But most of the other pharmaceutical companies do not use them due to the restrictions. The restrictions are different region-wise while the USA has some provisions for advertising the pharmaceutics directly to the consumer.

However, here I intend to discuss how to use social media marketing for the pharmaceutical customer, not to the end-user or patients. Pharma customers are health care professionals. If pharmaceutical marketers are creative, there may have enough room to use social media for pharmaceutical marketing. Read further down to uncover the real use of social media.

For instance, almost half of the population in the world now engage with any type of social media channel.

Social media stats for your attention

Before dive into our discussion, let’s check interesting social media statistics. I assume you will be stimulated with these numbers. 

  • Social media users – 53.6% or 4.2 billion from the world population
  • Annual growth of social media users – 13.2%
  • #1 social media platform is Facebook – monthly active users 2.8 billion 
  • #2 social media platform is YouTube – users 2.2 billion
  • #3 social media platform is WhatsApp – users 2 billion
  • Average time spending on social media per day by an individual – 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Product researches in social media networks – 43% of the world population
  • From total social network users, 36% receives news from Facebook
  • 1.8 billion people use Facebook groups
  • Facebook group joining is growing at 3.3%
  • Twitter users – 353 monthly active users
  • 187 million monetizable daily active users
  • Twitter is the 6th ranked mobile app
  • Twitter has relatively low popularity in the South Asian region, though it is highly popular among the USA and Europe
  • Consumers say they trust a brand if they can reach it through the chat and 53% says they would buy the brand. (Apps like WhatsApp or WeChat or Viber)  
  • In terms of brand connection, 55% of consumers say, they feel more engaged with the brand if they use messaging Apps. 

Do you like to know what social-media to use for pharmaceutical marketing? Read further down.

What are the social media platforms that applicable for pharma marketing?

The below channels would be ideal for applying to pharmaceutical marketing. After this chapter. I will take each platform to discuss how to use them for the purpose. 

  1. Facebook
  2. Youtube
  3. Twitter
  4. WhatsApp
  5. Clubhouse

Social media for pharmaceutical – How to use Facebook for pharmaceutical marketing?

The answer is tricky. You should play within your boundaries in this highly regulated industry. But as I always mention if you are creative and if you have the desire to make a disruptive impact in the market, things will change accordingly. I am giving below possible options for Facebook marketing. 

  1. Build your prospects around a Facebook group
  2. Form a Facebook page to divert the traffic to your corporate website or blog
  3. Use Facebook data for proper customer survey     

#1 Build your prospect around a Facebook group

A group would be a great way to start. You can gather them around a specific topic or a reason. But, here you should clearly expose your intention of having such a group. otherwise, they might see this as a trickery effort.

The group may be for a lifestyle interest such as wildlife, travelling or car racing or something similar. In the group, you can share the contents related to the group topic. As well as, you can go off the topic and add on-and-off content related to the product or diseases. Also through the topic, you can direct them to your official blog or website for website marketing.

Additionally, I want to emphasize the blog should have content that suits your audiences’ interests. Yes, you can have products or disease-related contents too. But, if you want to attract them to the blog, there should be different and interesting contents.  

Moreover, you can motivate groups members to share a few contents such as articles, images, videos or posters regarding trending diseases or medicines.

However, when you use social media for pharmaceutical marketing, you should talk to your audience in social media language. You should identify the tone and how to get the engagement. They may be healthcare professionals but in a social media channel, they may have different behaviours.

#2 Form a Facebook page to divert the traffic to your corporate website or blog

A page should handle carefully as it is open to even the public. You don’t have the option to block the non-healthcare professionals following your page. So, through a page, you should never promote a pharma product. Hence, here you can enhance your corporate reputation through various activities. Find below three major possibilities through a Facebook page. 

  • Establish your corporate brand and reputation among your direct customers and the general public.
  • Conduct public awareness-building campaign through the page such as, increase awareness about a specific disease, for example; awareness about Alzheimer dementia etc. You may invite your prospects or customers to write articles to publish on the page. Also, have a live talk show for the public about trending disease. Isn’t it giving you a great engagement point to your customer? 
  • One step forward you might want to do recruitments by calling for application through the page. That will give a message to society and your prospects about the value of your presence.  

How to use the massive amount of data those are available in Facebook. Check that out below.

#3 Use Facebook data for proper customer survey               

Unlike other consumer industries, I hope the pharmaceutical industry’s surveys are still outdated and dull. This could be one reason to fail most of the new product launches and new marketing campaigns. Because in those two instances your market intelligence should be substantial.

If you have built up a proper buyer persona through a 360-degree customer character survey, the results of campaigns could have been much higher than that.

More than 4 billion people around the world or 50% of the world population use Facebook. So, don’t you think your prospect use it? Additionally, the Facebook profile has given you a data pool to understand your prospect. 

Their interest, family, joined clubs, other likes, policies, politics and viewpoints about topics, even their food habit might available if you are smart enough to use them. On the other hand, if you are keen to use social media for pharmaceutical marketing you should have this data hunger to utilize them for commercial purpose.

I would like to further discuss how to use Facebook data for better buyer persona development in a future article.

Ok, now how about No.02 social-media platform YouTube?   

Social media for pharmaceutical – How to use Youtube for pharmaceutical marketing?

It is as simple as you think. Just add video content to reach your target audience. However, remember you have two target audience, one is your direct customers and the other one is end-user. 

You know what to do with direct customers. But what to do with end-users? It is the same as you did on the Facebook page. Use Youtube to increase the awareness among end-users. Use the Youtube channel to contribute to society’s betterment. Contribution to society will pay back to you in the means of good reputation for the corporate. 

Also, there will be more inquiries for the medical professionals from the public which there will be indirect benefits to your brand.  

Now let’s talk about how to utilize this amazing promotional tool for your business.

  • Share your product-related video contents such as mode of actions and other pharmacology profile by targeting your customers (healthcare professionals). The graphical illustrations would be ideal to make understand the customers. (Stay within the regulations)
  • Make separate simple video contents for the general public to understand about the diseases. (Never relate to your products)
  • Give those video links (Made for healthcare professionals) in your printed promotional tools. Invite your customers to watch them. Share the links with your target customers or prospects through WhatsApp. 
  • Train your promotional staff to use them in a customer call. Perhaps you can use them instead of printed brochures.    

That’s about Youtube, what kind of an impact can be done to your marketing effort through the simple WhatsApp platform?

WhatsApp for pharmaceutical marketing  

It is a kind of messenger marketing. People send more than 100 billion messages per day through WhatsApp, just imagine the potentiality of the app. Also, researchers say that people spend 38 minutes per day on WhatsApp on Android phones. 

So, what’s the use for pharmaceutical marketing. Indeed, again it depends on how creative pharma marketers are. Also, to what extent they want to be disruptive in the market? Find the below creative alternatives how you can use WhatsApp for pharmaceutical marketing effort. 

  • Use the app as a corporate messaging app for customers to reach instantly (55% of a consumer feel they are more engaged with the brand if the brand use messaging pp)
  • Invite the customers to reach to you through WhatsApp for whatever their inquiry
  • Share the most important news through the app
  • Add the greetings for customers’ birthday or anniversaries (70% of Consumers say they like to engage with personalized messages) 
  • Share e-versions of medical book, trials or studies through the corporate WhatsApp 
  • Use the app as a helpline for customers during a crisis period such as the Covid19 pandemic
  • Add the corporate WhatsApp number to all printing promotional material to make it a major customer touch-point (Adding WhatsApp number on the website or in printing material will give you 27% additional sales leads)
  • Conduct a customer survey or market survey through WhatsApp (Maybe after using the product or to get their insight about the field promotional staff) 

This type of small initiative ensures a strong relationship with the customer as well as increases engagements and touch-points.

By the way what do you know about trending social media app Clubhouse.

How to use Clubhouse for pharmaceutical marketing

Clubhouse is social app that can engage with audience through live audio sharing. You can join only on invitations yet. This is great platform to shere the knowledge among the audience those are interested in the topic. 

The app is officially launched with the new upgrade on May 2021. So the app is still in the beginner stage. However, it is quite evident, Clubhouse app is now trending.

Before even it come to big stage, I am trying to give you a few points about adding the amazing app into your social media marketing effort. Read below creative possibilities with Clubhouse for pharmaceutical marketing. 

  1. Start a club and invite your healthcare customers to have a novel experience
  2. Explain to them the possibility of using the app even while working (As it is only a voice app)
  3. Not only the healthcare topics but also anything that makes your customers interested in
  4. Participate in their discussion as a technical assistant or moderator in Clubhouse   

I will add a separate dedicated article about Clubhouse app possibilities in near future. Don’t forget to follow me in Clubhouse.

To conclude, hope I have justified the question you have about how to use Social media for pharmaceutical marketing. As long as the pharmaceutical marketers are creative they can utilize these media for pharmaceutical marketing.       

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