The Life Sciences industry has an additional set of challenges when it comes to Social Media and the way that they are able to leverage the power of the content available and join the conversation.
If you came to this page, it's likely that you are already aware of these challenges and perhaps looking for a way to mitigate risk but also get off the sidelines.
Our philosophy for all industries is Listen, Analyze, Act. Act is the stage at which a company can create points of interest, to interact with the audience and work proactively to foster the trust of the communities it serves. Whereas this can still be true for you, it is not without uncertainty.
Social Media has existed since humans first began to communicate - cave drawings allowed people to convey opinion, preference and insight. Similarly the profession of life sciences has existed with records going back as far as 4000 years BC. Today social media and life sciences are becoming heavily linked. The Internet is not new - it has been around for a while as has search engines and the two have profoundly changed the way that people get information and communicate. Add to the mix social media, and the result has been a communications revolution the magnitude of which has not been seen since the advent of broadcast television. The Internet and social media landscape moves at the speed of light. Consider that Twitter only came into existence three years ago and that Facebook, launched in 2004, has more than 500 million members. The development of each new platform introduces new questions.
Within the Life Sciences Social Media arena people have 1000's of conversations every day that impact brands. In 2009 alone, more than 80 million consumers, about 35 percent of all U.S. adults, used social media for health and medical purposes. And 8 in 10 Internet users, or 61 percent of U.S. adults, have researched online for health and medical information. Despite consumers' growing dependence on this medium for health information, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet issued definitive regulations or guidelines addressing drug and device manufacturers' use of social media to market their products.
This has not stopped Life Science Companies from trying to leverage Social Media. Today, hundreds of Life Sciences companies are using social media. It is also important to note how many employees are using Twitter to provide information to patients with the caveat that they are not 'official' company representatives but still provide access to facts, research, etc. that offers benefits/guidance. This is a tricky area and a fine line to walk until the FDA offers greater clarity: it is a Pandora's box that cannot easily be reversed.
It is our belief that companies should:
- Develop policies governing employee use of social media.
- Closely monitor and enforce these policies. FDA has stated that it is a "good idea" for companies to have a "robust policy in place for any type of promotion about their products, including social media."
- Closely track FDA warning and untitled letters to avoid the mistakes your peers make when they communicate through social media.
- Participate in all FDA meetings and provide FDA with information when requested.
Pay attention. FDA's Internet policy may emerge sooner that you think. There has already been an opportunity to participate in FDA/industry hearings and submit comments, hopefully soon we will get the opportunity to respond to draft guidance documents and draft regulations.
Who has the time and the resources to do all of this and actively listen to social media? And what are the regulatory implications of even trying to or nor doing it?
Working together Socialintell will help you develop social media policies for your organization. Together we will create a filter that listens for only what you want to know. We will help you understand why people choose one product over another, to be ahead of any challenges to your reputation, what is being said about your competitors, find new accolades and uncover where the most conversations are happening and when. Socialintell will provide you with clear sentiment analysis on what people think, what they want and where you can reach them to help you leverage opportunities, combat threats and make meaningful connections. Socialintell closely monitors and tracks FDA warning letters and will share this with you to ensure your organization remains compliant. Socialintell is dedicated to providing organizations with insight into what is being said about their brands, their competitor's brands and the industry they operate in, not just relying on the traditional media (although that can often be a good start).
Our focus is to derive these insights from social networks and perhaps most important, the myriad blogs and community forums relevant to specific industries and therapeutic areas of interest and comments and discussions that stem from initial trade/media postings and external promotions. Socialintell provides a service - not just a technology - with dedicated research analysts who have spent years in their chosen industry - this means that social and traditional content is reviewed by people who truly understand what is important to your industry, whether that be pharmaceutical, medical devices or more consumer-facing feedback.
- Social Media Monitoring
- Competitive Insight
- Campaign Effectiveness
- Reputation Management
- Brand Advocacy
- Brand Protection
The head of Life Sciences for Socialintell, Peter Billiaert, is responsible for our sentiment and research analysts working for the industry. Having spent more than 25 years in the Pharmaceutical industry in senior management and executive positions, Peter brings significant subject matter expertise in the discussion about the use of Social Media in the industry.
If you would like further information please contact Peter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Socialintell is dedicated to providing organizations with actionable insight into what is being said about their brands, their competitors brands and the industry they operate in, not just relying on the traditional media (although that can often be a good start). Our methodology is based upon sound principles. We advocate a simple but consistent approach: