Are pharma and social media two worlds apart? Can pharma companies navigate the world of social with their complex regulations and succeed like their counterparts from other industries? As more pharma companies take the brave leap to digital, the future looks more certain for pharmaceutical digital marketing and social media.

Here’s what we can learn from the trends so far and what we can expect from pharma companies and their use of social media.

First findings – social is no longer unexplored territory

For many pharmacos, the main reasoning behind their lack of participation in social media is that no other major company is doing it, and nobody wants to be the ice breaker and take the risk. As it turns out, pharma companies are slowly but surely moving in on social media territory and making themselves at home.

According to research, there are more than 230 Facebook pages reviewed by pharma marketers, along with 334 Twitter accounts, 149 YouTube channels and a plethora of other accounts such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

As it turns out, pharma is already present on major social media outlets, it’s just a matter of following where the crowd is going and taking a lesson from their moves. Speaking of which…

Facebook as the primary source

Even though the ultimate tool for pharma marketing to physicians has been touted to be LinkedIn, studies have shown that pharma companies need to establish presence on Facebook as well.  While newer platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are still too far detached from pharmacos ideal target audience, Facebook is the logical choice to opt for.

Professionally, physicians engage the most with each other and pharma brands on LinkedIn, but Facebook should not be neglected. While it has more benefits for marketing to patients, it’s still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to physician communication.

Choose your ad formats well

Besides the content they share, one of the biggest struggles that pharma marketers have with are paid ads. Each social media platform has different rules for ads, a variety of different formats and most importantly, ways to publish them to your idea target audience. Before spending any ad money, familiarize yourself with the rules, the formats and the possible return on investment.

For example, targeting is relatively easy on LinkedIn, where you can select filters for physicians such as title, country, workplace and whether they follow your brand. On the other hand, targeting physicians on platforms such as Facebook is much more difficult, since you have to rely on occupation mostly. Ideally, you can build target and lookalike audiences using a set of emails, but this is hardly an option since most Facebook users sign up with their personal and not professional address.

Utilize the power of video

As we’ve discussed before, video is a multichannel marketing format that can be adapted to approved email, website use and even social media. In fact, video has one of the highest engagement rates on social media. Depending on the platform, it scores higher than plain text, links and even images. To ensure maximum engagement, make sure to throw video in your multichannel mix.

Get help with your pharma marketing strategy

Would you like to learn from a company that has helped more than 50 pharma brands with their multichannel and social media marketing? At BlueNovius, we’re the home of the PubExplainer, the medical video explainer solution that turns your scientific publications into engaging explainer video solutions that maximize your brand’s share of voice. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to us today!