Study: Pharma Companies Missing Out On Social Media Opportunities

pharmaceutical production line

Pharmaceutical companies are missing out on social media opportunities, according to Worldcom’s Digital Health Monitor report.

The Worldcom Public Relations Group suggests many large pharmaceutical companies are not optimising online and social media communications to their advantage.

In Worldcom’s inaugural Digital Health Monitor, research identifies how 25 global pharmaceutical firms across 20 countries manage their online and social media presence globally.

“Our first Digital Health Monitor has uncovered interesting trends and several lost opportunities, and while we recognise there are limitations to what can be said and where it can be said, we recommend a more holistic view be taken with channels available”, said Worldcom’s healthcare practice group chairman Serge Beckers.

“Simple steps, such as using YouTube to build the employer brand, can help pharma companies compete in the increasingly tough battle for talent.”

The report ranks each company in terms of their presence on, and the use of, apps, blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube.

It also reviewed the use of these channels by country.

Pfizer, for example, came out on top for the use of YouTube, while Novartis ranked as top user for LinkedIn.

The report found, however, that none of the companies used these channels to maximum advantage.

The Digital Health Monitor also examined messages about pharmaceutical companies and those issued by the companies reviewed.

While most are neutral, there are a number of negative messages around topics such as opioid abuse, bribery and corruption.

The report concludes with five recommendations to improve ROI from online communications.

  1. Companies should ensure there is a careers channel on YouTube where ‘advocate employees’ can post reviews of their experiences to promote an ‘employer brand’. This will help win the battle for talent.
  2. Review the usage of the digital channels most used by target audiences. Companies should ensure their brand is present at both a global and local level.
  3. Compare one’s digital ‘footprint’ to that of your peers and competitors. This audit will help ensure companies are not losing ground by missing opportunities to share permitted information across all available channels.
  4.  Invest in each local market by investing in appropriate local digital channels. This helps demonstrate that companies care about each local market.
  5. Companies should use the analysis from online monitoring to identify topics where it’s essential they have an opinion and share that opinion on a proactive basis.

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