Currently, some health care and pharmaceutical companies have been very wary of using Facebook and social media as marketing strategies. In order to protect their integrity, some shy away from this avenue because it is not specifically mentioned by the FDA.
However, social media and Facebook does not have to be your enemy if you apply these principles to your marketing strategies:
Is the Info Helpful?
Information about a product is helpful when it is relevant–this includes risks of taking or using the product and any possible reaction to the product. Companies need to discuss their products or services. Consumers are savvy and will do their research.
Ask Not Tell
The consumer will be more likely to be involved in social media if the company asks pertinent questions and listens to the consumer. This achieves a discussion with the consumer. Telling a consumer why the product is right for them is no longer a suitable way to present a service/product.
This means the decision to purchase the service/product is driven by the consumer. Consumers now do a lot of research and want to understand what they are buying or who they are obtaining services from. They want to be able to contact someone directly to have their questions answered. This may be difficult in some situations because doctors are not able to talk specifics about work due to HIPAA and patient privacy. This must be tailored by case.
Do not use sales or pharmaceutical rep. Have experts who will respond to consumers questions, thoughts or concerns (i.e. physician, scientist, dentist). This gives credibility to your responses. Consumers want transparency and want experts answering their questions.
Determine Appropriate Standards
Your standard of success is not the number of followers or likes—it is the overall environment and interaction of consumers. The more participation on your site, the more life and credibility you have with consumers on social media.
It can not be a marketing crusade. Consumers will ignore what comes across as a facade. Consumers want commitment behind a product/service. A company needs to be committed to helping their consumers.
You need to schedule when you will create new posts consistently. We live in a time where things change by the minute. You do not need a new post every hour, but you need to stay current for your consumers.
You need to be transparent with your customers so they trust you. You need to monitor posts on your social media pages.
The four things to monitor are:
- Who is the one affected
- Who is reporting the effects
- What was the reportable event
- What is the suspected product/agent/service that the reportable event is about
Anyone can use social media/Facebook effectively if they remember these concepts. Social media is not my enemy or yours. We just have to learn to use it safely, effectively and wisely.