Social Media All-Stars: Pharma Brands

This post is part of a series of posts highlighting the current champions in healthcare social media. A lot has changed in the past year or so, and some social media superstars have emerged. Here, we give them the spotlight to hopefully inspire your efforts in social media.

By Krissy Goelz (@krisgoelz)

While we were looking for our favorite pharma brands in social media, we were happy to see that one of our favorite companies sits at the top of the list.

Lets not lose perspective: No pharma brand is one of the overall all-stars of social media…yet. But Johnson & Johnson has been taking measures both big and small to prove itself worthy of ranking alongside the Lady Gagas and Barack Obamas of the social sphere – and all this in the face of adversity.

Johnson & Johnson has had a rough year. Confidence in the venerable giants sterling reputation has been shaken after a seemingly endless string of product recalls.

But however beleaguered they may be on the manufacturing side of things, their use of social media continues to be groundbreaking in its practical, positive approach. Here are a few examples that have impressed us:

  1. JNJ BTW has been up for almost four years – a respectable age for a corporate blog.
  2. Kilmer House, the companys historical blog, has a year up on that, starting in the summer of 2006.
  3. JNJHealth is a robust YouTube channel, although it must be said its mostly an archive of footage created for other reasons.
  4. ADHD Moms, offered by McNeil Pediatrics, aims to be a clearinghouse for sharing ideas and research into parenting kids with ADHD.
  5. Acuminder and the corresponding Facebook app, offered by Vistakons Acuvue contact brand, helps contact lens-wearers remember when to change their lenses and make appointments. After four years, their data finds that wearers remembering to change their lenses every two weeks has jumped from 40 to 76 percent.
  6. The brand new &you, launched April 8, offers a customizable aggregation widget to help nonprofits “amplify outreach and interested individuals spend “more time doing. The widget can be posted on a Facebook page, blog or website to share information about a nonprofit, or to help an individual learn about opportunities to work for causes they care about.

What does this list demonstrate, other than J&J’s aptitude for social media? Theyre beginning to realize that its not enough to advertise brand attributes.

This is huge, and its something that most pharma companies are a long way from figuring out.

Its becoming pharmas job to provide useful health services through social media.

J&J is beginning to do that. Sure, their offerings benefit their brands: changing contact lenses frequently is definitely good for the company selling the lenses, and talking about history and philanthropy and parental compassion builds a sense of trust and emotional connection. Good stuff for “the baby company – especially these days, when they need it more than ever.

But more importantly, the social media services that theyre offering are useful to the consumer in a bigger way than “I want to learn about Brand X. The consumers experience with the service should leave them with an improved impression of Brand X, but thats not just what the service does. Its purpose is do do a useful action for the consumer apart from that.

Its a huge shift in thinking for the industry, and its going to take a while to convince people. J&Js actions are going to help them, but moreover, theyre going to help the industry take the concept seriously, and for that, we think theyre all-stars.



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