by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)
There has been a lot of talk, over the past few months, over Facebook’s changing commenting policies and the pharma industry. Our friend Jonathan Richman clears things up nicely on Dose of Digital, so we won’t bother going into too much detail here. Basically, though, Facebook has changed its policy regarding comments on a gage. Wherein, in the past, a pharma brand could request to have comments disabled on their brand’s page, the policy has changed to allow only pages that are dedicated solely to a prescription drug to have the option to disable commenting.
Since pharma itself is such a highly regulated industry, this change has caused a problem for brands trying to engage (where their users/patients/communities are) but still control what is put on the wall of the page. What’s the problem, you may ask, in users posting what they think about a pharma brand/drug/product on the wall of a page?
It’s not so innocuous as it seems. The pharma industry, as those who are regular readers know and can relate to, is a highly regulated industry. There are a ton of rules. And a drug can only claim to be and do what the FDA has said it is OK to claim it is and can do. With open comments, companies run the risk of the general public suggesting uses that the drug is not approved for or making accusation against the company or even sharing unsupported (yet enthusiastically positive) praise. And much to the dismay of nearly everyone in this space, the FDA has not offered clear any guidance on the subject of health care and pharma social media.
There are ways (and were more when there was the simple option of disabling wall comments) to get around the touchy points and stay on the good side of the FDA when a pharma company has a Facebook presence. They include great community management (We’re talking someone monitoring and moderating twenty-four/seven) to using a spokesperson whose page would need less stringent regulation, but would still need a large amount of management, moderation and an eagle eye. Facebook has some filters in place for pages – where, for instance, a brand can set a list of words to block and checked before the comment will be approved – but the spammers and malicious commentators who want to get around them will do so. And easily.
Last week we heard about a new product, a Facebook “monitoring and moderation tool,” called PharmaWall, whose features (from their website) include:
- Ability for Facebook members and page owners to create new posts and comment on posts
- Ability to receive notifications of comments on a users own post or comment
- Ability to display messages in the news feeds of all Facebook members who have “liked the page, keeping them up-to-date on the latest news and information displayed on the page
- A moderation queue enabling easy content review and approvals
- Ability to use an interstitial message for external links
- Areas that allow for the display of safety information
- 24/7 monitoring services available
- Administrator alerts for rapid awareness of new user-generated content
- Documentation of all company- and user-generated content ¢‚Ç¨” whether published or not ¢‚Ç¨” for future reference
We are curious if anyone has had a chance to play around with the live demo or implemented this product on your own pharma Facebook page yet. What do you think? Is this the tool you’ve been looking for? Will it make your role as a page administrator any easier?
And hey, if you think it’s still all too complicated, there’s always traditional advertising…