Seven No-Nos of Social Media Engagement


by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)

Wrath. Sloth. Greed. Gluttony. Lust. Envy. Pride.

The seven deadly sins.

In June of this year, PM360 laid out the Seven Deadly Sins of Pharma Marketing (you can take a peek at the digital edition here). And Dave Sonderman laid out his accompanying thoughts on the unintentional sins in a post on the GSW Worldwide blog. In light of Facebooks latest position on walls for pharma companies, we thought it would be interesting to re-visit those old no-nos with a fresh, and more social, spin.

Because, while those articles may only be from 2 months ago, a lot can change, and has, in the world of social media in that time.

Here are seven ways you can really mess up your companys social media outreach:

Dont listen. There are a lot of tools available for nearly every social media channel you can imagine. And you need to utilize them. Just because your brand does not have a presence on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn (or any number of other social platforms) does not mean that people are not talking about it there. Use the right tools and find out what people are saying about you.

Dont respond. Especially with the changes to the Facebook wall for pharma, its crucial to have a response for every inquiry. Taking down someones comment of your wall? Make sure to respond to the person when you do. No response or explanation might just put you on a path to bigger problems or more unsavory comments.

Dont react. Its possible that you have only one person managing your social channels. Its also possible that you have a couple of people monitoring them, in addition to whatever their full time position may be. But your brand needs to react. Pharma companies are bogged down in legal, making sure not to make any misstep in the eyes of the FDA, but this should not be an excuse for not offering a timely reaction.

Dont reach out. Are people talking about your brand? Are their influencers blogging about you or Tweeting your praises or negative reactions to your brand? Are there people talking about your space but not your product – and you want in? You need to be proactive and reach out to them. Reach out and say hello and engage those who are actively engaging those around them.

Dont be timely. Having an editorial calendar is important in any social media campaign or engagement. But pharma, as we all know, is a space where the conversation is constantly changing. Make sure to have enough flexibility in your editorial calendar that you can make changes that will keep your blog, Tweets and Facebook page current with the conversation thats happening around you right now.

Dont follow up. This might sound similar to some of the donts we mentioned earlier, but its just enough different that it deserves its own point. Are you organizing or attending conferences? Hosting events? Bringing people together for a moment and not sustaining that engagement is a surefire way to lose their interest in the future.

View it as advertising. Social media can be an important and integral part of your brands marketing plan. But its not the same tool as traditional advertising and cannot/should not be viewed or measured in the same way. The ROI uses an entirely separate set of (constantly evolving) measurement tools. No matter your business.

Social media platforms are still relatively new in the grand media landscape. Its important to remember that as they evolve, we, as marketers, need to be flexible enough to evolve with them.



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