Spotlight: Doing Social Right


by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)

Weve spent a lot of this year (and last) talking about how pharma is running scared of social media. And weve spent some time telling them to just suck it up and do it anyway. And weve spent a bunch of time (two years, at least!) talking about how were waiting for guidance from the FDA, and maybe, just maybe, once it comes, then pharma companies can jump on the social media bandwagon.

And its true. If we wait for guidance, it will be too late. The next big thing will have come along. And pharma marketers will have missed the boat. But lets talk about something else for a minute.

Lets talk about some pharma companies that are doing social and doing it right.

Lets talk about the companies that did not put their heads in the sand when Facebook changed the rules.

Lets talk about the companies that are putting healthcare out there on social networks, who are using internal guidelines and tools, and are going to end up ahead of the game because of it.

And though there are a lot that people are talking about (J&J, GE, and Boehringer all come to mind), we thought wed reach out to our Twitter community and see what they had to say about it.

So we sent out one simple Tweet:

What pharma companies are doing social *right*? Who stands out in your mind?

¢‚Ǩ” Pixels and Pills (@pixelsandpills) December 20, 2011

And within seconds, Allison Blass tweeted back at us, with her response.

@pixelsandpills @toddsiesky and Roche Diabetes! 🙂 ¢‚Ǩ” Allison Blass (@AMBlass) December 20, 2011

Unprompted (we were on the subway!) she went on to say that the team at Roche Diabetes had spent three years cultivating relationships, being honest with their community and letting people speak their minds.

And that means a lot to an e-patient.

What we see Roche doing right is starting an open and honest dialogue with the patients who rely on their products. We see them answering questions, getting involved and reaching out to e-patients who are blogging and sharing their personal diabetes stories. Going so far as to host their own social media summit in June of this year. They know that their consumers are sharing stories, tips and moral support on social platforms and instead of shutting down and shutting them out, they launched forums for those conversations to continue. And they became part of the conversation.

For a comprehensive list of pharma companies/brands on social media (the infamous deathwatch), head on over to Dose of Digital for Jonathan Richmans wiki. Are any of them doing social right? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments.



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