Monday, July 23, 2012

Exploring 3 New Pharma Facebook Brand Pages

Written by Angel Xie, Engagement Planner, Ignite Health

We’ve seen a lot of buzz on the use of Facebook Brand Pages and Timeline in the Pharmaceutical world -- but up until recently there have been limited examples of companies that have taken advantage of the new format in a way to really engage the community.  For the most part, all the discussion to date has centered around how companies can effectively build relationships while operating within the ill-defined pharma regulations.  Though our industry's box might be significantly smaller, the sweet spot remains the same: establishing an emotional bond and providing useful information to the community.  Today, we wanted to take a look at a few recent examples of companies with the healthcare industry that are leveraging the facebook timeline platform to connect with their audiences.
  • PsoriasisSpeaks (Abbott)
  • Our Hemophila Community (Pfizer)
  • Medtronic Diabetes (Medtronic)

PsoriasisSpeaks seems to have established their social presence very recently. While still in the beginning of building their empire, the Facebook brand page is tightly linked to their core unbranded disease education Website With tabs featuring its signature "Patient Advocate Program" and clearly identifying the CTAs, it is hard to get lost in the space. 

The more interesting highlight of the page is its community management. The ground rule is set as “This page is for US audiences only. Mentions of specific doctors’ names, product names or potential side effects will be removed”.  People are encouraged to participate in the conversation under such rule, and the feedback from community managers has been quite timely and personalized. While the brand continues to experiment with its content strategy and fulfill its social ecosystem, it would be interesting to play with ideas like such:
  1. Leverage its Advocates program and extend the connection beyond phone and email into Social
  2. Respect the fact that people may be embarrassed to share with their social circles about such conditions – there is a need to allow privacy settings and emotional support or education.

Comparing to the prior, Abbott's Our Hemophilia Community is a much more tightly-managed space -- no comments are allowed at all. The platform is mainly used to broadcast contents from Pfizer’s product brand sites (BeneFix & Xyntha) and its affiliated Hemophilia Village, which we thought was quite interesting as it may give precedent to other brands for connecting unbranded social to branded.

The ISI (Important Safety Information) is listed as top priority on the tabs, as recommended by many healthcare best practices. We were quite disappointed to find the Community Connections and Resources pages to be out of order -- being the gateway to its comprehensive contents on Hemophilia Village. As we respect brand’s choice of restraining comments on social media, there is definitely room for improvements on streamlining the ecosystem journey via deeper integration of site contents on
brand pages:
  1. Feature story videos or resource links on timeline with thumbnails for higher engagement
  2. Experiment with consumer-centric approach of content strategy, instead of information on the higher priority list for business.

With a fully implemented ecosystem, the Medtronic Diabetes Facebook page exhibits a robust social presence. With content integration at the tabs level, one can easily navigate all contents without leaving the Facebook page. Content updates are updated frequently and personal. The brand has clearly established a strong persona with vivid characters through these real life stories on its timeline. 

The fan base is strongly united and regularly shouts out support to cheer the each other up. Community management is relatively open with rules clearly labeled on its top tabs. Similarly to PsoriasisSpeaks, feedback appears to be timely and personal. With such a good social etiquette, it's no surprise to see 36,771 "likes" and high engagement rates. While we love the content, our recommendations are related to the ecosystem structure and User Experience (UX): 
  1. Integrate its branded YouTube channel with its Facebook Page under the “Video” tab
  2. Provide more navigation guidance within the "Patient stories" section, especially for new

Social technologies can provide brands with tools to innovate their communication in all kinds of way; however, the real value today is to use these technologies to do something remarkably simple: enable natural human connections.   As healthcare agencies, we need to embrace these tools more than anyone else out there.   As long as we always put ourselves in the shoes of the patient, we will always have a compass that can help us understand what "good" looks like.   "True North" is always governed by the same principle regardless of the industry we operate in: Do The Right Thing.
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