In 2021, social media is a maze of channels, genres, and content curators that are enough to make any marketer spin on their head. Coupled with regulatory and legal requirements that pharma marketers face and it can feel like a real landmine.
The pharma industry has come a long way in social media, from the establishment of corporate com channels to stock product photography to product advertisements and presenting real sick stories and testing effective effective market testing. But as social media has evolved, so have the habits of patients and the way they use social media for health care.
The WEGO Health and Digital Health Coalition recently surveyed members of the 2,250+ Patient Leaders Network to guide pharma marketers in 12++ terms about the role of social media in the lives of today’s patients. What channels are running health work, which is very trustworthy, and what kind of content do patients want to see on social media from Pharma?
1. Social media platforms are important resources for patients seeking information and support with health decisions.
When asked how to make extensive use of each social media platform, most respondents say they use at least one platform for health information and decision-making support. The platform is most used with the respond %% respondents of the platform.
For news information, respondents choose Facebook and Twitter as the go-to platforms, while they choose YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for entertainment.
When it comes to contact with others, Facebook takes the cake from the landslide. Respondents also share that they often rely on other channels to explore new products or services on Facebook where exploration is more common in other industries.
While these knots provide an interesting context about where social media patients are, it is even more interesting to provide marketers with an insight into the mindset of patients, while on every social media channel. There is a certainty Sick culture On social media it is important to pay attention when choosing channels and creating content.
So what about the content specified in the health information? We know that when a patient is thinking of seeking health information, their social media travel and usage may look different than normal daily use.
When it comes to health information and decision making, Facebook is still the king, dominating every segment with a solid margin in this survey. Healthcare is highly personal, and the connections and private sharing components that Facebook offers are incompatible with other platforms.
2. Patients look on social media for stories, expert insights, and answers.
Sometimes social media can leave us with little information overload. Later, sometimes thousands of people and algorithms showing only a fraction of the published material, it can be difficult to find relevant information for health status. More than 80% of respondents say that in order to navigate and access the health information available at Allied Health, those patients share what online community leaders share and discuss. %%% Look on social media to answer specific questions about your own personal experiences – most of these conversations came in private groups or by contacting other patients directly.
So if patients often turn to sick leaders and influencers for their effective health information, what content do they want to see as the pharma market of? 74% said hearing about the experiences of sick leaders is of high interest and %%% said educational materials about access and patient support programs are interesting.
This Intel gives marketers the opportunity to meet patients where they are social with the content they want from the brand. This brand not only provides content to generate awareness but to continue an informed content strategy throughout the sick journey.
Some of the ways pharma can really pull their brand message are by providing answers to common illness and drug questions, by sharing access and support information, and by providing valuable testimonials for patients seeking new diagnoses and / or therapies.
Brand advertising is a piece of the puzzle, but it may not be enough for the sick. Many patients also want to seek information with their own personal connections, patient group friends, and the sick leaders they follow.
That’s why it’s important for pharma brands to show support for sick leaders and influencers to help them understand the full key where they can provide patient support while also delivering their key messages.
Social. Belief in social is important.
Nearly 0% of respondents say that it is somewhat or very important to know that the information relayed in the post is authentic. YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most trusted platforms, and the most trusted content for patients comes from individual medical professionals, healthcare systems, online health providers, and patient online community leaders.
When it comes to faith, one thing is for sure – patients are doing their homework and they don’t blindly follow friends and family or celebrities. Instead, they look to experts for information. Consider previous data that patients have validated with their communities and circles and be sure to close that loop with compelling content that is either co-created or can be shared by those sources.
So where does this leave pharma marketers? What can we learn from this data? Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that social media plays a huge role in the sick journey, from awareness to education and inspirational work.
Markets must first do their homework to understand the culture of the socially ill by listening to expert illness leaders in their condition communities.
They should create content that authentically speaks to the actual journey or story of the patients, and last but not least, make sure they are representing different sick populations in their social media message flow.
WEGO Health specializes in patient-effective partnerships to create authentic patient-effective marketing campaigns on social media, ranging from conducting market research. We welcome the opportunity to connect with you on how we can help you consider the sick perspective on your social media marketing campaigns.