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The pharmaceutical industry has been actively participating in social media for a number of years, with a presence on most social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. But the industry still admittedly displays some resistance towards taking full advantage of social media platforms.

We recently conducted a survey of pharma and life sciences professionals regarding their adoption of, and feelings toward, social media.

Based on the survey, here are the Top 4 Social Media Participation Concerns for the industry:

1) Quantifying the ROI of Social Media

Quantifying value and showcasing success against investment are common challenges faced by marketers and brand teams when entering any new platform. For leaders within the pharmaceutical industry, ROI for social media is often highly scrutinized and serves as a driving force behind limited social participation.

2) Complying with Regulation

In regulated industries, ensuring compliance is critical and increasingly challenging when coupled with the interactive nature of social media, which effectively removes a layer of control. Top among regulatory issues remains the concern over finding adverse events on social media and implementing processes to properly report them.

3) Volume of Social Media Posts and Resources Needed to Monitor/Engage

Social media is a deviation from the comfort and simplicity of one-way messaging. For many, mapping out processes to logistically manage social media activities can be daunting. Among logistical concerns, the greatest perceived challenge is managing large volumes of social media posts with online monitoring and engagement processes.

There are many paths to alleviate these concerns – at least in part – including implementing a concerted effort to employ both technology to identify relevant conversations and manage volume, along with trained social media specialists to monitor and add meaningful analysis.

4) Integrating Social Media with Other Channels

Integration is a critical, yet difficult, step towards gaining greater value from social media activities. Combining social media with traditional data sources and market research can be a valuable step towards delivering company-wide insights.

Pharma’s concerns regarding social media participation point to the industry’s early stage of social media maturity – a phase that is somewhat expected from organizations in a highly regulated industry that are just beginning to understand and embrace the public nature of social media.

However, trends indicate that as patient needs and technology continue to evolve, industry leaders are beginning to implement social media teams, processes, and strategies that will drive more active social media participation to meet strategic and patient-centric goals.

Social Media Benchmarking Report

For a complete overview of pharma’s most pressing social media concerns, as well as an analysis of social media adoption and emerging trends, download our Social Media in Life Sciences: Adoption and Trends Benchmarking Report.

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