Pharma & Healthcare Social Media Marketing Strategies

Pharma & Healthcare Social Media Marketing Strategies –

Report Code: PH 1230 Aug, 2010, by

Report Description

The high and rapidly increasing popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter is expected to revolutionize the marketing strategies employed in the pharmaceuticals industry. In addition to marketing, an increasing number of pharma players have also begun leveraging these platforms to enhance consumer relationships and improve brand management, based on the market intelligence generated by monitoring and analyzing user-generated content.

The ability to incorporate consumer feedback to develop new products is also expected to initiate a strategic shift in the operational model of pharma companies. Social media involvements are expected to increase product sales, especially those of OTC drugs, in the long term. Novartis for instance has already begun using Youtube and Facebook to enhance the sales for its OTC drugs such as Comtrax, Orofar and Bufferin. J&J, one of the first pharma giants to enter the social media space, has used online platforms for crisis management – when the company recalled its products (Tylenol and Benadryl tablets) it used social websites to apologize to consumers for irregularities in its manufacturing plant found during FDA inspection.

Market estimates and forecast

The report provides in-depth social media usage in pharmaceutical industry and analyses top 20 pharmaceutical players individually, for their social media presence. Further effective social media strategies are discussed in detail that can be useful in developing a successful social media campaign for pharmaceutical market. Benefits, Risks and Future impact of social media are analyzed separately. Geographic variations in terms of social media usage and regulations are also covered.

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The internet has revolutionized healthcare delivery and disease management practices by enhancing interaction between healthcare consumers and other stakeholders of the healthcare industry (physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare institutions).

The use of social media tools by hospitals and pharmaceutical organizations has made patients better-informed stakeholders of the healthcare system. It has created for them a support network of other patients, and has also enabled them to be more actively involved in their treatment and prescription decisions.

Interactive web platforms have generated high consumer interest by enabling consumers to discuss their views, and by creating a more transparent model of communication. Hospitals are employing social media to disseminate information, provide health education, increase patient awareness, and to maintain customer relationships.

Pharmaceutical companies are leveraging social media platforms for consumer engagement purposes, and are also employing these tools to enhance customer retention and brand perception. Social media platforms also enable pharmaceutical companies to gain market intelligence, obtain real time customer feedback, spread disease awareness, and engage in brand promotion.

J&J was one of the earliest adopters of social media in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2006, the company adopted Web 2.0 and started its ‘Kilmer House’ blog on company history. Since then, the company has developed multiple social media tools such as and Safekids USA.

In 2010, 15 of the top 20 pharmaceutical players have created a strong social media presence on different channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition to forming brand-sponsored patient communities, 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical players have also established their presence on the three most popular social networking sites, i.e., YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. (The sites’ popularity rating is based on the number of users following the top five pharmaceutical companies from May 14, 2010 to July 14, 2010.)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Social media overview
Key social media tools
Effective social media strategies
Benefit & risk analysis of social media in healthcare
Impact of social media on healthcare stakeholders
Geographic analysis of use of social media
Future impact of social media
Case studies of top 20 pharmaceutical companies

  1.1 Key take-aways
  1.2 Report description
  1.3 Scope and format
  1.4 Stakeholders
  1.5 Research methodology

  2.1 Introduction
  2.2 Drivers and restraints of socail media use in pharmaceutical industry
  2.3 Conventional media vs. online social media
  2.4 Role of internet in healthcare
      2.4.1 Web 1.0 to web 2.0
      2.4.2 Web 2.0 & health 2.0
  2.5 Social media evolution in healthcare
      2.5.1 Social Media: a strategic shift in communication choices
  2.6 Use of social media by top pharmaceutical players
  2.7 Social media strategies used by top pharmaceutical players

  3.1 Introduction
  3.2 Types of social media tools
      3.2.1 Twitter
      3.2.2 Facebook
      3.2.3 Youtube
      3.2.4 Blogs
      3.2.5 Condition-specific communities
      3.2.6 Other social media tools
  3.3 Comparative analysis

  4.1 Introduction
  4.2 Determine the right social media mix
      4.2.1 Define goals & target audience
      4.2.2 Effective listening & monitoring
      4.2.3 Use multiple tools
  4.3 Enlarge user-base/online audience
      4.3.1 Generate traffic on social media
      4.3.2 Trigger conversations to explore business opportunities
  4.4 Develop brand perception
      4.4.1 Integrate offline & online campaigns
      4.4.2 Build consumer engagement & trust
      4.4.3 Online video distribution
  4.5 Building consumer communities
      4.5.1 Create/sponsor collaborative tools
      4.5.2 Increase transparency & respond to criticism
  4.6 Integrate consumer in the business
      4.6.1 Involvement in product testing
      4.6.2 Respond to consumer needs/issues
  4.7 Polices on communicating via social platforms
      4.7.1 Determine the right speakers
      4.7.2 Post relevant content
      4.7.3 Balancing engagement with promotion

  5.1 Benefit analysis
      5.1.1 Marketing and sales Business exposure and generation
      5.1.2 Consumer relationship management Public relations Consumer feedback and satisfaction
      5.1.3 Treatment and RX decisions
      5.1.4 Other benefits Recruitment for clinical trials Enhancing health awareness Criticism/crisis management
  5.2 Risk Analysis
      5.2.1 Intellectual property concerns
      5.2.2 Privacy and security issues
      5.2.3 Accountability/content validation
      5.2.4 Regulatory risk management

  6.1 Introduction
  6.2 Pharmaceutical/lifescience companies
  6.3 Hospitals
  6.4 Health-related government bodies
  6.5 Healthcare professionals
  6.6 Patients/consumers
  6.7 Health insurance providers

     7.1.1 Total number of internet users and infrastructure
     7.1.2 Social media traffic
     7.1.3 Regulatory environment for social media usage

  8.1 Introduction
  8.2 Increase in social engagement of pharmaceutical companies
  8.3 Consumer engagement in business development
  8.4 Reinvention of marketing and sales strategies
  8.5 Innovation in products and services
  8.6 Support to sales force
  8.7 Enhance business operational efficiencies

  9.1 Introduction
      9.1.1 ABBOTT LABS
      9.1.2 AMGEN
      9.1.4 ASTRA-ZENECA
      9.1.6 BAXTER
      9.1.9 DAIICHI SANKYO
      9.1.10 ELI LILLY
      9.1.12 JOHNSON & JOHNSON
      9.1.13 MERCK
      9.1.14 NOVARTIS
      9.1.15 NOVO NORDISK
      9.1.16 PFIZER
      9.1.17 ROCHE
      9.1.18 SANOFI-AVENTIS
      9.1.20 UCB


1 Social media presence of top 20 pharmaceutical companies
2 Social media presence of top 5 pharmaceutical companies
3 Traffic on popular social platforms for top 5 companies
4 Disease area focus of top 5 pharmaceutical players on social media
5 Disease focus and objectives of top 20 pharmaceutical companies on social media
6 Abbott social media presence
7 Amgen social media presence
8 Astellas social media presence
9 Astra-zeneca social media presence
10 Bayer social media presence
11 Baxter social media presence
12 Boehringer ingelheim social media presence
13 BMS social media presence
14 Daiichi sankyo social media presence
15 Eli lilly social media presence
16 GSK social media presence
17 J&J social media presence
18 Merck social media presence
19 Novartis social media presence
20 Novo nordisk social media presence
21 Pfizer social media presence
22 Roche social media presence
23 Sanofi aventis social media presence 
24 Teva social media presence
25 UCB social media presence


1 Impact of web technology development on pharmaceutical industry
2 Types of web 2 tools used for health 2
3 Benefits of health 2.0 for healthcare industry and patients
4 Shift of communication model from taditional media to social media
5 Relative time of initiating social media efforts by top 10 pharmaceutical players
6 Youtube and twitter entry time of top 5 pharmaceutical players
7 Number of views/followers of key social media tools by top 5 pharmaceutical players
8 Objectives of social media usage and pharmaceutical players’ involvement
9 Relative adoption of social media stratigies by top 5 pharma players
10 Qualitative ROI from social media to pharmaceutical industry
11 Twitter involvement of top 20 pharmaceutical companies
12 Objectives of top 20 pharmaceutical companies on twitter
13 Facebook involvement of top 20 pharmaceutical companeis
14 Objectives of top 20 pharmaceutical companies on facebook
15 Youtube involvement of top 20 pharmaceutical companies
16 Objectives of top 20 pharmaceutical companies on youtube
17 Blogs involvement of top 20 pharmaceutical companies
18 Steps to initiate social media involvement
19 Relative involvement in selecting right social media mix
20 Benefits for Pfizer after collabration with Sermo
21 Social media platforms
22 Relative involvement in enlarging user base
23 Benefits of higher traffic for different stakeholders
24 Process of starting social media conversation with consumers
25 Relative involvement in developing brand perceptions
26 Integrating online & offline marketing campaigns
27 Relative involvement in building consumer communities 
28 Consumer engagement and services on social web
29 Relative policy ratings for social media involvement
30 Selecting the right social media speakers
31 Features of effective social media content
32 Balancing social media communication
33 Benefits of social media
34 Methods of content validation
35 Social media impact on pharmaceutical companies
36 Maximising consumer response for pharmaceutical companies
37 Global distribution of internet users
38 Internet penetration rate in different geographies
39 Average time spent on social websites in different geographies
40 Consumer response and product development
41 Social media involvement of top 20 pharmaceutical companies

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Report Code
PH 1230
Published ON
Aug, 2010
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