Why pharma belongs on Facebook

Compared to other industries, pharmaceutical brands have been slow to embrace social media marketing. This is not surprising, given the FDA’s rigid constraints on what pharmaceutical companies can say about their products, as well as its vague guidelines on allowable uses of social media. In addition, brands have to navigate risks associated with user comments and engagement (e.g., adverse events reporting and off-label uses).

However, social platforms like Facebook have started aggressively courting pharma and introducing new features that enable brands to comply with Fair Balance and label guidelines. Here, we look at why your brand belongs on Facebook, and how to maximize your impact.

Advantages of Facebook marketing

  • Precise targeting: Facebook ads can be precisely targeted to individuals who are interested in specific disease states.
  • Real-time learnings: Facebook’s Page Insights and Audience Insights make it easy to see how a brand’s campaigns are performing.
  • Cost savings: Facebook video ads can convey the same content as television ads at a fraction of the expense. And they can do so in an equally FDA-compliant manner, providing the appropriate level of fair balance.

Organic marketing opportunities

While Facebook’s organic reach is declining overall, some organic social strategies can still help brands build customer loyalty.

  • Brands can achieve strong user engagement through Facebook Live events in which doctors, patients, or caregivers discuss diseases and treatments, and then answer audience questions in real time. This strategy not only allows brands to engage with their audience at these events, but also offers opportunities for social sharing and engagement before and after.
  • By sponsoring patient community pages, brands can demonstrate their commitment to these patients – while also passively collecting valuable insights into an audience’s perceptions and attitudes.

No, Facebook isn’t over

Facebook’s major data breach of April 2018 may have undermined some advertisers’ confidence in the platform. However, Facebook is actively attempting to rebuild users’ trust – through measures such as its Trust, Transparency and Control (TTC) labs initiative.

And while many users threatened to “#DeleteFacebook” earlier this year, its continued popularity is a testament to its staying power.

Want to talk about how your pharmaceutical brand can evaluate or optimize its Facebook marketing strategy? Drop us a line.

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