Social media is a powerful tool for healthcare brands to drive business objectives, connect with their ideal audiences, increase brand awareness, and educate patients and healthcare professionals. However, the pharmaceutical industry faces unique challenges when it comes to social media, such as strict regulations, complex scientific information, and sensitive subject matters.

In this article, we will provide some insights on how healthcare brands can navigate social media to build trust, engage with their audiences (healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers) and comply with regulations, all whilst mitigating risk.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Before jumping into social media, healthcare brands should develop a clear digital strategy that aligns with their overall business goals. At the end of the day, it all comes down to return on investment and positive business impact. Thus it is important to identify your primary business objectives, and to structure your social media strategy with clearly defined objectives and KPIs. Your social media activities should be result-driven and focus on your business goals: whether it’s driving sales, increasing brand awareness, boosting website traffic, or other objectives based on your business needs.

Your strategy should include the target audience, social media channels, content mix, tone of voice, posting frequency, and metrics to measure success.

Reach The Right Audience

The vast amount of user data that is available on social media platforms allows for a targeted approach to reach your ideal audience. No more spray and pray methods that waste time, resources, and money. Instead, you can use demographic, interest, and behavioural data to create personalised and relevant content that resonates with your target audience. This helps achieve a high level of precision in your marketing efforts, resulting in higher engagement rates, more conversions, and ultimately, a greater ROI.

We recommend owning your social media channels as it gives you complete control over your message, data, and risk. By creating your own social media channels, you can ensure that your brand’s messaging is consistent and aligned with your overall business objectives. You also have more control over the data that is collected and can use it to gain insights into your audience’s behaviour and preferences. Additionally, owning your social media channels means that you mitigate the risk of losing your audience, data, or messaging due to external factors beyond your control.

Mitigate Risks

The responsibility to report any adverse events (AE’s) within 24 hours as part of pharmacovigilance has made several pharmaceutical companies cautious when it comes to implementing social media campaigns. To help mitigate this risk, the following steps can be implemented:


  • Partner with a specialist digital healthcare agency like ourselves that understands the pharmaceutical AND digital landscape.
  • Appoint a dedicated Community Manager/s to monitor all incoming messages and queries seven days per week, 365 days a year to manage any potential AE’s.
  • Create a preapproved response matrix based on frequently asked questions to improve response rate and streamline your community management efforts.
  • Implement software solutions to track response rates, identify themes, and manage messages.

Monitor And Measure Success

As a healthcare brand you should monitor and measure the success of your social media efforts to optimise your strategy and improve your ROI. This is why having clear business objectives is imperative for digital marketing success. As they say “what gets measured, gets managed” it is therefore important to track the correct metrics that will support your business objectives. Brands should track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as engagement rate, reach, clicks, and conversions to name a few.

In conclusion, with the right strategy, social media can be a powerful tool for healthcare brands to drive business value and achieve their goals in a compliant manner.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media, content creation, or community management, get in touch with one of our digital specialists.

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