Data and Analytics - Social Media 101


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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Over the years, businesses have enhanced their digital footprints tremendously. Social media is undoubtedly one of the best vehicles that brands can use to drive their business objectives and achieve their goals. With that being said, not all businesses achieve success through social media. Here are a couple of things that you can do to gain an edge over your competitors.


Social media is not fluffy, it is a strategic tool that can be used to drive tangible business value. These objectives could include (but not limited to): brand awareness, building a database, increase app downloads, registering for an upcoming event or driving traffic to your online store. Whatever your objective, it is important to create content that provides value to both the business as well as the customer.


The various social media platforms have gathered an incredible amount of user data, by utilising this data you are able to communicate directly to your ideal customer with little to no wastage. You are able to target your ideal customer based on demographics, interests or behavioural data. Thus, allowing your business to speak to the right person, at the right time, with the right message – at scale.


Social media can support the entire customer life cycle all the way from brand awareness through to the actual sale and even after sales support. With the data contained within the various social media platforms you are also able to track and retarget users with customised content based on where they are in the sales cycle and to support them throughout their customer journey.


Customer service online should not just be a box that needs ticking. It is important that when your customers reach out to you online with questions, queries or complaints you are able to respond quickly and effectively. There is nothing more frustrating than reaching out to a brand online only to be redirected to a dusty email inbox. It is important that your community managers are empowered to solve issues in real-time.


People don’t hate ads; they hate irrelevant ads. Social media allows brands to connect and advertise directly to their ideal customer solving real problems, offering solutions and adding value. Make sure to customise your content and messaging based on your target audience.


It is important to keep track of your digital marketing strategy. A good way to do this, is by preparing a monthly / weekly content schedule. Not only is this for time management, but this allows you to have a bird’s eye view of your key messaging, content and publishing dates.


The saying ‘less is more” is oh so relevant on social media. The notion that businesses have to post every day is flawed. Content creation is expensive and takes a lot of time and resources, thus you have to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of the assets that you have created. Focus should be on quality over quantity. This is where utilising paid adverting can be useful in terms of extending the longevity of your posts.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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Social media has increasingly become a powerful tool that businesses in various industries have tapped into as means to drive their business objectives. With that said, some businesses are unaware of the social media sins that they are inadvertently committing that could be hindering their success. Here are Social Media 101’s 7 social media sins that every business should avoid.


Over the years, social media platforms have throttled the organic algorithm. This means that the organic reach is now limited to 1-5% of people who follow your page and have opted in to hear from you. The days of posting and expecting your entire audience to see your posts are in the past. Paid advertising is a must for every business on social media. It allows you to reach a wider audience than just the people following your page. The advantage that comes with paid advertising is the ability to target your ideal customer based on their demographics, interests and behaviours. This ultimately gives your business an edge over others that have not yet tapped into this social media function.


While engagement looks good on your business and personal page, does it drive business values? Engagement is a vanity metric that gives the business social clout however there are other metrics that you should be focusing on to measure true business value. Tracking metrics that drive business objectives should be the number one focus. Metrics such as ‘Traffic’ lead potential customers to the website, and more often than not turn into sales, while ‘Reach’ helps businesses get more eyeballs on their content. It is important to track the metrics that directly relates back to the business objective that you are looking to achieve with a post. Ask yourself the question “does this metric support my business objective.”


Several businesses try to slide into social media timelines trying to not look like the brand to feel more relatable, but all that does is confuse the user. If you are a brand, brand like a brand and add value. The key here is to be a brand that posts content that adds value to both the business as well as the end user. As business you have access to a wealth of industry knowledge use this opportunity to inform, educate, inspire and convert the user.


Spraying and praying is one of the biggest sins businesses make on social media. If a butchery would not waste time trying to sell meat to vegetarians, there is no reason for you to speak to people who are not interested in your products. When it comes to social media, businesses should be razor focused about who they want to speak to through ‘Targeting’.


Winging things may work in other things but certainly not on social media, especially when running a business. Social media has the ability to drive tangible business objectives, not #MondayMotivation & cat pictures, this is why it is crucial to have clearly defined business goals that can be supported through social media. Some common business goals that can be supported through social media includes website driving traffic to your online store, event registration, ticket sales and even customer service.


Trying to be everything to everybody is never a good idea as it leaves users feeling confused. In a world with limited resources it is vital that you use your time and money optimally to drive maximum bang for your marketing efforts. Having a clear picture in mind of your niche audience, you are better able to create content for them that speaks to their needs.


Leaving customers high and dry is a recipe for disaster. If you wouldn’t turn your back on a customer if they walk into your shop, why do that online? What happens when you do not respond to customers? In the world of business word of mouth is everything! If customers can give good reviews about a wonderful experience they had with customer service, they will most likely give a bad review too should they feel ignored. After using their hard-earned cash on your business, people expect a response. Don’t lose your business credibility because you failed to respond to a customer.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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Running a successful social media campaign can be tricky. Below we have highlighted the most common mistakes that brands make on social media and how to avoid them.


When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is key. Similar to traditional marketing efforts brands still need 6-8 touch points on social media in order to convert their prospective customers. It is therefore important to share regular updates that help build brand awareness and trust – so that when your customer is ready to buy, your product or brand is top of mind.


Social media is all about snap judgments and just like in real-life first impressions matter. Before a customer will buy from you, they will do some product research. Whether that is checking out your catalog, website, or social media pages. If you content is badly sized, not legible on mobile, pixelated, or blurry it will leave a negative impression. Business owners spend a lot of time making sure that their in-store experience is positive, but often forget that the same principles and attention to detail is required for their online presence.


There is nothing more annoying than brands that take, take and take. When building an online brand it is important that business’s focus on a healthy value exchange. Content shared on social media should add value to both the customer and business. Successful brands keep their audience updated and engaged with valuable content.


Historically having a large audience allowed you to share regular updates with customers who have opted to follow and hear from your business. Unfortunately, as the platforms have evolved organic reach drastically decreased and social media now is a pay to play platform. Page followers have become a vanity metric. Having a large audience makes you look good, but contributes very little to your overall marketing success, because you are no longer able to speak to them.


You would not turn your back on a customer in real-life, so why do it online? We are always shocked to see how many customer questions go unanswered. Customers are the life force of any business, without them there is no business. It is important that brands respond to customer questions, queries and complaints timeously.

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists.

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Social media can’t drive sales. [FALSE]

Social media can’t drive sales. [FALSE]

Effectively the fundamental function of any advertising, be it on social media or other mediums, is to drive brand awareness. By virtue of people being aware of the brand, it is more likely that sales will happen. It’s like having the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it then no one is going to buy it. Rightly so, a mediocre competitive product might just gain more sales thanks to a great marketing plan, and even so just by pure brand awareness.


Marketing and PR are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the functionality of a well-executed social media campaign with brand awareness often-times being the start of the sales funnel.


Ultimately, every business wants to drive sales and in all cases potential clients require between 6 and 8 brand touch points in order to gain trust and convert to a paying customer. Social media is not the silver bullet in speeding up a sales cycle or marketing campaign, however with multiple touch points, digital strategies allow for a more organic sales cycle as opposed to a linear process, meaning that potential clients at any point within their journey could slot into your sales cycle.


With this in mind, sales is not always the only measure of success and it is key for businesses to identify where within their customer journey there are areas where they can drive conversion.


Social media has the ability to underpin and support the entire customer journey and with the added benefit and ability of razor focused targeting, your brand is able to speak to the right person at the right time with the right message.


A data footprint is collected online and everything can be tracked from impressions, to clicks to conversions making social media the best way to measure success of campaigns, it really comes down to what the objective is.


Whatever your business objective whether that growth, maintain or sustain sales we are able to assist with a tailored digital solution to support this.

The pharmaceutical sector, in its pursuit to connect with broader audiences, has increasingly embraced digital marketing, especially social media platforms. However, this digital shift doesn’t come without challenges. The world of social media, with its real-time interactions and viral trends, brings with it a plethora of potential risks for pharma brands. Let’s delve into these risks and provide actionable strategies for effective risk mitigation.

Potential Risks In Pharma Social media Marketing


  • Adverse Events Reporting: One of the most significant concerns for pharma companies on social media is the potential reporting or discussion of adverse events related to their products. These can range from mild side effects to severe medical reactions.
  • Misinformation and Misinterpretation: The real-time nature of social media means information – or misinformation – can spread rapidly. Misinterpreted data, incorrect usage details, or misguided advice can have serious implications.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pharma brands operate under stringent regulations. Ensuring that every piece of content, interaction, or campaign aligns with regulatory guidelines is crucial.
  • Brand Reputation: Negative feedback, public complaints, or controversies can escalate quickly on social platforms, potentially tarnishing a brand’s image.

Actionable Strategies For Risk Mitigation


  • Comprehensive Social Media Policy: Establish a robust social media policy that all employees are familiar with. This policy should define permissible content, response protocols, and escalation procedures for issues like adverse event reporting.
  • Active Community Management: Maintain an active presence on your social media profiles. Quick, appropriate responses to comments or messages can prevent misunderstandings from escalating.
  • Regular Training: Regularly train your social media and customer support teams on the latest regulations, brand guidelines, and adverse event reporting procedures.
  • Monitoring Tools: Implement social listening tools that alert you whenever your brand or products are mentioned. This enables you to respond swiftly to potential issues.
  • Clear Communication Channels: Ensure there’s a clear line of communication between your social media team and medical or regulatory experts within the company.

Community Management Best Practices


  • Pre-approved Content Library: Maintain a library of pre-approved responses for common queries, comments, or situations. This ensures that your team provides accurate and compliant information consistently.
  • Rapid Escalation Protocols: In case of an adverse event report or a serious complaint, have a defined protocol for rapidly escalating the issue to the relevant department.
  • Periodic Review: Conduct regular reviews of your social media interactions to identify potential areas of improvement or recurrent issues.
  • Engage, Don’t Ignore: Engaging with comments, whether positive or negative, demonstrates that your brand values feedback and is committed to patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Patient Privacy: Always prioritize patient privacy. Move detailed discussions, especially those involving personal health details, to private channels like direct messages.
In conclusion, while social media offers a valuable platform for pharma brands to connect with their audience, it’s essential to approach it with caution and preparedness. By understanding potential risks and implementing a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy, pharma brands can confidently and safely navigate the digital realm.

If you’re keen to elevate your social media presence while ensuring robust risk mitigation, our experts at Social Media 101 are here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch today for tailored solutions and strategies that align with your brand’s vision.

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