Healthcare Marketing - Social Media 101


In today’s interconnected world, it’s no wonder that pharma brands are increasingly broadening their digital presence. Nonetheless, a unique challenge for brand managers within the pharmaceutical sector is the potential for encountering adverse events (AEs) online. Addressing these events appropriately is of utmost importance, both for patient safety and for meeting regulatory standards.

However, this shouldn’t dissuade pharma brands from tapping into the vast potential presented by digital platforms. Managed properly, online AEs can be turned into a strength, demonstrating a brand’s dedication to openness and patient care.

Navigating Social Media Risks With Pharmacovigilance


The digital era brings with it not just opportunities, but also risks, especially on social media platforms. Social media is a double-edged sword: while it can significantly enhance brand presence and trust, it can also be a hotspot for adverse events and misinformation. Brands must be proactive and vigilant in monitoring brand mentions, comments, and discussions related to their products. The potential for an adverse event report, or even just a query that hints at an AE, demands immediate attention. This not only ensures patient safety but also helps in building a trustworthy brand image. Having a solid pharmacovigilance strategy for social media is no longer optional; it’s a requisite in today’s digital age.

Why Choose Digital Media


The digital realm affords pharma brands the chance to engage directly with patients, offer vital information, and foster trust. Indeed, adept online management of AEs can further solidify brand credibility. This is where a niche digital agency, proficient in AE management, becomes invaluable.

Top Tips For Excelling In Adverse Event Management


  • Clear Protocols: Before you launch a campaign, ensure there are detailed guidelines in place for handling potential AEs.
  • Staff Training: Those on the frontline, like your social media team, should be well-equipped to recognise and escalate AEs.
  • Swift Action: Time is invaluable. Ensure a rapid escalation process for any potential AE to the appropriate internal team.
  • Accurate Data Collection: While respecting privacy, gather essential information about the drug, dosage, duration, and nature of the AE.
  • Prioritise Privacy: Always shift detailed conversations to private channels, ensuring patient data remains confidential.
  • Document Relentlessly: Maintain robust records of all AE-related interactions. This safeguards against future scrutiny and assists in internal reviews.
  • Stay Compliant: Understand and adhere to regional regulatory requirements pertaining to AEs.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Integrate insights from AEs into both product development and future communication initiatives.
  • Proactive Monitoring: Leverage tools that monitor brand mentions across platforms, helping in the early identification of potential AEs.
  • Periodic Reviews: Refine your process regularly to stay efficient and in tune with evolving regulations.
  • Transparency is King: Be upfront about AEs, ensuring stakeholders are assured of your commitment to safety.
  • Engage with Healthcare Experts: In intricate cases, liaising with healthcare professionals can provide a richer understanding.

Join The Digital Revolution With Confidence

In the rapidly evolving landscape of pharmaceutical marketing, the need for expertise in digital engagement and AE management has never been more critical.

At Social Media 101, we specialise in guiding pharma brands through the intricate maze of online engagement, ensuring that every potential challenge is turned into an opportunity. Our proven track record and tailored strategies provide the confidence to navigate the digital world safely and effectively.

Don’t let concerns about adverse events hold back your brand’s potential. Embrace the digital future with the right partner by your side.

Contact Social Media 101 today and let us empower your brand for the digital age.

3 + 7 =



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.

10 + 5 =