Digital has never been more important from both a personal & company brand perspective. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 & 2021 has sped up this change within the healthcare and pharma sector. Social Media Transformation has been important in this change, so finding out how you do this has now become critical to success.
We define social media transformation through four key nodes:
- Paid Advertising
- Influencer Marketing
- Social Selling
- Employee Advocacy
Although COVID-19 has been disastrous for economies and healthcare, social media has boomed and by 2023, 3.43 billion people will be active on platforms. As a result, if you are a pharma or healthcare brand, understanding how you should deploy social media for various business objectives is going to become central to research or business strategy. In terms of HCP engagement, pharma and healthcare brands are flooding towards social media to engage in patient communities to find out more information that can’t be found (or is very difficult to find) by other means.
In terms of using social media to engage with patient communities, healthcare professionals are using data to broadcast their expertise and listen and if you are a healthcare brand it’s important to be a part of that conversation. If you are not on social media that conversation will be happening whether you are there or not.
Here at Social Tree Global, we use the model of amplification below:
Majority of business’ are activating only one of these four amplification nodes (highlighted at the bottom)
So what is the model?
There is a common misconception that social media simply means paid advertising. There are two pillars that devolve into four key nodes; paid and organic.
Under the paid pillar umbrella is sponsored content, it does a brilliant job of providing air cover for your healthcare and pharma brands. If you’re a healthcare brand and you can generate massive awareness for your advertising. This is the most competent amplification when we work with brands.
The second node under the paid pillar is influencer marketing. This is the one that is (usually) done very poorly, the main thing businesses think is you pay someone to promote your product. Although true to some degree, this isn’t necessarily the whole picture. When we think about healthcare, we think about patient advocates. Essentially, their disease is a huge part of their life and it is intertwined with their day-to-day activities. So when we think about influencer marketing we think about who has an influence over our network, it could be HCP’s, it could be patients or it could be potential clients. We ask ourselves, how do we activate and share content experiences to increase their net engagement of our content and their associated brand?
The first under the organic pillar is social selling and sales enablement which allows you to activate your sales team and those who are commercially focused to deploy on platforms such as LinkedIn at scale can build and sustain a pipeline. This is a very different tool and activity it requires using your sales team to build at scale and target those across the world and that’s a very different kettle of fish.
The second node under organic is advocacy, using your business within your business to build brand awareness. The people in your business comprise of leaders, influencers, industry experts, graduates so when you harness this team to become a power behind a series of messages, then the organic reach can be massive. External advocacy, how do you engage your community of buyers, patients and advocates.
One of the reasons many businesses get confused by social media is that they rely on this one pillar of paid content. You cannot possibly execute your business policy or business objectives by relying on one element, you must utilise the four nodes of sponsored content, influencer marketing, employee advocacy and social selling.