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Healthcare Agencies and Social Media: Start Here

For years, I’ve advocated that healthcare companies gain a clear picture of the opportunities (and potential problems) presented by social networks. It’s a somewhat complicated and very fast-moving world – how does a pharmaceutical company, or a healthcare agency, get started on the right foot?

Here are three key perspectives. Start here!

1. Start small, but with a strategic, long-term plan. Don’t be “that guy”!


2. Don’t treat social media as its own topic. It is part of a holistic business strategy.

Social Media is not a Strategy


3. Realize that you’re not dealing with an isolated trend, or a marketing fad. Digitally-fueled networked communications is The New Normal.


There are many particulars to learn about how social networks are impacting the healthcare space, but the most important thing you can possibly do is begin with the correct perspectives. When you understand how and why the landscape is being re-shaped by networked communications, then all the details about tools and platforms begin to line up.

One perspective to bear in mind – the usage of social networks is exploding. Check out this real-time updating table to see! And – what percentage of pharma professionals use/plan to use social media in 2011? Answer here.

Of course, everyone is (or should be) interested in current examples of how social media is used in healthcare. The absolute best resource for this is at Jonathan Richman’s Dose of Digital blog – the Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Wiki. Explore!

Roche is a leader in articulating and publishing common sense social media guidelines for its employees.

PLUS – here are some blog posts providing helpful analysis:

Social Media is NOT for Advertising Pharma Brands – Jon Richman

The Beginner’s Guide to Pharma Social Media – Jon Richman

10 Things I’d Like to Start Hearing about Pharma Social Media – Jon Richman

The Rise of the ePatient – Steve Woodruff

But Are We Communicating? – Steve Woodruff

Oh – and about those reportable adverse events

Want more? OK – Just scroll through my Impactiviti SocialRx page.


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