Using Social Media in the health care industry is not the Goal. Its a tool, helping you leverage social media for another Primary goal. A few ideas like switching off comments on Youtube and Facebook allows one to avoid a lot of hassles involved in using social media in the healthcare industry.
Explains Carl Desmond, creative director and partner at Awaken Interactive, an agency that helped design Gilead’s B Here campaign , against Hepatitis B infections.“With YouTube, we turned off the comments and with Facebook we disabled the comment functionality,” said Desmond. “Any conversation or relationship that develops outside of that—say between friends on Facebook—don’t appear in the B Here channels, and aren’t an issue.” The campaign is aimed at the technologically skilled and particularly vulnerable group of Asian Americans.
With perhaps one exception—Johnson & Johnson’s Children with Diabetes patient community—no marketing pharmaceuticals are permitting unfettered social media and product discussions on their websites, but lots of campaigns are using social media outlets to reach consumers and patients in an organized way. That isn’t to say channels like Twitter or Facebook are right for every campaign, but it was right for Gilead, according to a hepatitis product manager at Gilead. “We didn’t do it just for the sake of doing it, because it’s the new thing, or it’s cool or because it’s the next wave of tactics,” the Gilead product manager says. “We used social media because it made sense, and it was aligned with our objectives.” In order to sell the campaign internally, the marketing team ensured that social media components were well integrated with other campaign elements. “It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, we’re launching a social media campaign.’ It was, ‘We’re launching a disease awareness educational campaign that includes X, Y and Z and our website, live educational events and media outreach,” according to the product manager.
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