Content Creation: Where Pharma Social Media Goes To Die

Congrats! You've decided to embark on a pharmaceutical social media odyssey. It will be a rewarding endeavor. You've done everything right up until this point: focused on the Return on Health of the patient, set your pharma social media strategy, outlined a crisis communications plan and put a listening strategy in place as a building block to true engagement. You are ready to go.

For the first few weeks, everything is humming along like a well-oiled machine. You engage regularly via Twitter, have quickly cultivated a base of followers on Facebook and have managed to churn out several blog posts. Everything was going swimmingly as enthusiasm ran high. But, slowly, something changed. The pace of followers decreased, posts don't seem to come to life as readily and your Twitter engagement gets pushed to the backburner as that budget meeting looms.



What happened?

Your pharma social media strategy met the fate of many that have gone before it -- a lack of content creation. What started out well intentioned and maybe even well planned met its match.

Social media programs often start out with the best intentions. But what many people fail to realize is that social media is difficult. It takes dedication. It takes time and internal resources. It's not as simple as throwing up a couple of random 140 character thoughts every once in a while.

Content creation is a long slog. Before you make the commitment to social media, survey the content you already have in-house. If you have a vault of videos that have gone untouched, that might be a good place to start. Do you have an internal newsletter that might transition well to an external blog?

Think about using that as part of your content creation strategy. And as rudimentary as it sounds, consider creating an editorial calendar to outline predefined topics for blog posts and assign authors. This will create some accountability at the outset.

Eventually, you won't need the calendar as a set of people will become engaged and motivated to post on their own. But that won't happen overnight and creating some urgency through a set timeline of posts will keep momentum moving forward.

Content creation is in many respects the linchpin of social media engagement. It is a wonder, then, that it often spells the demise of many efforts.

2 comments about "Content Creation: Where Pharma Social Media Goes To Die ".
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  1. Casey Quinlan from Mighty Casey Media LLC, August 9, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.

    This is true for any business use of social media - and the bigger the business, the bigger and more comprehensive content creation and the editorial calendar that drives it needs to be.

    The problem, as I see it, is that most corporate social media campaigns are run by teams used to the short sprint (ad campaigns) vs. the long haul (experienced beat writers). Add at least one proven writer to each of your content creation efforts.

    Or you're doomed.

  2. Robert Hallock from Robert Hallock Consulting, August 9, 2011 at 1:43 p.m.

    Chris, I agree. Many of our clients believe that somehow the social media push will achieve velocity all on its own and not dedicate internal resources to foster and support this growth. As to content, more creativity needs to go into it so that it's not just seen as "corporate-speak."

    We believe in integrating wellness tools, community and content specific to the user's profile. For pharma, often times this is a stretch because pharma is not used to engaging with patients directly as much as other industries (current legal and regulatory concerns have certainly contributed to this). However, we have developed a creative approach to avoid the adverse event reporting issues while giving patients some voice in a pharma community.

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