05 November 2009

Top Three Drug Companies in Social Media:

What is the "social share of voice" among pharmaceutical companies online? While some drug companies have been reluctant to embrace social media for fear of running afoul of FDA regulations that govern the advertising and promotion of prescription drugs, others are embracing social networks to help brand and position their companies in a positive light with consumers and practitioners. Here are the TOP TEN Pharma companies that are presently using social media to reach out to larger audiences.

1- Pfizer
Pfizer, maker of the well-known drugs of Viagra and Celebrex, is exploring social media by teaming up with Private Access to create a social networking site. That will bring together patients and clinical trial researchers. Once the site is up and running, patients will have the opportunity to confidentially post personal health information that will only be made available to researchers studying their particular condition. Trial sponsors can use the site to recruit patients and patients will have an opportunity to learn more about the studies that relate directly to them. Presently following 852 on Twitter, Pfizer News currently has attracted 2512 followers (at the time of this posting).

2- Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson has established a digital footprint in social media. The company's YouTube channel now has over 90 videos. Its corporate blog was Marc MonseauMarc Monseaubuilt around a simple question that serves as its premise - 'everyone else is talking about our company, so why can't we?' Marc Monseau is the director of corporate communications and manages the company's corporate blog and its Twitter account.

3- Bayer
Bayer enters the social media space in a unique way that differentiates itself from the pack. It recently launched a new online community and blood glucose-monitoring tool for young people living with diabetes in the United Kingdom.

The tool, named Didget, connects directly into the youth's Nintendo DS and rewards the user for building consistent blood glucose testing habits and meeting glucose targets. ‘Didget World’ supports the Nintendo DS tool, a password protected social network where kids can interact with other users and build their own profile. Based on the popularity of online 'gaming' with young people, this is an ingenious use of social media to help monitor a health condition.

However Bayer's presence on Twitter is somewhat lacking. When anyone, particularly a brand 'protects their tweets' on Twitter, it raises doubt amongst followers whether the company really wants to use the micro blogging platform for interactive purposes? By Bayer protecting its tweets, it is not allowing the public to review the types of messages Bayer is sending out across the Twitterverse. This definitely puts Bayer at a disadvantage compared to the transparency of other Pharma companies on this TOP TEN list.