Tips for pharma Twitter accounts can apply in other industries

North Carolina is home to dozens of big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical schools, contract research organizations, and other healthcare-related organizations. Each is tasked with communicating valuable information in numerous mediums to various constituents, all while complying with associated regulations governing trade, privacy and disclosures.

Reporter Virgina Lau with Medical Marketing & Media magazine recently wrote an article titled “8 ways for pharma to improve the way it uses Twitter” that states many drugmakers are reluctant to embrace social media because they are fearful of inadvertently posting something in noncompliance with regulations.

The article points out that Twitter works with such big names as  Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Aetna, Cigna and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to successfully grow their reach and influence on the platform.

Lau goes on to recommend that pharmaceutical and healthcare companies can improve their engagement on Twitter using the following tips:

  1. Plan ahead – develop a content calendar
  2. Don’t sound like a robot – create a humanizing voice
  3. Use video – videos and live streams can be more engaging
  4. Use hashtags to drive conversation – hashtags allow you to follow and contribute to communal conversations
  5. Set expectations – spell out guidelines for your Twitter community
  6. Don’t ignore negative tweets – respond to negative comments publically and then resolve the issue privately
  7. Include Twitter in the overall marketing strategy – make sure all of your public communications include cohesive and consistent messaging
  8. Share best practices on how FDA-regulated companies can use Twitter – converse with others in your field and share what’s worked and hasn’t worked

Looking at Lau’s tips, I was struck by how they could apply to almost any other industry. In the last tip, replace “FDA” with whatever governing or regulatory body oversees your industry and the main point – sharing best practices – remains the same.

If your industry or organization is still uncertain or even fearful about using Twitter to help communicate your messages, perhaps Lau’s article and tips can reassure you that it can be done. S&A Communications’ PR and marketing experts can help you develop and implement a social media plan that will help establish your expertise and better engage your customers and prospects.

Author: Glenn Gillen, APR
Glenn Gillen is our Senior Account Manager.

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