4 innovative campaigns that have pushed pharma social media forward

4 innovative campaigns that have pushed pharma social media forward

Agree or disagree? Aside from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr accounts, the campaign included a clever virtual Twitter race that put celebrity ambassadors Danica Patrick and Patty Loveless against each other to see who could drive the most visitors to the campaign’s online screener. In another smart move, the pharmaceutical company recently handed over the initiative to the nonprofit COPD Foundation. Sanofi Diabetes US It had some mishaps, including shutting down its GoInsulin and WhyInsulin YouTube pages, but Sanofi Diabetes gets credit for experimenting with ways to engage patients in the tricky space. The company has also taken some good steps toward transparency by introducing the voice behind its social media presence and sharing insights on how community engagement has impacted the company. Novo Nordisk — Race with Insulin This campaign is an important milestone in the evolution of pharmaceutical social media. Rather than pushing press releases and company news, Novo Nordisk created one of the industry’s earliest Twitter accounts to leverage the celebrity of IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball (who it sponsors) to reach its target audience. This was a big leap, given the lack of guidance and experience with pharmaceutical social media at the time. AstraZeneca — Prescription assistance program One of the Big Pharmas that kept its Facebook open when others removed theirs in light of Facebook’s open-comment policy change, AstraZeneca took a big step on Twitter last year. The chat reportedly engaged hundreds of participants that includes patients, patient advocacy groups, healthcare professionals and industry observers.

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In the grand experiment that is healthcare social media, there have certainly been some hits and misses.

The lack of clarity around the ROI in social media for pharmaceutical companies (or anywhere, really) in combination with a lack of comprehensive guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration makes its ground on which drug companies for the most part have tiptoed. But among removed Facebook pages and shuttered YouTube accounts, a few companies have taken risks and shown us what value social media can have for pharmas.

Below are four examples of campaigns that have helped push pharmaceutical social media forward. Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Boehringer Ingelheim — Drive4COPD

A public health initiative started in 2010 by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, this campaign has a clear call to action: get screened.

Aside from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr accounts, the campaign included a clever virtual Twitter race that put celebrity ambassadors Danica Patrick and Patty Loveless against each other to see who could drive the most visitors to the campaign’s online screener. Since the start of the campaign, more than 2.5 million people have done the online screening. The campaign also included a songwriting contest that drew more than 150 entries.

“A clear objective and call to action, the use of celebrities for added appeal, and the use of a wide variety of social channels make this one a winner,” said Wendy Blackburn, who blogs at ePharma RX and is the executive vice president of the digital pharmaceutical marketing agency Intouch Solutions.

In another smart move, the pharmaceutical company recently handed over the initiative to the nonprofit COPD Foundation.

Sanofi Diabetes US

It had some mishaps, including shutting down its GoInsulin and WhyInsulin YouTube pages, but Sanofi Diabetes gets credit for…

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