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05.09.2014

Trends in HCP social media usage and how pharma is responding to this

By Katie Kennedy

One of the trends in HCP social media usage over the last few years has been healthcare professionals (HCPs) realising the benefits of using social media for professional purposes. More and more doctors, nurses and physicians are using social media as a channel to engage, collaborate, share opinion with and get real time advice from their colleagues all over the world. Consequently pharma have started to realise how listening to their customers online can provide them with some invaluable insights to help with their HCP marketing strategy on or offline.

It is important for pharma to know the trends in healthcare professional social media usage they can respond

It is important for pharma to know the trends in healthcare professional social media usage so they can respond

HCPs create their own online communities

The last few years have seen a rise in HCPs producing their own communities on social media. A great example is the Twitter hashtag #FOAMED which was created by emergency physicians to be used by doctors all over the world as a way to offer and receive advice on emergency cases they are dealing with. Establishing this community on public social media allowed for collaboration with colleagues on a global level and in real time.

HCPs share their views on current news stories

A recent article in the British Medical Journal raised concerns about the drug Pradaxa, suggesting that almost half of the deaths that had occurred whilst patients were on the drug could have been prevented by carrying out more frequent blood tests. We looked at what healthcare professionals had to say about this story and saw that a number of them were sharing their opinions on social media.  This is a great example of how doctors are responding to news, forming their opinions and discussing with the HCP online community online.

HCPS discuss their concerns and queries about treatments or therapy areas

Healthcare professionals are using social media as an outlet to discuss any concerns they have around treatments or therapy areas with their colleagues around the world.  A recent study we undertook identified that nurses had specific concerns regarding the administration of a recently launched product. Having identified that need, the product team addressed it with an offline workshop that was also promoted online.

Pharma benefit from listening to HCPs

Being able to listen to the needs and concerns of each HCP role has meant pharmaceutical companies can tailor their communication to each stakeholder addressing specific problems. The more HCPs have embraced social media to discuss brands and therapy areas, the more pharma has realised the benefits to them of HCP social media listening. Pharma understand that listening to what physicians are saying online can provide insights that are useful for their brand strategy both on or offline. If you are from pharma and would like to understand more about how doctors use social media and how you can benefit from listening to them please contact me for a free education presentation.

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Meet the Author

Katie Kennedy

Katie has a background working within health organisations and continues to champion the work we do at CREATION.co amongst our current and future clients. When not at work Katie enjoys being a mother to her two little girls, a dog, a cat, and a tortoise.