Social media can be a strange beast. For some people, social media is an intuitive and accessible portal to the world, bringing insights and opportunities to educate in equal measure. For others, it is a dangerous and hostile territory where risk of offending someone and reputational damage lurks at every turn.
Even for people with a talent for social media, using it in a business context within the pharmaceutical industry can be rather daunting. There are so many factors to consider, so many potential topics to cover, and so many potential pitfalls. It is easy to underestimate the time and resource required to do social media well, making it critical to direct resources strategically. But how does one develop a social media strategy and execute it while also responding to ongoing trends and being dynamic online?
For people keen to adopt a more strategic approach to their social media activities but are unsure where to start, we have developed a ‘social strategy on a page’.
It’s a cheat sheet that will help you translate your business objectives into a social media plan, with audience insights at its core.
First, it’s important to remember what your overarching objectives are and what sort of KPIs you will report on at the end of your campaign/social media activity. This will help you focus on one goal at a time, and keep all teams involved aligned.
Say your business objective is to increase brand awareness. At first your social media goal , will be to increase reach/impressions. Therefore, the cost per impression will be the metric you’ll need to keep an eye on.
You can then move on to what we think is the most important part of the strategy: your target audience. More important than the messaging? Well, almost. Your audience will define the tone of your message, where you will deliver it, and how. Want to reach out to highly specialized HCPs on social media? Your messaging will probably be formal, LinkedIn will be your platform of choice, and the format can be somewhat lengthy. Have a message for younger pharmfluencers? You’ll want to head to Instagram, with a conversational message, delivered visually.
See what happened there? The choice of social platforms, content, and format stemmed out quite naturally from your audience. Of course, you’ll need more substance and insights, but you get the idea.
Finally, reporting. How you interpret the numbers is crucial. A single metric brings no value if it’s not put into context, compared to a benchmark, or transformed as a rate. Your advert got a million impressions? That’s great! But how much did it cost you? What was the sentiment? It’s important to go back to the business objective at this point and see how much of it was achieved.
This simple process will result in a social media content plan that is clearly aligned with your strategy.
It’s critically important that social media activities are underpinned by a simple yet effective strategy that is aligned across platforms and supports your corporate story. If you would like help to be more strategic with your social, please get in touch!