Listen up! Effective social media for biotech brands

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Tap into social media intelligence
Tap into social media intelligence

Active listening is necessary to a successful blind date. It's also critical to good social media encounters.

Think back to your own dating experiences. What was the worst blind date you ever had?

Possibly it was the one where the other person kept up a nonstop monologue designed to illustrate his self-importance. He never took a breath or asked a single question about you.

Now, think about a good blind date. Among other things, you probably recall interesting conversation. The conversation was the result of someone's actively listening and then asking appropriate questions to solicit additional information, which led to more questions.

It was through this cycle of listening first and then asking questions to obtain information about the other person that led you to want a second date.

Social media exchanges are a lot like being on a blind date. You start out knowing very little about your audience, so you need to listen. Listening is the key to effective social media.

Before you, the biotech brand manager, gets involved with a Facebook page for your new product, or starts Twitter activities, you need to listen. Really listen.

Go to the social media sites where your audience is talking. Do you hear what people are saying? What's important to the HCPs who will prescribe your drug or device? What topics are of utmost interest to the patients who will use your product?

Social listening can save you from costly or embarrassing errors. The issues that brand managers think are important might not raise an eyebrow with audiences. The only issues that are truly important are the ones your audience deems important. Do you know what those issues are? Have you been listening?

Social listening is essential to the launch of your brand. Effective listening through social media allows you to tap into “the world's largest focus group” and collect data that can be used to drive your brand.

Imagine no longer having to sit behind a one-way mirror, eating M&Ms, while listening to yet another HCP discuss the merits or pitfalls of your launch ad! Social listening allows you to perform keyword tracking and monitoring that can be interpreted to help craft key launch messages.

Social listening begins as a way to collect intelligence. Once the initial data has been collected (and analyzed), you need to continue to listen. It is an ongoing, evolving process. As you launch your biotech brand, you will begin to listen for other reasons. You will want to know what HCPs and patients are saying about your product. Who are your brand's best supporters? What are the KOLs telling others? What are the detractors saying about your product? Answers to these questions will help guide your decision making.

Effective social media interactions are a lot like good blind dates―mutual interest and good conversation that has you wanting to engage in another experience. So, be sure to listen.

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