social versus search

Digital Health Coalition Newsletter – September 2018

Digital Health Coalition Newsletter – September 2018


Social Media is increasingly recognized as a key way to get messaging in front of consumers even before they begin searching online for specific brand or condition-related information. With marketers looking for smart strategies to impact all stages of the patient journey, social media is often used to impact and reach patients before they know what they are looking for. Recent Nielsen data demonstrates this, reporting on the importance of different digital media channels – social media and search came up 1st and 2nd respectively.  The same rankings held true when Nielsen asked about the perceived effectiveness of the digital media channels.   

With social media as an undisputedly important channel, we want to ensure you have access to the latest data and insights.  In the Social Media Landscape Webinar hosted in late August by the DHC and study partner Klick Health (available for download here), we uncovered some data points you may want to consider when evaluating your own social channels: 

  • You don’t need to post often on Facebook, average is just 2.2 times per week
  • Allowing comments on Facebook doesn’t have to feel overwhelming … most pages average just 60 comments per week, and are concentrated under promoted posts. 
  • On twitter, posting just once a day is average, as is 7 retweets 
  • If you are using Instagram, focus on the likes vs comments as a metric for success

We interviewed study co-author Brad Einarsen using a few key questions most asked based on the study results: 

QUESTION: How should a launch brand view social media as opposed to a mature/in line product? 
ANSWER: A launch brand is all about discovery rather than recall. Social platforms that can hold full indication and claim information are a great fit for those messages since reminder ads are not effective at this stage. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat have the opportunity to hold full ISI and make for excellent platforms for branded educational materials. If an unbranded campaign is part of the full launch then all social platforms are on the table. 

QUESTION: It seems like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are critical (given their time share/market share). How should a company or brand allocate mind/time share between the platforms? Is it 2/3 Facebook – and split the remaining time on other platforms? 
ANSWER: Two years ago it was still Facebook’s world but the younger demographics are shifting their usage as social migrates to be a mobile-first activity. Instagram and Snapchat hold a significant amount of attention for these younger groups up to and including younger millennials who are now parents. Interestingly, Twitter cuts across all demographics and has more of a psychological rather than age differentiation.

For this question the answer is always “it depends.” For therapies targeted at older patients or caregivers then it’s still a Facebook first world where probably 80% of the budget should be devoted to that giant platform. The remaining 20% can be used for other properties to maintain a placement that can be discovered. However for therapies targeted at a younger patient or caregiver then marketers should look carefully at Instagram and Snapchat. For brands that have a focus on longer form video content then YouTube, and especially the new vertical ad format.

This planning is always different based on the brand situation so ensure you consider the variables of age, condition, psychology, market, content, and platform when deciding how best to distribute your budgets.
QUESTION: Any insights into how all the data/privacy issues related to Facebook will play out in the coming year? Do we think Facebook will be more restrictive with the use of their data by third parties? Will targeting remain the same – or will it get harder to find unique segments/audiences?
ANSWER: Even before the Cambridge Analytica story Facebook was already restricting their use of third-party data, especially surrounding health conditions. Targeting on Facebook needs to be a “whole ecosystem” approach with on-platform interests, website pixels, multiple-Pages, and user-generated content all playing their part.

At this point we think that targeting is as restrictive as its going to get. Marketers should look at their current plans and ensure that all of the aforementioned targeting options are being used to their full potential.

Thanks to Brad for taking the time to share those insights.

You can hear more at next week’s DHC Midwest Summit (October 4that Takeda), featuring new deeper analysis of facebook ads from the Social Media Landscape Study.  Here’s a quick preview: 

Facebook gave us the “Info and Ads” control earlier this year and it opened up the potential to see what content brands were promoting on the platform. We have analyzed 200+ ads from 20+ brands to determine what message types are most popular. 

The datapoints being captured in the analysis are:

·         Page creation date
·         Number of ads
·         Ad type 
·         Media type
·         Content type

This data supplements the Unmetric benchmarks and brings a whole new level of comparison for marketers looking to use social platforms for their pharmaceutical brands. Brad Einarsen of Klick Health will present the full analysis next week  – event information here. 
The webinar also featured a conversation with DHC co-founder Mark Bard and Horizon Pharma’s Amanda Phraner.  You can read the full interview here, where Amanda shares her thoughts on some of her experience within social media, some of the challenges, obstacles she’s seen and some of the opportunities she sees going forward.  Amanda outlines how they successfully test-piloted Facebook Live by picking an initiative that was easier for their compliance and regulatory teams to understand and work with. She highlighted that while doing a Facebook Live is great, it’s important to consider the more long-reaching value of the recorded version, which can be re-shared extensively.   She also encourages marketers to think about the long term value of the community you may be creating on Facebook, and how they will see that interaction as just one stop on a conversation continuum. (click here to read the interview)


Download the latest version of the Social Media Landscape Study

The Modern Pharma Marketing eBook from DHC and Intouch Solutions is Now Available for PDF Download – Get Your Copy Today



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Part 1 – Data, Analytics, and ROI (20 Minutes)
Part 2 – Brand Safety, Viewability, and Fraud (30 minutes)