The Social Media Question
There’s simply no denying that social media has been an absolute explosion, and more and more companies are keeping an eye on it. In 2010, Facebook surpassed Google as the most visited website on the internet.
But this begs the question: Can social media campaigns help biotech companies? To answer that firms must look at their current and prospective customers. While social media’s use is high, it’s often in the 18–34-year-old population and is most heavily used to keep in touch.
That’s not to say it can’t be profitable. Many consumer-focused companies including Comcast and 1-800-FLOWERS have documented successes. Others have noticed that social media doesn’t have the impact they anticipated.
For social media to be a viable opportunity for a biotech, there are some key points to keep in mind:
• It must be a dedicated strategy. Because social media is available 24/7/365, end-consumers often expect a response immediately. And, over time, the workload involved can be quite large. Comcast reportedly gets 60,000 emails per month as a result of its social media strategy. This can increase personnel costs.
• The exact strategy a company uses should be in line with its goals. For example: Comcast uses social media to handle customer service issues, while 1-800-FLOWERS is primarily using the media to drive transactions.
It’s been said that the reason something is an industry norm is because a company can expect normal results. While they are safe and comfortable, they have however ceased being profitable. Right now, with a number of biotechs reeling from the economy, healthcare reform, and regulations, it may be the perfect time to learn from outside strategies.