You know that I am a "fan" of social media. Although I principally look on social media as "just yet another communication channel" (where all regulations of course apply as for all other communication tools utlized by the pharmaceutical industry), I believe it is stronger, faster, and really opens up for interactivity. I have written about the use of social media with healthcare a few times here at the blog, e.g. Feb 23, 2012, Feb 2, 2012, Oct 6, 2011, Aug 24, 2011, and April 5, 2011. And in my blogpost from Nov 24, 2010, I referred to an article in Läkemedelsvärlden where Ingrid Stenberg came with the prophecy that the pharmaceutical industry will stay away from using social media, at least if they were to follow the spirit in the LIF (the Swedish Associalteion of the Research Based Pharmaceutical Industry) recommendations regarding social media. However, things have developed over the recent years and the updated LIF recommendations on social media do feel much more clearly positive.
Nevertheless, the use of social media in the health care sector in general and in the pharmaceutical industry specifically, is still fairly limited. And the connection to business strategies still seem to be very weak. This is pointed out in a recent article from IBM Global Business Services where it is stated that benchmarking data reveals pharmaceutical industry not connecting social media data with marketing stratgeies. Read the article - it is interesting! And thanks to Nina Hedlund, Editor at Pharma Online Svenska nyhetsbrev, for sharing the article with me through LinkedIn Group "Sociala medier inom läkemedelsområdet".
Our sector definitely has great opportunities to improve our communication, and business, strategies in relation to social media. And we have a lot to learn from other sectors, however of course never ever forgetting the specific regulations we have to follow in our sector. But as I have said previously, we are experts when it comes to comply with those regulations, and will be able to do so also in the social media world!