Social Media Listening in Pharmaceutical Industry

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Social Media Listening in Pharmaceutical Industry


  • When it comes to embracing new-age technologies, the pharmaceutical industry always remains on the front foot. Galvanized by novel technological advances and innovations, the pharmaceutical industry is forging ahead at a momentous pace
  • Social media listening fosters the use of leveraging several social media platforms to gather insights, resolve queries, carry out online market research by analyzing people’s perceptions, and most importantly attend to the feedback of consumers, and meet the expectancies of the end-users
  • PharmaShots brings an enlightening article on social media Listening in Pharmaceutical Industry, its advantages, risks involved, major challenges, Octavus’ summarized model for reputation management, key companies that profusely leverage SML to enhance brand reach, and a thought-provoking conclusion

Convenient and impactful, social media platforms play a significant role in facilitating the exchange of ideas, customs, traditions, and more. With a robust network of social media users, such platforms are abode to billions of people who spend hours consuming online content. Internet users heavily rely on social media platforms to express a sense of appreciation, dismal, or suggestions regarding products and services. Social media harbors an ocean of opportunities for both new and well-established businesses. The pharmaceutical industry is no exception when it comes to leveraging social media to achieve economic growth.

Every other industry has turned to social media analytics to strengthen its brand value. Social media platforms offer a plethora of opportunities for companies, as it helps to identify their target audiences, their needs, unmet demands, and more. When it comes to infusing social media analytics into the pharmaceutical industry, it holds an ocean of opportunities and is equally daunting. Surrounded by ambiguity, the pharmaceutical sector somehow has not utilized social media listening to the fullest. Our article focuses on the importance of social media listening, challenges, opportunities, and an advanced reputation management model devised by PharmaShots and Octavus Consulting.

What is social media listening?

Social media listening integrates trends, insights, suggestions, and feedback related to businesses, services, and needs of the end-users to provide new products or services, improve the existing ones, and develop novel products to meet users’ requirements. SML has been instrumental in shaping products and services for consumers and helps companies stay relevant in the market. With SML transforming the ways of businesses around the globe, the pharmaceutical industry fosters the infusion of SML into customer care, and reputation management, and devises key strategies to enhance and develop new products and services that meet the needs of consumers

Advantages of social media listening

Social media listening offers significant advantages in the pharmaceutical industry. Companies are fostered to integrate social media analytics into market research, campaigns, and raise awareness. Mentioned below are a few benefits that come with social media analytics

  • Real-time Insights: Social media listening is pivotal in gathering real-world and real-time data. Pharmaceutical companies leverage these insights from KOLs, patients, HCPs, and researchers to enhance key strategies in a drug development plan and stay updated on modern trends and practices
  • Strengthens Brand Value: By monitoring social media platforms and listening to the target audiences, pharmaceutical companies can incorporate changes that fit consumers’ needs and build trust in the market. Consumer conversations help enhance positive people’s perceptions of companies
  • Effective Risk Management: With social media listening, companies can effectively manage and avert the risks involved in the business. Pharmaceutical companies can tackle and nullify the misinformation and emerge stronger from the crisis 
  • Better Understanding of Target Audiences: Social media platforms help companies understand the needs of end users. Companies can segment the market and identify their target audiences through their online posts on different social media platforms
  • Finding the Right Influencer: With social media listening, pharmaceutical companies can find the right KOL and DOL for their respective products. Influencers interact with their audiences over social media platforms by posting insights, interviews, and real-time updates
  • Latest Trends and Competitors: Social media listening helps find the latest practices and trends to make your company market ready. With social media listening, you can track your competitors’ activities and latest developments to stay ahead of the curve

Risks Involved in Social Listening

Increased Adverse Drug Experiences: Most pharmaceutical companies believe that social listening may lead to adverse drug experiences, resulting in negative branding. Moreover, to tackle multiple adverse drug experiences, pharmaceutical companies must spend a lot on investigations

Failure to Provide Resolutions: The major risk involved in social listening is the inability to provide timely resolutions, affecting the marketing strategies of pharmaceutical companies. Companies need dedicated teams to provide consumers with timely resolutions to avoid such situations

Tackling Fake Reviews: Social media platforms have garnered much criticism for fake posts, reviews, and identity thefts, leaving companies skeptical. Tackling such posts induces risks that may put an adverse impact on the marketing of the drugs

Challenges in Social Media Listening

  • Difficulty in extracting information: Social media platforms are loaded with undesirable information. Extracting the right information from the pile of unnecessary data can be an arduous task to accomplish. Big companies often leverage machine learning to find relevant information. But when it comes to emerging businesses it becomes rather difficult to manually monitor social media platforms
  • Inaccuracy in Sentiment Analysis: The accuracy of automated sentiment analysis is a matter of debate. Often automated tools misinterpret the tone of the message and generate false insights. To filter out such data companies must rely on human intervention
  • Induces Tedious Investigations: Often companies label social listening as a liability because it fosters companies to bring out frequent investigations. Such investigations after the drugs are marketed can be detrimental to the brand value
  • Limiting Analytics to HCPs: Pharmaceutical companies constrained social listening to HCPs and do not pay heed to customers’ voices. Limiting analytics to HCPs may lead to incomplete market research and put a negative toll on the drug development plan

Reputation Management through Social Listening by Octavus Consulting

Social media listening is instrumental in upkeeping the brand value in the market, building trust, and resolving issues through customer care, and effective crisis management. Reputation management can be tedious in the pharmaceutical industry, especially during adverse drug events. PharmaShots brings a proven and efficacious five-step reputation management model, designed especially for pharmaceutical companies by its parent company Octavus Consulting. (For the extensive model, contact us at connect@pharmashots.com)

  • Identify: This initial step requires a bit of groundwork to select the right keywords, phrases, chemicals, generics, and brand names to get the best results from the shared, earned, paid, and owned media
  • Gather: Using an AI-powered tool, companies can track chatrooms, pharma forums, and other platforms to find related posts, comments, and reviews. Gathering data related to drugs can be strenuous and may require immense expertise in data handling. To the rescue comes Octavus Consulting, where we have trained professionals to execute such circuitous tasks
  • Refine: Data gathered from different sources can be full of noise and must be screened to get the desired information. The data refinement process involves cleansing to remove unsought queries and structuring to organize data for the subsequent step
  • Visualize: Data visualization involves utilizing refined data to prepare an easy-to-understand report that can be further used by the concerned department to formulate an effective action plan. When it comes to integrating a holistic approach to representing data, Octavus Consulting has the upper hand. We deliver visualized reports and actionable insights to formulate your plan of action
  • Resolve: The plan of action is escalated to the concerned department that takes necessary actions to resolve the conflict in time

Key Companies

Several companies use social listening to strengthen their market reach, some key companies that are pioneering in leveraging social monitoring and listening are showcased in the image below:

Conclusions & Perspectives

Businesses have immensely benefited from fostering the use of new-age social media platforms. With social media listening, pharma companies connect with the target audiences, get acquainted with the KOLs, resolve issues related to drugs, and build a strong online presence by utilizing trending practices. Social listening, like any other practice, has its dark side. Pharmaceutical companies may fall prey to negative aspects of social listening, as mentioned in the article above. With social cognizance, companies can utilize social listening skills to ace the market and connect profusely with end users. PharmaShots and its parent company are acquainted with the nitty gritty of the life science industry and have been instrumental in guiding numerous companies to achieve excellence. Our thoughtfully designed models help companies excel and outperform. For more information contact us at bd@octavusconsulting.com or connect@pharmashots.com 




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Saurabh Chaubey

Saurabh is a Senior Content Writer at PharmaShots. He is a voracious reader and follows the recent trends and innovations of life science companies diligently. His work at PharmaShots involves writing articles, editing content, and proofreading drafts. He has a knack for writing content that covers the Biotech, MedTech, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare sectors.

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