The Growing Presence Of Biotech In The World Of Social Media

Published: Nov 20, 2014

The Growing Presence of Biotech in the World of Social Media

November 19, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

In the biotechnology industry, companies are focused on developing new products to solve some of mankind’s most challenging ailments. However, a new test has emerged for these businesses to see success—social media.

While social networking may not seem like an immediate concern for biotech and biopharmaceutical companies, one fact cannot be disputed—social media is here to stay. Furthermore, businesses that want to maintain an extensive network of new and existing customers need to utilize these resources to do so in the 21st century.

With help from Rival IQ, a digital analytics service provider, we took a look at how the following six companies are using social media today: AstraZeneca , GlaxoSmithKline , Novartis , Novo Nordisk , Pfizer , and Sanofi . Here is where they have each chosen to engage in the social landscape.

The Growing Presence of Biotech in the World of Social Media

With this in mind, let’s look in-depth at how some of these companies are utilizing websites like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to their target audience.

Social Audience and Reach
In terms of social audience, Novo Nordisk has the biggest following out of all six companies with more than 205,500 people across the five social platforms examined. However, Novartis had the most social activity during the month of October, greatly surpassing the other companies with 331 updates across the various social channels. GlaxoSmithKline was in second place with only 180 updates.

The Growing Presence of Biotech in the World of Social Media

At the bottom of the list in terms of updates were Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Pfizer. It’s worth noting that Sanofi ranked last in social audience for the month of October with just 58,792 people.

An Effort to Engage
Posting updates to a social network is only half of the battle—engagement is necessary to reap the benefits of these easy-to-use tools. Although Novo Nordisk had little social activity during the month of October, the company attempted to make do with what it had, leading in social conversation engagement with 149 posts. Rival IQ defines social conversation engagement as the total number of conversation engagement actions across all tracked social channels, with the exception of LinkedIn.

If you recall, Novo Nordisk also had the largest social media audience out of all six companies. This is indicative of its efforts to engage with target market. It’s also worth mentioning that in terms of social engagement for the month of October—defined as the total number of engagement actions tracked across every platform but LinkedInNovo Nordisk ranked first with 6,906 actions.

The Growing Presence of Biotech in the World of Social Media

However, engagement isn’t everything—putting in a strong effort to establish your company in social realms can create positive results. When comparing September 2014 to October 2014, GlaxoSmithKline saw a whopping 207 percent increase in total followers across every social platform but LinkedIn.

“We won’t go where it doesn’t feel authentic for us to engage—and hopefully our content and tone reflect that—but we’re certainly looking at new channels and ways to use the ones where we have a presence already,” a GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson told BioSpace. “As people become more savvy, channels grow—or new ones are introduced—and audiences shift, it becomes more challenging to break through. So we’re always experimenting—finding out how and where customers want to communicate with us.”

Reaping the Benefits
Although social media may not seem like it has a place in the biotechnology industry, it’s worth examining the benefits before writing it off. Social media can garner more interest, attract new customers and help companies establish a positive reputation in the industry.

Approximately 89 percent of all marketers say that their social media efforts have helped them gain exposure for their business. More than 50 percent of marketers say that by spending just six hours per week on social media has helped them build new partnerships. As the benefits become more obvious, you can expect biotech companies to look to social channels for a little boost in the future.
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