Challenges & Opportunities In Implementing Social Media Strategies


Since it first appeared on the Internet, social media has been in growth mode and continues to evolve with new social and business applications. Different companies now see this platform in technology as a means to target current and potential customers of different ages and demographics.  Despite its growth in use, many question what level of investment companies should partake in social media. Specifically, organizations are seeking to better understand some the best practices & obstacles behind using social media for marketing within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Currently, many marketing functions within the highly regulated pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries struggle to incorporate effective and safe social media practices. To cope with strict regulatory restrictions, 50% of companies have written policies in place to govern the use of Social Media at the workplace.

While companies are slowly embracing the idea of Social Media as an effective & strategic tool, it is clear that a company’s needs for and idea of how to accurately portray their social media presence is based on their type of business.

Best Practices, LLC conducted a research study on how companies use Social Media in their business environment. The research analyzed the risks and opportunities that are associated with the implementation of Social Media applications as well as managing their use. Some of the following responses were listed as reasons for why organizations have been hesitant to invest in this emerging area of marketing:

  • Message Control: Message control is essential for avoiding negative or-even worse- incorrect information from being spread through your organization’s social media sites. Despite this, accurately controlling each message can be very time consuming.
  • Uncertain ROI: Some benchmarked participants listed that the ROI is questionable based on the resource committee required. Also, some participants argue that returns/strategies are not yet proven in the B2B environment.
  • Not on Senior Management’s Radar: Conservative organizations, or those that are new to using web resources, may not be willing to or concerned with implementing social media tools in their business plans. In this case, some organizations have begun creating steering committees to determine the best use of social media within their company.

Whether your organization is still in the early stages of adopting Social Media strategies, or is proactively managing social media, it is critical that everyone understands social media policy, rewards and risks. Independent of your maturity in social media, all companies should have written policies in place to govern the use of social media in the workplace. Understanding the opportunities and risks associated with social media applications is essential for success.

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