Harnessing social media influencers to promote your brand

Wired recently came out with an article on social media influencers in healthcare. Influencers are individuals who have amassed a devoted following on social media platforms and are regarded as authorities on the topics they post about.

In medicine, influencers are often current or former patients – people who have struggled through a health crisis or are currently managing a chronic illness, for example.

The Wired article mentions how pharma companies and healthcare providers sometimes reach out to these influencers, asking them to sit on panels, provide feedback on various treatments. Companies also pay attention to the kinds of products influencers promote.

What should you remain cautious about when working with influencers?

Reaching out to social media influencers may be beneficial to your company, but there are also issues to remain cautious about, including the following:

  • Genuineness. You need to make sure that the influencer is genuine – that they are who they claim to be, that their experiences are something they really went through (or are going through).
  • Credibility. An influencer may be popular online, but that doesn’t mean their claims are medically sound. They may have views that shouldn’t be associated with your company.
  • Impact. What’s the extent of their actual influence? Even if they have a lot of followers, their online interactions may be shallow. Their followers may not pay particular attention to them or act on their suggestions.
  • Ethics. Influencers often gain trust in part from not being influenced by any particular company. If it seems that they’re promoting your product merely because you gave them an incentive to, this can turn into an unethical situation, and they may lose trust among their followers.

Social media influencers are worth paying attention to, particularly when they offer feedback on various treatments and express concerns that may be shared by many other people. If you want to work with them, however, you need to remain cautious about the potential pitfalls.

Discover ways to enhance your social media strategy at the 8th Digital Pharma West conference, taking place June 13-15, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, CA. Join over 200 life science leaders who are improving customer centricity and patient outcomes through digital health and transformative initiatives. To learn more about this event please download the brochure or visit the website. Click here to register and be sure to mention Priority Code C876BLOG.

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