Social Health Check 7.3.2013

Social Health Check #6

Brought to you by our New York, London and Hong Kong Social@Ogilvy teams, this is our monthly snapshot of the latest news and trends in healthcare social media. The aim is to inspire ideas, discussion and fresh thinking in this challenging yet ever exciting field.

Who says science can’t be fun? 

Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) unit has developed a series of four animations that explain glycoengineering technology, stem cell research and their drug discovery model. Surprisingly the animations are done in house by the pRED team of scientists and communicators, and they have been published in a video series on YouTube.  The videos have received nearly 15,000 views, with very positive comments from viewers. This is a great example of translating highly complex scientific information into fun and accessible visuals that become highly shareable content pieces in social media.

(RED) against AIDS

(RED) are leaders when it comes to using the social web in their fight against AIDS. Earlier this month, they partnered with Mashable to challenge people across the globe to help set the world record for the most Vine videos produced for a social cause. Users were asked to create a video and share it with the hashtag #REDworldrecord. A world record was set, and most importantly, the message of working towards an AIDS free generation was spread.

(RED) are now continuing their efforts in a partnership with Johnson & Johnson with the SHARE (RED), SAVE LIVES campaign, which prompts the viewer to either like, tweet, or pin an infographic that communicates the reduction in the number of HIV infections from 2003 to 2013, and their aim of reducing this to 0 in 2015. For each like, tweet, or pin, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, up to a total of $100,000. With each engagement, more and more viewers are exposed to the infographic, spreading the information in a unique, visible, and inherently shareable way.

Real-time marketing in healthcare

Social media listening gives us access to real-time data from patients and caregivers across the globe. The act of gathering that data to uncover insights and behavioral patterns is indispensable when planning communication activities, but those brands that listen actively and embrace real-time marketing will break new ground by engaging with their audience within a relevant context. Twitter and Everyday Heath are doing just that with a partnership to deliver public health alerts and sell ad packages related to health topics. They will monitor 2 million health-related daily tweets in the US to identify any peaks in mentions that suggest potential health outbreaks. Once the outbreak is identified, promoted tweets and hashtags that are geo-targeted can then alert people and get them the right healthcare information. It all comes down to being able to target the patient in a specific and personalized way based on what the patient is experiencing in that precise moment.

Finding your match online

OK Cupid, eHarmony and all serve as platforms allowing users to privately pre-screen potential romantic relationships through the web. Now that we’re going online to search for romance, why not pay equally close attention when searching for a Rheumatologist? is a site that uses social tools to help patients and doctors connect in their local area. Receiving over 13 million unique visits per month, the site allows patients to provide reviews of doctors based on their personal experience, and to tweet about who they’ve found. The ‘review’ functionality is a feature we have been accustomed to with e-commerce sites and demonstrates the importance of reputation management through effective social customer service.

#Health on Facebook

The newly introduced Facebook hashtags add a layer of opportunity for healthcare communicators. Upon typing #health in the search bar, or clicking on a hashtag within a post or comment, you can already see posts from friends, brands or people with public profiles.  These hashtags enable brands to discover conversations in real-time, and in healthcare, this means being able to provide a scientifically accurate and credible voice in the conversation. As reported in our recent Facebook POV, it isn’t possible to view trending topics in real-time just yet, but health brands should be studying hashtags to learn which ones are used by their target audience when talking about their condition and treatments to plan how to get involved in those conversations and add value.

Vine is taking off

Vine, the video app that was introduced by Twitter in January 2013, has seen a meteoric rise in uptake.  It is the second most popular free download in the App Store, and clocked 13 million users at the beginning of this month – just before it launched the Android version. Consumer brands have been quick to get in on the act, but how can pharma use this new technology?  A few big pharma companies have registered profiles in Vine, but only Boehringer Ingelheim, a recognized early adopter in social media, and AstraZeneca US, have posted Vines at the time of writing.  Users have embraced Vine because of its immediacy – the videos are a mere 6-second loop, and they are uploaded in real time with minimal editing functionality.  This means a Vine video cannot be created, submitted for medical, legal and regulatory approval and then uploaded at a later date. But this does not have to be an insurmountable barrier for pharma companies.  With internal buy in and careful planning, Vines can be created to maximize events – capturing video clips of a busy congress center and crowds attending a symposium.  Animation stills or visuals from disease awareness material can be turned into an interesting looped video that is easily shared.  Although the “rough and ready” quality of Vines is not necessarily in line with the polished material normally produced by pharma companies, it does show a personable and human touch – which is a key to social media success.  It will be interesting to see which companies will use this in the future.

The Social Health Check would like to thank Jen Hubbard and Allison Day for their contribution to the blog post this month.

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