Healthcare brands have overwhelmingly increased their social media engagement. Now, they’re turning to HCP social listening technology to boost their engagement even more.
Social listening is the process of monitoring online conversations and collecting public data from various social media platforms. Social listening enables pharma to obtain a variety of metrics, including patient sentiment, physician location, and population demographics, analyze those data points, and identify patterns, resulting in both powerful content creation and productization. Social listening may be utilized in conjunction with a strategic social strategy to generate meaningful engagement and qualified leads.
6 Ways to Use Social Listening Technology
- Create a social listening framework. Social listening reports can be incorporated into your entire strategy and inspire outcomes across paid, earned, and owned, touching both the community management and content development side of your social media.
- Analyze thousands of conversations a day. Social listening tools deliver sentiment analysis and identify key insights – such as peaks in volume, engagement speed, emotional reactions, clicks, and conversation differences – that can inform a product or treatment’s status, campaign messaging success, and broader content strategy trajectory over time. Brands can set up a process and cadence by which you track sentiment over months, quarters, years, and during campaigns. Furthermore, social listening allows you to readily track adverse events to report and escalate.
- Develop a more engaged, more accurate audience. Determine where your patients, physicians, and providers are by tracking behaviours, location, and broader demographics. Analysts can also unveil unique cultural insights and norms and get hyper-granular into language nuances.
- Identify trends through insight models. Create search queries and insight models to identify trends, hashtags, keywords, and brand or product mentions. Insight models can lend to optimizing user-generated content (UGC) and influencer content. UGC has been available since 2005 but the rise started a few years ago when platforms started lending to reshares and reposts.
- Monitor brand competition. Examine your core and secondary competitors, their activities, and their strengths and weaknesses.
- Implement benchmarking exercises. With social listening tools, you can test and refine marketing strategies across owned, paid, and earned content before full market implementation to ensure optimal growth. You can also test against various trends and contexts to identify where your brand can make the largest impact and where to further iterate.
Do’s and Don’ts of Social Listening Practices for Pharma Brands
- Don’t rule out what you’d identify as smaller channels or lower frequency conversation areas. What you’re looking for is the quality of conversation rather than quantity. Channels such as Reddit are home to a wealth of first-person patient experiences, where patients are sharing openly amongst connected communities. More often than not patients have become more comfortable conversing in these connected communities rather than in their own social and family circles.
- Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Sometimes a listening tool might not be able to reach the areas you need it to, such as Facebook groups. Be prepared to rule up your sleeves for some manual social listening yourself. Patient communities are thriving, and such patient-centric networks are becoming a trusted source of useful personal insights.
- Do be open-minded. Don’t go into the research project thinking you’re looking for like-minded marketing clients or research-oriented individuals. Think like a patient would by embracing the nuances of the language and cultural norms in and amongst their disease area.
- Don’t use in-group language. To explore the granularity and heart of the culture you’re researching focus on the language and cultural nuances used by the patients in a disease area rather than those used solely by doctors and HCPs and academics. These areas of patient insight can drive powerful outcomes for a brand researcher
Social listening is a powerful tool that can help your organization better understand consumers and people in the online health community. By harnessing the power of social media and knowing what topics are trending among patients, social listening lets your team see and engage with people in different ways. Using social listening analytics, you can see how patients and physicians are interacting online and what types of content are most valuable for them.