Beyond likes and shares: The Essential Role of Social Media in Pharma Marketing's Future

March 2024 | Read Time: 4 mins
Posted by Visual Abstract | Authors: Celine Choukair & Ishita Rajgrihar
Hand holding a smartphone with the main screen displayed
The New Digital Landscape
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we share and consume scientific knowledge and has had a significant impact on marketing, particularly in the B2B space. In our post-pandemic world, the way in which scientific information is communicated has changed dramatically. Social media has emerged as an indispensable tool for sharing information, reflecting the urgent need for science communication to adapt to new realities. This shift underscores the critical importance of effectively engaging audiences in a landscape where attention spans are particularly short. .
1.1 The Shift from Traditional to Digital Communication
Since their inception in the late 1990s, social media have evolved into an established communication platform, with Facebook now celebrating its 20th anniversary. These platforms have become indispensable for both individuals and businesses today. This blog aims to delve into how these shifts have influenced the way we share, receive, and perceive information, emphasizing the pivotal role of social media in today’s communication strategies.
1.2 Adapting to Change: The New Digital Landscape
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of internet users and even more in social media users. With smartphone usage now at an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes daily and social media consumption up to 151 minutes per day, our connection to digital platforms has deepened.

This shift isn’t just about increased online activity; it’s about our growing preference for receiving information through engaging, personalized content that digital domains are adept at delivering. 

This evolution has had a profound impact on the pharmaceutical sector’s outreach and engagement strategies.
Bar graph comparing the number of internet users globally to the number of social media users globally.
Source: Statista (2024)
Moreover, emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Models (LLMs) are revolutionizing not only how we market externally but also how we operate internally, changing the very way we process information. This shift to digital is a transformation that requires pharmaceutical businesses to rethink their communication and advertising strategies to align with our new digital-first world.
1.3 Navigating the Digital Shift
In an era where digital dominates, the pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Gone are the days when television commercials were the gold standard for advertising. Today, it’s all about social media and digital campaigns. This transition reflects the evolving audience preferences and media consumption habits. So, what does this mean for pharmaceutical companies that need to share the science behind their product with HCPs and inform patients?
• Personalised Digital Touch
Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing allows for personalized, targeted communication. Pharmaceutical companies can now reach their specific audience with precision, thanks to the data-driven insights and tools available on digital platforms. This means messages can be tailored to fit the exact needs and interests of their audience, making every message more relevant and impactful.
• B2B Lead Generation
It’s not just consumer marketing that’s being revolutionized. The digital shift includes the transformation of internal and B2B communications as well. As the workforce evolves, so does the expectation for how information is presented. Today’s employees and business partners expect interactive, visually engaging content. So, pharmaceutical companies must rethink how they create and share their information materials, moving away from traditional formats and embracing the digital.
• Connecting with Healthcare Professionals
According to a report by LinkedIn, the number of healthcare professionals on their platform has doubled from 2021 to 2022. Additionally, 25% of these professionals are discovering new brands through social media. Pharmaceutical companies should focus on establishing a robust digital presence and connecting with healthcare professionals (HCPs) to improve their brand visibility, build a positive image, and provide informed decision-making support to HCPs. Failure to do so could lead to missed opportunities and a loss of competitive advantage.
Three healthcare professionals standing in a row, illustrated in Visual Abstract style.
• Showcase Innovations and R&D
Visual Abstract style illustration of a researcher conducting R&D experiments in a modern laboratory.
Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing allows for personalized, targeted communication. Pharmaceutical companies can now reach their specific audience with precision, thanks to the data-driven insights and tools available on digital platforms.

This means messages can be tailored to fit the exact needs and interests of their audience, making every message more relevant and impactful.
• Engaging Patients Directly
Social media offers a unique opportunity for direct patient engagement. Its platforms allow patients to ask questions, find community, and share their experiences. This direct line of communication can enable pharmaceutical companies to build genuine relationships with patients, offering tailored support and information.
• The Misinformation Challenge
As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, combating misinformation is vital. The simplicity of creating and sharing content online often results in the spread of false information. For the pharmaceutical and scientific sectors, social media competency to produce educational campaigns and trusted influencer partnerships, is critical to correct misinformation, educate the public, and promote accurate, trustworthy information.
Visual Abstract style illustration of a man having a video consultation with a doctor through a tablet device.
• Adaptibility is the key to success
The key to thriving in the pharmaceutical industry’s digital landscape is embracing social media and digital marketing, underscoring adaptability and innovation. By mastering these areas, the industry can meet evolving audience needs and excel amidst constant change. Essential strategies involve engaging and educating both consumers and healthcare professionals effectively, ensuring compliance with industry standards.
2.0 Elevating Your Digital Presence with Our Solutions
Looking to the future of pharmaceutical communications, our AI-powered solutions will redefine how you share product science with healthcare professionals and patients, improving patient care and HCP engagement:
• Empower Your Sales Force: Equip your sales team with new, highly engaging communication formats to captivate healthcare professionals (HCPs). Experience a substantial 4.4X increase in Altimetric Score, driving deeper engagement and greater impact of your scientific communications with interactive presentations.

• Master Your Omnichannel Presence: Amplify your brand with a 7X boost in interaction across various channels, ensuring your message is heard loud and clear.

• Save Costs & Valuable Resources: Achieve an impressive 80% reduction in costs, optimizing your marketing budget while maximizing efficiency and reach.
Illustration of Visual Abstract's Marketing Material for Pharmaceutical Marketers
Our solutions are designed to enhance your outreach and sales tactics, using AI and visualisation to optimise the efficiency and impact of your data. Join us in embracing the future and transforming your science communication into a more engaging, cost-effective and influential initiative.
Sources
1. Alex Bell (2023), How Healthcare Professionals Use LinkedIn to Connect, Grow and Share, LinkedIn Blog, Accessed at: https://www.linkedin.com/business/marketing/blog/trends-tips/how-healthcare-professionals-use-linkedin/ [Accessed on: 1st March 2024]

2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018324/us-users-daily-social-media-minutes/ [Accessed on: 3rd March 2024]

3. https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/29153/umfrage/mediennutzung-durch-jugendliche-in-der-freizeit/

4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1289723/share-time-spent-mobile-internet-daily/ [Accessed on: 4th March 2024]

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