The Social Fight For Pharma

The social fight for pharma companies has begun. As part of the never-ending rivalry between the social media giants, Facebook and Google, one of them is quick to realize what the other one missed out on. And while I stated numerous times that in my opinion Facebook “forcing” pharma to communicate is actually a good thing and doesn’t mean a big change, it gave a reason to a lot of people to start comparing the relationship of Google and Facebook with pharma.

Since Google made it possible for companies to decide what suggested videos appear on their corporate Youtube channels the score is 1-0 in favor of Google according to most pharma marketers. A lot of them only see the actions and not the consequences. They see that Google gives them more freedom on Youtube, while Facebook is introducing new restrictions.

But will full control and no communication stand against monitored conversation and active engagement? I doubt it. Sure, it is nice to oversee what kind of videos are suggested on your channel, but you can do that with Facebook ads as well. And picking the company you are in online is not the same as having the option to turn off the social aspect of a site. One is understandable, one is totally against the basic idea of social media.

So painting Google as the good parent, who gives you freedom, while making Facebook seem like the strict, evil one is nowhere near fair. Even comparing the two actions (allowing selected suggestions and turning on comments) is like comparing apples and oranges. And while people like to keep score and watch the social media moguls compete we should remember that maybe it is not worth to compromise the essence of being social to gain more traffic or an industry’s support.

(Source: ePharma Summit Blog)

Do Comments Help Your Brand On Youtube?

Pharma brands will face less of a challenge on Youtube than they do on Facebook since the video hosting site shows no signs of plans to force pharma companies to allow comments on their channels. But do comments influence the popularity of your Youtube channel? Is that what viewers look for when watching videos online?

Looking at data published in early July about pharma and Youtube it is hard to conclude any kind of trend when it comes to the ability to comment on these different channels. While some brands achieved significant growth compared to results last December in number of subscribers, channel and upload views, some companies’ Youtube presence stayed stagnant. But is it true that user experience is more enjoyable if comments are allowed? Is it true that a channel is more popular if viewers can express their opinions after watching the videos? My hypothesis was that indeed, a Youtube channel is more user-friendly if commenting is supported and welcomed. The numbers proved me wrong.

The percentages of viewer growth presented below show that there is no obvious relationship between the possibility of comments and the popularity of a Youtube channel. The four channels that achieved growing numbers of subscribers, channel views and upload views on the largest scale were Amgen, BayerChannel, Genentech and TibotecHCV, all four of them with more than 100% of growth. Three of these achieved the promising rates without allowing comments, while on the channel of Genentech viewers could comment. There were also channels with considerably lower percentages with and without comments from viewers. After checking the four most rapidly growing channels it turned out that even on Genentech, while people had the opportunity to share their thoughts, no comments appeared after the videos.

This small analysis proves that whether you decide to allow or disable comments on a Youtube channel, whether you monitor it or cancel the commenting feature entirely, there is a different decisive factor that makes your Youtube channel successful: content. Not the content provided by viewers, but content provided by you and your company.

(Source: Eye on FDA)