Paris, France – At this point, if you utilize any of the popular social media platforms, you are fully aware of the ‘tweet heard around the world’, the response from the maker of Ambien, Sanofi, and the public’s response.

While we all have our personal thoughts and stances on the entire situation, a recent report from Fierce Pharma and WeGo Health showcases the mixed reviews and overall impact Sanofi’s response had across the healthcare landscape and the public.

Interviewing patient experts, influencers and advocates in the community, here are a couple of responses WeGo Health received within their report:

“I think their response was perfect. I am now following Sanofi on Twitter,” said Christine, a patient leader in lupus (as quoted in the report from Fierce Pharma & WeGo Health)

“Many patients viewed Sanofi’s tweet as a welcome departure from the standard, play-it-safe pablum they typically see out of the PR department, (….) For some, it made Sanofi, a corporate behemoth, seem refreshingly human, at a time when corporations need to take a moral stand even at the risk of affecting their bottom line.” – David Goldsmith, Chief Strategy Officer at WeGo Health (as quoted in the report from Fierce Pharma & WeGo Health)

Kerry, a patient leader in rare disease said, “Honestly, I think most of us had never even heard of Sanofi before this (we had heard of Ambien, though), so it gave name recognition to the company, not just the product (in a good way).” (as quoted in the report from Fierce Pharma & WeGo Health)

Overall, Sanofi witnessed an uptick of 3,125 followers just two days after their initial response. Of which to put it in perspective, they gained 467 followers for the entire month of April.

You can read more about WeGo’s study originally reported from Fierce Pharma, here.

Why This Matters – 

We have helped many pharmaceutical companies and their respective brands in the past realize new and innovative ways to utilize social media to connect with different stakeholders throughout the entire healthcare landscape. One of the common themes we help brand marketers realize is the power in humanizing their communication within any of the social media platforms. This is understandably a challenging step for any company in a highly regulated industry.

However, while the circumstances are reactive versus proactive in the situation outlined above, there are a couple of key things we can learn from Sanofi’s response and a couple of thought starters to help you think more closely about your brand:

Corporate Values: We see the brands (inside and outside of healthcare) that communicate their values openly within social channels winning more fans. This day and age, research shows us that 84% of consumers are loyal to brands that support their personal passion. How can you draw more of your company or brand’s value into your content calendar throughout your social media channels?

Control Your Lexicon: You can either take a stance on topics or let social media decide your stance. Healthcare brands need to have a strategy that allows the freedom to develop their stance or be held to what others create on your behalf. What are two or three key areas of your brand that you wish you could control the conversation and what strategy can you develop and implement to take over or create a new lexicon on the topics?

“Frienemies”: You will never win everyone over, and that is ok. Many times we see healthcare brands shy completely away from social media mainly because they don’t want to offend anyone. However brands that are not taking advantage of being where their customers spend the most time, within social media, they are being ignored and/or left behind. Where are your customers expecting to connect with your brand? What are two things you could be doing differently today that put your brand on the forefront and allow better positioning, regardless of topic or need?

While these are just a few areas of focus, hopefully this situation helps you analyze your current stance and helps you make minor or major tweaks within your social media strategy. Don’t have a social strategy or looking to gain a better understanding of your current unmet needs and how to fill them? Contact us today, as we would love to work with you and help increase your impact on social media.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.