Digital Influence in Pharma

8th May 2014 by Neeta Camadoo

Pharmaceutical companies have increased their investment in digital strategies such as social media, websites and digital marketing despite the heavily regulated environment. With more and more healthcare professionals turning to digital to collaborate and build sustainable relationships, pharma companies need to know both who their key external experts (KEE) are and also how active they are online.

Unfortunately, companies all too often have no idea of who the genuinely influential experts are online. There are many companies offering scores that promise to measure people's influence. Two well known ones are Klout and Kred. But does having a high Klout score make you an influencer? Does it provide an indication of your public social influence at all?

The Klout score is not an objective measure and cannot be simply transposed into real life situations because it does not measure many activities out of the public eye…such as engagement via email or in person at conferences. Furthermore, although Klout can measure that users interact with your content it cannot necessarily tell you how they feel about it. But, it does give an indication of someone's public online influence because it is hard to get a Klout score of 99, unless you're as influential as the President of the United States.

I think it’s safe to say that the digital revolution is real and is only going to continue to exert massive influence over the way in which Pharma companies conduct business. Pharma companies should take the opportunity to find out who the online KEEs are and start to build relationships with them. They need to find out where they are spending time online and then join in the conversation with them by commenting on the blogs and retweeting their tweets.

Although this is a long term initiative, it will help build a meaningful relationship between the pharma company and the KEE who in turn will blog and tweet about the companies initiatives; raising the company profile in return.