As some people near the end of their third month of lockdown, many COVID-19-related trends are starting to look quite different than they did toward the beginning of the pandemic. One major development is the drop in number of social-media conversations about coronavirus. In late May, COVID-19 earned 71 million weekly mentions on social, down 65%, from 204 million, in mid-March. And while disgust remains the primary mood around these conversations, that’s shifting quickly toward more hopeful feelings, like anticipation. These shifts reflect an opportunity for pharma companies: to resume their messaging on social about other health topics while keeping up COVID-19 support.

Pharma brands can take some social cues from lockdown. Platforms like Instagram Live and LinkedIn Events rose to new prominence while people were stuck at home and glued to their screens. Companies should consider which of their efforts would be appropriate for these newly popular platforms.

What kind of non-COVID content to start with might not be immediately clear. According to Kate Callan, Social Media Chief at Evoke Kyne, for some clients, it’s “getting back to what we were doing. In general disease awareness, focusing on support and education because that’s what people are needing at this time. For others, it’s just getting up to speed on what the company has been doing in general because people are ready to hear about those things.”

A new report assesses the social-media “health” of pharmaceutical companies according to five categories: corporate identity, content, community management, tech optimization and paid social. The following are some more specific places looked at to determine the social-media health of different companies.

  • Do your corporate websites link to all of your social media channels? 
  • Does each of your posts convey a clear, straightforward message? 
  • Do you work with internal and external influencers, and share relevant content from others?
  • Are you mobile-optimized?
  • How often and how quickly do you respond to engaged followers?

These are all important considerations when evaluating a brand’s social media presence during the current opportunity for reset. Additionally, as social-media conversations begin shifting away from COVID, social listening becomes an even more important practice for designing your new-normal social plan. 

About the Author:

Ben helps spark innovative healthcare thinking as Associate Director of Innovation. Previously on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair, he brings experience in engaging, rigorous storytelling to the healthcare world. Ben’s goals are to move brands to rethink their roles, own their evolving narratives, and maintain vital and vigorous consumer relationships.