The social media Maginot Line

The Internet is agnostic. It’s a library without a librarian. The Internet is agnostic to truth, accuracy, and spelling. So, when we talk about social...

The Internet is agnostic. It’s a library without a librarian. The Internet is agnostic to truth, accuracy, and spelling. So, when we talk about social media, it’s imperative to view it separate and apart from “the agnostic Internet.” Social media uses the Internet as its delivery mechanism and is anything but agnostic. The Internet is not social media – it is the playing field of social media.

If the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, wither the battle of social media and healthcare? While everyone else is using social media as a healthcare communications blitzkrieg, or “lightening war,” regulated industry is digging in for a sitzkrieg, a “sitting war.”

This is not good news for pharma, physicians, or patients. Social media is driven in real time by facts (often wrong), statistics (regularly misunderstood), snake oil salesmen (wearing white coats), and just plain folks looking for information from a variety of sources – the most important being each other. Social media is the newest arrow in the quiver of social marketing, but it’s a discipline both misunderstood and frightening to those operating in the heavily regulated world of healthcare.

Pharma mustn’t feel safe behind a social media Maginot Line strategy.

Peter Pitts, director of global healthcare and partner, Porter Novelli

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