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Who Responds To The Responders?

This one is for you, Dan.

As I thought it might, my last post about social media stirred quite a bit of discussion. As such, I thought it would be useful to perhaps dedicate another post as a means of both clarifying my position, and providing some counter-points to the various responses that have been generated around the web.

To recap, my original post wasn’t meant to suggest that pharma should completely abandon social media, but rather that the interest in social engagements is over-calibrated when weighed against the potential business impact for a given brand.  There are two points that encapsulate my thoughts on how social most typically makes sense for pharma. First, for corporate communications, investor relations, and (hat tip to Craig DeLarge) corporate level customer service, social media makes a ton of sense. Second, placing content inside a given social platform, but turning comments off, relinquishes any hold on the notion of that program being even remotely “social.” While placing content in channels like YouTube can be a highly effective tactic, it ceases to be social without conversational interaction.

Those specifics being stated, a healthy debate has arisen to my point of view on this. That’s good. The industry needs more thorough discussion of the why and how communications should be rightly used to better inform all of us. But from my perspective, the counter arguments being posited just don’t hold much water.

Unbranded social media engagements provide real business impact
(Messrs. Mack and Spong)
There’s really only two situations where an unbranded program makes strategic sense for a pharma product; pre-launch, when the market needs to be seeded for a particular indication, and post-launch when a new disease category needs to be better understood by patients. I would argue that the latter makes less sense than the former, but I can see the rationale and so I’ll include it in the debate. Read More…

Social Media Supplement, Issue 4 – More Facebook Insights

This issue includes several interesting studies surrounding Facebook’s News Feed as well as Likes for brands, as well as e-commerce. On to this week’s news!  Did we miss something?  Feel free to DM me during the week and we’ll review submissions for the next post! Click here to catch up on past issues.

Facebook News Feed Results Cracked

In an experiment by The Daily Beast believes it has cracked the code as to how the Facebook News Feed works.  Some of this is common knowledge, but there are a few outcomes that are intriguing such as the bias it has on new members to Facebook. We had a post about this a while back right here on Dose of Digital: Why Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Exist.

Do Photos of People Improve ECommerce Conversion?

Great examples of A|B testing.  People verses Images verses Text… who helps close on the call to action best?  Have you played with where the model’s eyes are looking before?  I thought the test with Sunsilk was fascinating but it makes sense.

Ads Drive the Most “Likes” for Brands on Facebook

eMarketer reports that 75% of people that liked a brand on Facebook because of an ad or another form of direct outreach.  Surprisingly, invitations and referrals from friends took second place at 59%.  While still a substantial number, I would have thought that the old “people trust their friends more than brands” train of thought would have applied here.  I suppose sometimes people just need a that direct nudge.

Also in the study, was reasons for unsubscribing from a brand, which 36% of responders had done. Top reasons cited include losing interest in the brand, frequency (or lack thereof) of updates and uninteresting content.

Microsoft Launches its own Games on Demand Online Market

Gamers be glad.  Microsoft is creating a hub for downloading digital copies of games.  This will include oldies but goodies as well as new releases.  The market will launch with over 100 titles in its library.

Amazon Offers Free Web Services

Potential cloud computing users can try before they buy now with Amazon’s Web Services.  You can learn more about this free usage tier here:

Netflix Web Video Streaming Through the Roof [Chart]

Number of subscribers streaming videos more than doubled year to year.  As the article points out, Netflix successfully shifted from just a DVD rental company to one of the most lucrative web video companies in the world.

Social Media Supplement, Issue 3 — Microsoft Making Plays

Some of the hot items in the news this week have been at Microsoft, with their new features in Bing and with their new mobile OS.  Check out articles below for this week’s round-up of social media and technology news. If you want to catch up on past issues, go here.

Did we miss something?  Feel free to DM me during the week and we’ll review submissions for the next post!  Now, let’s get to the good stuff…

Twitter About to Start Raking it in [Interview]

Twitter had a changing of the guard recently and Ad Age sat down with new CEO, Dick Costolo, to discuss some of their monetization efforts.

North Face Tests “Geo-Fencing” for Customers

Concept isn’t terribly new, but sending alerts to customers that are in the vicinity of a particular place does have some potential for cool programs.  The alerts are for those that opt-in only, so consumers have the power to control whether they are participating or not.  North Face is one of the first retailers to test this “auto check-in” feature across all of their stores at once.

Bing Adds Facebook Social Context to Searches

The Facebook Module was added to Bing this week.  This collaboration will bring social context to search for Bing.

One of the things this module will do is help for people/places finding.  4% of all searches are of people.  Only 20% of the time do people reach who they are looking for.  If you are looking for sushi in Cincinnati, you can enter Cincinnati sushi and the results will show which restaurants were “liked”.  The same thing happens with movie searches, on top of reviews, show times, etc. But this is about the Facebook module: “He or she knows if I’m going to like this movie.  Results will be ranked by relevancy.

Windows Phone 7 Debuted

SAI has a great collection of links surrounding features, reviews, distribution, and more of Window’s latest mobile OS.  Overall: People were pretty impressed.

URL Shortener Now Generates QR Codes

Users can automatically generate QR codes when shortening their links.  For those that missed it, Google launched their own shortener with QR codes earlier this month at

Skype X Facebook Screenshots

Skype 5.0 was released this week with a series of big improvements.  This article shows screenshots of the Facebook integration as well as group video chat.

The Average Teenager Sends 3,339 Texts Per Month

No typo here.

Twitter Influence Measurement Company, Klout, Now Measures on Facebook

This was long overdue.  Once connected to a Facebook account, Klout will pull in data such as likes, comments and your friendship network in order to determine your influence on Facebook. It can take up to 72 hours for the data to be processed and your Klout score to be updated.

Instead of representing Facebook and Twitter with different scores, Klout has decided to integrate them into a single Klout Score.

Social Media Supplement, Issue 2 — A Busy Week for Facebook

Since this is only the second issue of this feature here on Dose of Digital, here’s just a quick reminder of what it’s all about. If you know all of this, just skip down to the good stuff. You can find Issue 1 here.

This regular series will be a review of the biggest stories in social media and digital technology over the previous week. It’s not pharma or healthcare specific, so this should be helpful to keep you abreast of everything else out there if you don’t get the chance to look outside the healthcare industry very much.

These updates (including this one) are going to be authored by my colleague here at Bridge Worldwide, Tony Blankemeyer, one of our very capable Research Analysts. You can find Tony on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the next issue of the supplement, send Tony a tweet or submit it on our contact page. Issue 1 was sent out on a Friday afternoon. We’re trying Issue 2 on Monday morning. Which works best for you?

What did you miss last week? Catch up now before your first meeting of the day…

Another jam-packed issue!  Is there a week that Facebook doesn’t roll out something new?  This week we saw a  number of big announcements around the Photos section, taking control of your data, and probably more notable, their new Groups features.  One interesting design change at Facebook that I’m afraid may fly under the radar is the Page stories getting Condensed.  I think this could have a HUGE impact on brands that have a thriving community.  This issue also has a couple new pieces about Amazon, and for all of our designers, what are your thoughts on this whole Gap logo fiasco?

Gap to Crowdsource Ideas After New Logo #FAIL

Gap brand unveiled a new logo on Monday and shortly after the people spoke: they hated it.  You can check it out at their website, but check Facebook and Twitter for what customers are saying.  The Gap quickly responded by fielding ideas from their fanbase for new designs.

Your Facebook Page Stories Get Condensed

Some of you may be saying, “so what?” but if your brand is working towards harvesting an engaging community, this could be a really big deal.  While this cleans up our Facebook Page’s Wall, there is now an added click just to view comments and likes.  We’ll have to keep an eye on our communities to see if our number of interactions decline as a result of this.

Yahoo Search Gets a Makeover [Video]

Yahoo released its new search experience today, making its web search more streamlined and visual, improving its mobile search and adding a list of hot search topics to its front page.

Now when you search for entertainment or news-related topics, instead of a long list of results, you’ll get a box with vertical tabs, which give you several different ways to examine the topic.

New Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are a shared space where members can participate in communal activities like group chat, e-mail lists, document sharing and group photo-tagging. Groups are closed by default (but can be secret or open) and the most-viewed ones will automatically live in the left-hand navigation of the page for easier access.  This article does a nice job of breaking down what you need to know.  Some people think this may be the latest feature to stall Google’s continued attempts to be a player in social.  Other’s think they should have thought out the “opt-in” feature better.

This week’s announcement was mainly about:

  • privacy
  • giving you the power to control who sees what
  • where your data goes (with the ability to protect your information by keeping a copy of it) – See next article for more detail.

Facebook’s New Tools for Data Privacy & Portability

Another thing that came out of the new Groups announcement, was the ability to take more control of your Facebook presence.  You can now download a file that compiles all of your personal data: pictures, video, and everything else on Facebook.

There is also a new dashboard for seeing how apps use the data in your profile, etc.

Look out Flickr, Facebook upgrades their Photos section

Rolling out to all users soon, you will be able to upload and download hi-res photos up to 2048 pixels wide or high — that’s large enough for print-quality images.

These changes allow a whole new class of image-sharing, up to and including photography, modeling and graphic design portfolios.

Amazon is selling stuff through Facebook for the first time

First product?  Pampers.

Amazon prepping an App store, Starts with Android

In other Amazon news, this week they sent out “welcome packets” to developers.  It looks as if they are gearing up for a store launch by the holiday season.  Article makes note, that while app store segmentation could be an issue, it sounds to me like a win-win in terms of exposure for the developers, and a piece of the revenue for Amazon.