Few things are more attractive than exclusivity. Being part of something that not everyone can, as in the case of a big city, high-class nightclub: It’s all about your attire and who-you-know.
But social media site SERMO throws a unique spin on the concept of an exclusive club. It’s the Number 1 social platform for doctors, exclusively and privately. Sorry, pharma comms: Without a PhD, you’re out of luck.
HA! Just kidding – we’d never talk about the amazingness of SERMO and then dash your hopes. That’s like watching your friend pass through the red velvet ropes and then pretend not to know you.
We’re that other friend – the one who helps you slip through the back door of the private club. Because we’ve got the nitty-gritty on SERMO Pages, a free feature that allows companies and pharma firms to engage doctors on their preferred social media platform. It’s your opportunity to be part of that exclusivity.
So here’s your invitation into the mysterious, elite, virtual version of the physicians’ lounge…
SERMO 101: Pharma marketers that have a grasp of social media in general will have no problem getting their heads around SERMO, even if joining isn’t an option. The important distinction from other social sites, however, is that all profiles are anonymous. So, you ask, how is that really “social” at all? Well, there’s a point to the anonymity: To encourage doctors to freely share their views on topics that matter to them – from the operation of their practice to the business side of things. Anonymity ensures a practitioner’s words won’t come back to haunt them when the hospital administrator finds out. Conversations are frank, open, and honest.
Here’s what else healthcare comms need to know:
- Crowdsourcing: Docs with a question about diagnoses or treatments can ask questions of the entire community and get answer from peers throughout the world, who bring unique perspective to the table. SERMO is a dynamic, ever-evolving library of medical knowledge.
- Rating: Physicians can find out how other members of the community view certain treatments, drugs, and devices – and can post about their own experiences.
- Discussions: Pretty much any topic under the sun is fair game. Doctors have access to the support, wisdom, and feedback of peers in more than 90 specialties…and growing.
- Earning Potential: Yes, docs can even get paid for their involvement on SERMO, specifically through participation in physician surveys. They can share experiences with drugs, devices, and treatments, and earn cash for their insights.
Key SERMO Pages Features Pharma Marketers Need to Know: In many ways, SERMO Pages is just like Facebook or LinkedIn Pages. It’s a channel where pharma firms can create and maintain a presence within the exclusive, preferred social media platform for physicians. Your company has its own home page for attracting followers, initiating and participating in conversations, posting images and video.
Translation: It’s a way to market your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader about certain topics, within a social network that is literally as targeted as you can get.
As pharma PR execs know, connecting with doctors is a challenge. They’re busy treating patients, operating their practices, and – oh, they actually have personal lives. SERMO Pages closes the communication gap by giving pharma marketers a voice. Not only did you gain entry to that exclusive, high-class nightclub: You’re on the dance floor!
SERMO Pages has more information on the reasons you need to be a part of the movement, but here are a few:
- Total membership, according to the SERMO home page, is 1.5 million physicians;
- In 2015, 550,000 member doctors spent 422,000 hours on the site, topping 2.5 million sessions;
- Doctors posted content 33K times, commented 626K times; and,
- SERMO is the #1 Global Social Network for Physicians.
What else do you need to know?
- SERMO Pages isn’t a microsite. Brands may – and should – develop separate digital assets as websites or microsites; still, these aren’t inherently social. Your SERMO Page is created within a social network dedicated to a targeted community.
- Social media rules still apply!! That means balancing risks and benefits and avoiding any statements that might be misleading. While you’re connecting with doctors-only instead of dealing with Direct-to-Consumer ads, this space is still uncharted territory for the FDA. Stick with their various Guidance documents to avoid compliance issues.
- Content marketing rules still apply, too! Visuals are still the key to engagement, so incorporate rich, glamorous multimedia to engage your audience.
Yes, this is a lot to digest – but there’s so much more to cover about SERMO Pages. We’ll dig deeper into how to use it (super-easy), boosting pages (yes, you can), more benefits for pharma marketers (there are many), etc. You’re in the club: Now it’s time to get find the right place to hang out…
Learn more about the 7 Pillars of Pharmaceutical Communications in our exclusive eBook.
By Marc DeLeuw