The Worst Scenario For Pharma Companies On Facebook

In the recent post, “Rules Of Engagement From Pharma Companies On Facebook“, it was stated that some  pharmaceutical firms shy away from using the social web in the hopes of avoiding two-way conversations with the general public.   Firms that select to engage individuals which such tools as Facebook and Twitter can reap the benefits (in a perfect world)  of having a connection with thousands of existing and potential consumers.

Unfortunately, pharmaceutical firms do not operate in a perfect world in which individuals seek out outlets to voice their concerns about the company’s products.   As a result, pharma companies are in the difficult position of choosing if and when to engage as negative posts appear on their social media channels.

Figure 1 is a screen capture of a post that was made on the Johnson and Johnson Network Facebook Page on November 1st, 2011.

Figure 1: Post on Johnson and Johnson Network's Facebook Page










The recent blog post, “Our Statement on Baby Shampoo Ingredients in the News” generated 123 comments, 40 ‘likes’ and 24 shares (as of November 28th, 2011).  (Ironically, the post on the Facebook wall had more individuals commenting than the initial blog post.  Only 20 responses were left by readers.  Needless to say, the subject of baby shampoo ingredients prompted some  criticism as seen in Figure 2 where individuals discuss the nature of the firm’s hair care products on the Facebook Page.

Figure 2: Wall Postings Discussing Johnson & Johnson Hair Care Products










It is interesting to see that Johnson & Johnson waited 10 days before entering the conversation with the post seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Johnson & Johnson's Initial Reply To Comments










Although the post seems rather generic and originating from the public relations department, it is a clear and initial sign of engagement.  On November 22nd, 2011, the company entered into the discussion again; however, it dealt with subject matters that was not related to the initial post.  Figure 4 provides a look at two posts that were replies directed to two individuals on the discussion thread.

Figure 4: Johnson & Johnson Engaging With Two Individuals On Facebook











Even though some pharmaceutical companies are going one step further on social  media to engage with their target audience, dealing negative comments about products is the worst scenario to manage.  With the assistance of social web influencers, a couple of not too pleasant comments can turn into a flood of circumstances that firms may not be able to handle.

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About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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