As experts in social media know, one of the biggest challenges of managing a social media page — especially Facebook — is getting users to engage with your posts. Users may not want to interact on a brand’s Facebook page for a number of reasons, including privacy concerns. Purchasing media within that platform seems like the natural next step for many brands searching for engagement.

While incorporating paid media is often a good strategy, there are some things to keep in mind, especially while dealing with monitored and moderated pharma pages.

Avoid Incorrect Targeting and Notification Influx
From a patient perspective, two of the biggest issues with digital advertising are incorrect targeting and notification influx.

  • Incorrect targeting — While the first rule in paid media is to target the correct audience, this is especially true in healthcare. When brands first move into social media advertising, some decide to cast a wide net to maximize reach. This can annoy users who are incorrectly targeted. For example, consider the user whose newsfeed is full of posts and comments about a disease they don’t have or are maybe embarrassed about (for example, erectile dysfunction). Users can understandably become irritated.
  • Notification influx — Once a user comments on a page post ad, they are notified when  there’s new activity on that post, just as they are when they participate in any social media conversation. Depending on the amount of paid media supporting an ad, it can reach hundreds of thousands of users. With increased reach comes increased commenting and, in turn, increased notifications. While users always have the option to disable notifications, some may be unaware of this functionality. If a user becomes frustrated with Facebook notifications, he or she often directs their frustration at the brand or page. This can lead them to post spammy, negative and possibly vulgar comments about the page and request they be removed from following.

Know Your Limits
Companies in non-regulated industries just don’t have the extensive review and response process pharma requires when it comes to social media channels. This specialized process takes extra time and should be brought into consideration when setting the media budget. We recommend pulsing or taking an ease-in approach to pinpoint the appropriate level of engagement.


  • Resource requirements — Comments on pharma pages must be reviewed, classified and recorded as they are received to ensure the pages stay compliant. When thousands of comments appear each day, a lot of man power is required to read and properly triage each comment. It’s important that the correct level of staffing is available to deal with the volume influx. Intouch’s product, SocialQueue™, makes quick work of this process by monitoring your social channels and alerting you when there’s activity, so you can respond in real-time and/or report the content to maintain FDA compliance.
  • Response time delays — In many cases, responses to user comments must be drafted and routed for approval, which is time-consuming. When the volume of comments increases dramatically, it slows things down even more. That means it takes longer to get consumers the answers they’re seeking, creating a negative user experience.
  • Response posting — When responses are sent for approval in large batches, they are approved by the client in bulk. Community managers must then make a decision: provide users with the timeliest response possible by posting all approved responses as they are received or delay some responses by posting a few at a time. The downfall of posting large batches of comments at once is that there will be a lot of activity on the status update, which will generate notifications that can potentially annoy users. This turns into a vicious cycle that can only be escaped by ceasing interaction with the ad unit or deleting it.

Find the Right Balance
While turning the paid-media fire hose on full blast may seem like a good way to gain fast engagement, this isn’t the best strategy for pharma. Social media, paid media and client teams should work closely together to plan their campaigns. This budget can then be adjusted based on the outcome and number of comments received. It’s easy to make the decision to increase the budget when the team has the ability to handle more comments; it’s much harder to dig out of a hole once you’re in over your head.

It’s easy to make the decision to increase the budget when the team has the ability to handle more comments; it’s much harder to dig out of a hole once you’re in over your head.

Finding the right balance with paid media can be tricky. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact Intouch Solutions for support and guidance that is built on years of experience.