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Do You Suffer from SMHF (Social Media Hype Fatigue)?

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I received some great feedback from readers on the recent post The Pharma-sponsored Online Communities of 10 Years Ago. Specifically, several people reached out via Twitter and said they appreciated my identificiation of a phenomenon they, too had experienced: SMHF, or Social Media Hype Fatigue. From the post

All of this social media hype can backfire. People get excited and sensational statements are made. Marketers get overzealous and over-sell social media to their managers and regulatory folks. At some point, "social media hype fatigue" will set in, if it hasn’t already. It is our responsibility to control the hype so social media can be looked upon with level heads by all.

I guess some people are just kinda tired of talking about or hearing about social media. Who can blame them? I think if we had a graph of the peak of social media hype in the pharma industry, it would have plateaued last November around the time of the FDA Hearings. With the next round of spring conferences coming up (I’ll be at ePharma Summit next week. You?), I expect the discussion to continue. I always appreciate real case studies and real examples of how the pharmaceutical industry has effectively used social media to reach its customers (patients and HCPs)

We’ve been talking about social media to our clients literally for years, but recently we’ve seen a positive shift in the level of interest. That is, many of our current and prospective clients (and their legal/reg. teams) are turning a corner and realizing the opportunity could be a reality. And maybe that’s a result of always trying to approach the social media discussion in the context of strategy, integration, and measurable results -- not hype. Hype’s just not our style

We’ve been talking internally at Intouch, too, about the future of social media in the context of our pharma marketing services. Our agency’s growing Emerging Media Practice consults with clients and the rest of our agency on social and other emerging media, such as mobile

Eventually, will social move "out" of the emerging media classification and become a mainstream core competency of everyone in marketing? It might take awhile, but it’s possible. Still, I believe we’ll continue to need deep-dive specialists like we currently have in search, online media, usability, applications, mobile, analytics, CRM, etc. Everyone can’t know everything

Will the hype die down and social media become just another key component of integrated marketing and public affairs campaigns? I sure hope so

Much of that depends on what FDA will have to say


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