Social Media FAQs For Health Care Brands

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By Keith Murray Social media and health care: two topics that go hand in hand these days as the health care industry continues to plan for its (potential) social media strategies.

The FDA is helping steer this ship with the release of the draft social media guidelines, but there are still questions, concerns, and uncertainty regarding social media as everyone waits until the final guidelines are released.

Until then, you can begin building a strategy that helps your brand remain within industry compliance. The following FAQs and answers will help mold your social media strategy.

How can the volume of social media conversation be handled?

Use social media monitoring tools to access and manage the growing volume of conversation. These cross-channel in-depth listening tools allow you to enter specific queries, which in turn helps you find any comments about Adverse Effects (AE) that may not appear on your social media pages (but still need to be escalated and reported).

When does Important Safety Information need to be included?

The Important Safety Information (ISI) about your product is needed whenever a possible benefit or claim is in the copy. Sharing this information with your online communities helps to ensure that you are following all FDA, legal, and regulatory guidelines.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow posts to be pinned to the top of your pages, which allows you to provide a link to ISI, thereby giving your communities access to it at all times.

How should comments from third parties be addressed?

Always address any comments from third parties that post onto your branded pages. Certain comments may be considered off-label or claims, and therefore need to be hidden. If let visible on a branded profile, they may imply that this information is correct, which may be considered a breach of regulations.

Many networks provide filters that will automatically hide comments that you don’t want public on your page, including off-label claims, and competitor mentions. Nevertheless, you still need to monitor your communities in case any mentions are not caught in these filters.

Be ready to respond to both comments that need to be escalated and those that show interest in your brand or request more information. Having a pre-approved response document can help guide your teams to respond appropriately, accurately, and in a timely manner. This is crucial to your social media strategy as it helps you retain and attract new customers and take full advantage of your social efforts.

Can branded posts be targeted to a specific group?

Some of your products may only be approved for a certain group, and thus need to be communicated to a specific audience. Social targeting on select networks enables selection of location, age, gender, and many other factors.

Likeable Health is the newest division of Likeable Media and we are dedicated in helping the health care industry build a presence on social media. To learn more, please visit