Social Media Participation by Medical Device CompaniesLast week we discussed how a new PhRMA proposal would pharma social media a big boost. But how about medical device manufacturers? It turns out, some medical device companies have begun to participate in social media. But similar to pharma, social media participation from medical device companies has been slowed due to a lack of clarity in FDA regulations.

In a recent Finance & Commerce article, Arundhati Parmar discusses a recent survey BB Marketing Plus and MediComm Consultants. Survey results reveal that a small group of FDA-regulated companies are participating in social media to engage customers and prospects.

The online survey found:

  • 90 of 143 FDA-regulated companies who participated use social media for job-related activities
  • 14 of those 90 use social media to engage customers

Parmar writes that the survey shows that, in most cases, companies are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels to post content drugs without prescription previously published in press releases or on other venues.

“When you are looking at what (medical devices) are doing with social media, they aren’t being very social,” said Barbara Bix, owner of BB Marketing Plus. “Everything that they are posting is preapproved content. That’s not really a conversation.”

The results indicate that social media usage is nascent among medical device companies. In fact, those companies that are using it to interact with customers have been only doing so for six months. In the follow-up interviews, most respondents said that lack of FDA clarity on social media communications were not a significant hindrance to them engaging in social media. Companies also said they are keen to measure social media, but have not developed a clear strategy for doing so. Marketing budgets are also a big reason for lower social media adoption, the survey found.

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