Despite uncertainties regarding regulations on social media usage by pharma, many of the big players are still getting into the game.

A recent Pharma Marketing Blog post online drugs without prescription shares some interesting details on Pfizer’s entrance into social media via Facebook. But according to the post, that entrance wasn’t quite graceful:

When I became a Pfizer FB Pfan, Pfizer’s Wall contained a bunch of short “medicine Safety” videos in which patients talked about their medical conditions and medications. I don’t think any mentioned specific products by name.

One video was of a woman with osteoarthritis who expressed concerns about taking any medication at all. I thought this was an interesting video for Pfizer to post to its wall. So I decide to post a comment about it. However, “something went wrong” when I hit the submit button [and I received an error message].

I didn’t really think that Pfizer would allow comments, so this didn’t surprise me. Maybe they are actually “fixing” this “problem.” We’ll see.

But I WAS able to SHARE this video by posting it to MY profile so that all MY FB friends could see it too!

Today, however, those videos are gone and you cannot see the one I tagged on my FB profile page. They were replaced by product photos.

The author of the post, John Mack, gave an update a few weeks later. The Pfizer videos are back up on its fan page, and they are sharable via fans’ Facebook profiles. But users still can’t comment on Pfizer’s fan page.

Could this pharma social media marketing hickup been avoided?

Some may suggest the Pfizer Facebook story was just a bait-and-hook tactic for gaining fans. Others might say laywers stepped in and “caught wind of the FB content, got twitchy and told them to pull the video and replace with safer content,” according to one comment on the blog post.

Either way, a social media savvy marketing agency could have potentially offered sound advice and consulting on how to successfully enter the social media world.

What do you think?

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