If you want to engage patients, you need to know where to find them. While there are thousands of thriving patient communities online, Facebook is still the largest single gathering place. But knowing where patients are is only half the challenge. Engagement is the bigger issue. Here are three ways to more effectively connect with patients through Facebook.
1. Add value with video
Facebook has committed to prioritizing video and it proves to be an effective way to engage patients. Longer videos may be especially rewarded by Facebook’s algorithms. Live video on Facebook offers at least ten times the engagement levels of traditional video content, according to internal data from Facebook. A big plus for Facebook Live is that, in addition to getting a boost upfront and starting with a swell of engagement, the video lives on and can continue to get views and comments over time. A good example is a Facebook Live event from Novartis to support its Rise Above Heart Failure initiative. The broadcast had around 1,000 live viewers but has racked up more than 35,000 views since then.
Facebook Live events like this one offer high engagement upfront and over time. – source
2. Offer real value to patients
You can use Facebook as an avenue to promote your brand and your products, but you need to do more. To engage patients, it’s essential to provide something of tangible value. Sharing educational content is one way to do this. Another is to offer a tool or resource that helps people better understand and manage their health condition. Making it easier for patients to connect with one another for support is also valuable. The key is to find ways to positively impact the lives of patients — beyond whatever is you may be promoting or selling.
Simple educational graphics like this offer value to patients and caregivers. – source
3. Partner with patient influencers
Patient influencers have already done the work to gain the trust of their followers. By partnering with these authentic voices, you may find patients more inclined to learn about your product. Patient influencers have their finger on the pulse of their communities and know what others in their communities are likely to respond to. Influencers can also help you create custom content that will drive more engagement. Consider featuring a patient’s story in the form of a short video, like this one posted by Genentech about a person affected by non small-cell lung cancer. Videos like this are an empathetic way to reach patients who are eager to hear real stories from others who have been in their shoes.
An authentic story from a real patient will likely lead to higher engagement levels. – source
Patients have used Facebook to create thriving patient communities. The platform gives them tools to learn, connect, and find support. There are ways life sciences companies can join this conversation and authentically engage with patients. Whether you give video a try or partner with patient influencers, always try to offer patients real value.