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Facebook Ad Tips

Facebook has truly become a valuable resource for brand awareness and marketing.  With more than 1 billion active users, Facebook is basically it’s own mini internet.  I thought it might be valuable to share some Facebook ad experience I’ve gained over the years.

First off, if you’re not on Facebook and you know you have customers or competitors on there please come up with a game plan and create a page.  It’s fast to do and Facebook makes it pretty easy.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/create

Second, once you have a page, you’ll obviously start with zero to very few followers.  You can start increasing your reach by inviting your friends and contacts to like the page but you can also run a like campaign where you promote your page on Facebook.  This feature usually pops up as a blue button notification on your page stating: “Promote page” or “Promote website”.  You can set the budget to something as low as $1/day and start growing your audience.  This is one strategy to grow your page but it’s not the only strategy.  Obviously by doing this your growth won’t be completely organic and you’ll probably have a higher drop off rate of fans unliking your page; however it’s a quick way to start increasing your reach.

Thirdly, another option for Facebook ads is “Promote Local Business”, you’ll find this blue button also to the left of your page.  Facebook gives you the option to geo-target nearby Facebook users for your local business.  You can choose interests to target, a geographic radius from your business and even fan demographics, like age range and male/female.

Lastly, my favorite Facebook ad option is the carousal ad.  This ad is an option under the ad manager which you can reach by selecting the small drop down arrow on the top right of your screen and then clicking “Create Ad”.  Here you can select what type of ad, anything from promoting a website, app installations, event promotion, etc.  You can choose the locale, demographics, interests etc just like the other ads.  However this option allows you to upload up to five photos, each with space for call to action and description text.  These ads are pretty dynamic and tend to get more engagement because users can scroll through your pictures.  Once they click it they’ll be redirected to your website wherever they click on the ad.

Frankly Speaking: I recommend starting small and learning from baby steps when giving Facebook ads a try.  Regardless of what you think, your customers are engaging with businesses and contacts on Facebook so take the time to utilize this tool for the growth of your business!

Trying to Understand the FDA and Social Media

Last summer (2014) the FDA released its latest Internet and Social Media guidance for Pharma and med-tech companies.  If you haven’t read it yet, have a look here:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM401087.pdf

With the rise and use of social media across all industries, med-tech was destined to adopt its use.  I believe this is mostly due to social media’s prevalence for customer engagement and relatively cheap way for reaching audiences.

The FDA guidance explains it was published to illustrate the agency’s thinking on the communication of benefit and risk information on mediums such as social and online media.  The overall suggestions and illustration of what the FDA shares is food for thought for any health care organization or marketing professional working in health care.  Below is my attempt at summarizing the guidance for anyone interested.

In the U.S. the FDA generally recognizes two types of labeling; that which is required labeling (think labeling for product approvals) and promotional labeling (subsequent marketing materials/labeling).  When promoting products online the agency recommends the following:  1) Be truthful and non-misleading, 2) When making a claim about a product, indicate the use and risk of the specific product. 3)  Make labeling easily available when discussed. 4) Include risk information and intended use when advertising a drug.  If the name of the product is mentioned as a “reminder” promotional, instead of how the product is used, it’s then excluded from this rule. 5)  Fairly present benefits and risk information of drug advertisements. 6) Prominently reference risk information of suggested uses.

The FDA asks firms to consider carefully whether or not they can accurately meet the guidelines when promoting products and making product claims on social media.  The document then subsequently goes through each of the guidelines mentioned above with generic samples of how to disclose risk information within brackets [ ], which includes how to incorporate URLs for additional product information.  The main takeaway here is to be succinct, truthful and informational with your product promotions where a claim is being marketed.

For social media professionals working in the medical space it’s always important to inform your customers to consult their medical practitioner for medical related inquiries and not social media!   Furthermore, clearly state your right to remove abusive language or information not pertaining to the community.  This helps keep the conversations relevant to those visiting your communities.  Lastly, include fellow employees and emphasize the need to act truthfully when on social media, especially when engaging customers, fellow colleagues, clients, business partners, and the public.

I personally believe med-tech companies should not be intimidated by social media.  We should all view it as an opportunity to shine with whatever specialty your organization brings to the table.  Empower employees to embrace change and new tools for the growth of your brand and the evolution of your customers’ experiences.

Frankly Speaking:  Implement a checks and balances with key stakeholders so your content is vetted through appropriate processes.

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