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Back to NewsBastion-Brand-Editor , 05/12/2016

Pulse Alert: Is Instagram Pharma’s New Social ‘In’?

First it was Facebook. Then Twitter. But there’s one social media platform that’s risen above the rest and taken the world by storm.

With over 500 million active users, people are more in love than ever with Instagram, the platform designed with inspiration in mind. But if you think Instagram is just for fitness models, French bulldogs and FMCG, think again.

In 2016, Instagram is where our most active consumers go to share, express and entertain. Even buy. It’s a virtual gallery curated to our individual ‘likes’ from street fashion to home DIY culture. In line with continuing growth in mobile use, modern marketers world over are increasingly leveraging the benefits of Instagram to meet their audiences where they already are.

So why is Australian Pharma so far behind?

If you’re kick-starting a new Corporate Social Responsibility initiative or planning your next disease awareness campaign, here’s three reasons to give ‘The Gram’ a go:

1. It’s measurable (and manageable)

Let’s suppose you’re responsible for a public awareness campaign centres around Disease State A, a widespread but poorly managed (at patient-level) disease that impacts women of reproductive age. You want to get the word out – but given the niche patient demographic, you want to ensure your resources are channelled wisely.

Well, you’re in luck. Unlike Facebook, Instagram has no inbuilt ‘share’ function. Rather, users access content via public hashtags, confining your brand’s reach to a specific, designated audience, allowing you to track and measure responses, and, if need be, step in to manage your community. In face, a unique feature of Instagram is its ability to disable comments completely – helping you manage those adverse reporting events like no other platform can.

2. It’s powerful

Words are powerful, but in an industry where there’s a lot riding on what we say, and how we say it, compelling, eye-catching imagery is just as, if not more, important in building emotional connection with an audience. In this respect, Instagram is a breath of fresh air. With limited conversation accessibility, and searches that don’t lead directly to user comments, this platform is designated to let your imagery do the talking.

3. It’s personal

Built specifically for mobile (at present, Instagram doesn’t allow for the uploading of images from desktops), Instagram’s unique, in-your-pocket appeal delivers and intimate, one-on-one experience for consumers, who can curate their feed to suit their need. For pharma marketers, this means the opportunity to explore niche, inherently personal health topics with people who may have a direct experience with a disease, or know someone who has.

For all intents and purposes, Instagram could well be the great social ‘in’ Australian pharmaceutical and healthcare brands have been waiting for. The question our team keeps asking is ‘why are they still waiting’?

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