If you’re still wondering if social media are too far “out there” to consider using for your company, think again. As Exhibits 1 & 2 for the idea that social media have become mainstream for corporations talking to investors (among other audiences), consider Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.
These two mega cap pharmaceutical companies, despite regulatory hurdles, legal worries and their status as conservative blue chip companies, are getting out there in the world of Web 2.0. Regardless of what business you’re in, you may be interested in comments from their execs as reported in Medical Marketing & Media:
JNJ began dipping its toe in social media three years ago and has been getting more involved since, media relations director Marc Monseau says in the August 2009 issue of MM&M. Now JNJ has a corporate blog, JNJBTW, a Twitter account @JNJComm, a JNJ YouTube channel and so on.
“It hasn’t been easy, and there certainly have been some stumbles along the way,” Monseau tells MM&M. He shares some lessons learned:
- Understand your audience. Begin by listening in online communities.
- Start small. Try out some low-risk activities in social media.
- Work with legal. Address those regulatory concerns by working together.
Most of the social media effort is soft-sell marketing about health issues, but JNJ has done some interesting things in IR – such as live blogging its annual meeting on Twitter. You might think dishing up an annual meeting in three dozen 140-character tweets borders on silly, especially since people could hear it live on a webcast. But JNJ, like many companies, is experimenting to see what works best.
We’re trying to become transparent, but we’re doing it slowly and cautiously. For us to jump in with two feet would be stupid.
First step for Pfizer was monitoring Twitter, then being sure the right people were on staff to implement social media tactics, Kerins says. PFE has only been on Twitter for seven weeks, but already about 2,000 people are following – getting tweets ranging from earnings and merger updates to links to news stories on PFE.
Other companies do social media, too – and JNJ and PFE weren’t pioneers in IR 2.0, as some tech companies were. But their learning can contribute to our learning.