Eli Lilly Finds Positive Use for Social Media

Ragan.com recently reported on Eli Lilly’s foray into the world of social media. As the article mentions, it’s a little tricky for large pharmaceutical companies, as regulations dictate some of what they can say in that space.

Eli Lilly and Co. can’t talk about drugs or diseases, nor share patient stories on its blog or Twitter account.

Talk about a communication challenge.

Despite the restrictions of the heavily regulated pharma industry, it’s managed to find its voice. During a webinar with Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and Ragan Communications, Greg Kueterman shared what he’s learned about blogging and tweeting as part of the company’s corporate communications team.

Until last September, the company was invisible on social media. Strict regulations and the company’s ties to the federal government made it wary about getting involved on social media. Kueterman’s team wrestled with this question, “As a pharmaceutical company, where could we make a meaningful difference?”

Instead of worrying about what Lilly couldn’t say on social media, it concentrated on what it could…

How @LillyPad uses Twitter to spread its message

Are people really interested in following a Big Pharma company on Twitter?

“Not a lot of people are,” Kueterman concedes.

But @LillyPad hits its key audiences: legislative and staff, the media, philanthropists, and key stakeholders in Indiana, where the company is based.

So far, it has gathered more than 4,000 Twitter followers. Kueterman and his team tweet two to three times each day.

@LillyPad isn’t tweeting about drugs. Instead, the company is tweeting information about policy, sharing blog posts and news articles with stakeholders.