Specifically, the most common uses are marketing, public relations and sales. To wit, 64 percent say social is media is being used for marketing and 42 percent cite public relations, while 38 percent point to sales, according to Cegedim, a market research firm that queried 234 pharma execs. Less common uses for social media include internal communications at 24 percent, human resources at 22 percent and customer relationship management at 17 percent.
Specific dollar amounts were not cited, but the survey found most drugmakers are allocating money for social media. The number of respondents who reported expenditures of 5 percent or less of their budgets increased substantially from 29 percent last year to 50 percent this year. And the number of respondents who were unaware of such spending fell from 37 percent in 2011 to 25% this year.
"Although the current budgets do not reflect devoted social media spending, its importance should be highlighted due to the incredibly newness of the communication channel. Judging by the speed at which the internet came to revolve around social media, the budgets for social media may soon represent a majority percentage of a company’s total digital marketing expenditure," the report states.
Meanwhile, usage of all social media has increased significantly year over year. The survey found that usage of LinkedIn rose 43 percent, Facebook increased 38 percent and Twitter jumped 28 percent. However, the survey did not separate personal use from company use, although a Cegedim spokeswoman notes that drugmakers are increasingly using all three channels.
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