Telus social media case study: “Like to Give” campaign

Every once in a while, an organization stands out from the rest as a good corporate citizen.  For the past couple of years, I have been watching the good deeds by Telus which are positively influencing healthcare in Canada.  In fact, they are a sponsor of one of my favorite children non-profit organizations, Upopolis.  Here is a statement that is found on the Info tab of their FaceBook page:

We give where we live. TELUS supports local communities and charities across the country.

This week, I saw the following sponsored ad on my personal FaceBook profile:

When you click on the “Telus” link, you are brought to the “Like to give” tab on the Telus FaceBook page.

Update November 26 2010:  Pic with all 12 charities that were included in “Like to Give” Telus campaign

 

Telus allows comments to be added to their FaceBook posts, but they do not allow wall posts to be initiated by others.  I sent them a note on Twitter asking why this was the case, but 24+ hours later,  I still had  not heard anything from them.  My personal guess is that they do not allow others to initiate posts because they want to avoid negative dicussions being initiated by consumers on their page.  This seems to be an issue on the Telus YouTube channel.  Based on my research, Telus appears to get their fair share of negative comments on social networks by consumers, so if they want to avoid similar issues that Nestle had with their FaceBook page, they probably made the right choice by not allowing others to iniative wall posts.  Keep in mind though that the biggest issue with the Nestle case was the way that they handled the situation. However, Telus is allowing consumers to have a voice as as those who ‘like’ the Telus FaceBook page can add comments to posts initiated by Telus themselves.

Because of the high level of negative comments, I think it is wise that Telus’ Twitter strategy is to have a Twitter profile that is focused on marketing messages (@Telus) and one that focuses on providing consumers with support on Telus services (@TelusSupport).  This allows @Telus to remain focused on their positive marketing messages, whereas the @TelusSupport deals with all the questions and complaints.  However, I do find that the general @Telus account engages too little with the audience.  I did a quick monitoring check and noticed that several people have posted about Telus’ ‘Like to give’ campaign with a mention of @Telus.  This means that Telus does not even have to monitor to be aware of the mention – these public mentions can be found right there in their Twitter profile.  However, I have yet to see a ‘thanks’ sent out to any of those people, including myself.  This is not the end of the world, but it would be a courteous act which would humanize the organization in the eyes of consumers.

I would like to wish Telus and their chosen non-profit organizations the best of luck in reaching their goals with the ‘Like to give’ campaign.  I am not a client of Telus, but their acts of generosity certainly catch my attention.  If ever I am in the market to switch, Telus will at least be top of mind as part of my research.

What else would you like to see Telus do to promote their ‘Like to give’ campaign on social networks?

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

eMarketing Canada – Twitter Transcript

Eye for Pharma organized the 1st eMarketing Canada conference, which was held in Toronto, on November 1-2 2010.  The Twitter hashtag used was #efp.

Here is a transcript of the online Twitter posts and discussion which used the #efp hashtagh :  Down #efp transcript pdf file.

For those of you keen on stats, here are some data from the tweets that took place on November 1st and 2nd, using the hashtag #efp (via What the Hashtag):

  • 673 tweets
  • 61 contributors
  • 96.1 tweets per day
  • 75.6% come from “The Top 10”
  • 24.4% are retweets
  • 30.6% are mentions
  • 2.8% have multiple hashtags

Not sure what is meant by Twitter hashtags? Then view this video by Mari Smith to learn about hashtags.

Just curious – do you find the information in this post useful? Please leave me a comment below.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Cold-FX: A Fun Canadian Healthcare Social Media Campaign

More and more Canadian healthcare companies see the benefit of leveraging social media for their businesses.  Here is a really interesting example that caught my attention because it encompasses what is critical for a successful social media campaign:  lots of interaction and viral effectiveness.  It also appears to follow the Canadian regulatory guidelines.  Learn more about the Cold-FX social media campaign here.

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Afexa Life Sciences, a medium-sized Canadian company with a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) products, has launched a fun social media campaign in November 2009 to leverage their sponsorship of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, BC (“Cold-FX: Official cold and flu remedy of the 2010 Winter Games”).  Cold-FX is the brand that is sponsoring the Olympics and is the backbone of this fun social media campaign.

There are 3 components to this campaign;

1)      a FaceBook fan page with over 800 fans within 3 months and most importantly a high level of engagement by the fans,

2)      a Twitter account which has grown in popularity since their existence on Twitter as of September 2009, and

3)      a very popular  ‘Athlete of the Year’ video which can be customized with your name, or that of a friend.  The video was launched on November 19th and as of December 4, has already been viewed over 28,000 times (Source:  Data on file, Afexa Life Sciences).

If you look through the FaceBook and Twitter posts by Afexa, you will notice that there is no mention of the brand Cold-FX.  All of the posts by Afexa are related to their Olympics Trivia game.

Moreover, the ‘Athlete of the Year’ video has only a minimal amount of branding as well, as shown in the photo below.

Cold-FX 'Athlete of the Year' viral video

(… and for the record, the only way that I could be recognized for any athletic skills whatsoever would be if running after a 2-year old while talking on the phone with a client and taking notes of our discussion were a sport … thank goodness I have the most understanding and wonderful clients in the world  …)

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On Friday December 4th, I had an opportunity to speak with Justin Jones (Director Digital Strategy) and Hardeep Gosal (Online Community Manager) of Afexa Life Sciences to discuss their Cold-FX social media campaign.  Here are a few highlights of our discussion:

  • New to social media:  The Cold-FX campaign is the first social media campaign for the company.
  • Taking small steps at a time:  They started by monitoring to find out where their consumers were online, what they were saying about the brand, the sentiments of their comments and the reach of forwarded messages.
  • Deliberately being conservative: The main objective of the campaign is to build relationships with the consumers, therefore messages are kept neutral and non-branded to give the consumers an opportunity to get to know the company and feel comfortable to communicate with them.

The snapshot below was taken of the Cold-FX Twitter profile at the end of the day on December 7 2009.  It demonstrates the neutral, non-branded messages being posted by the company.  As for the design of the Twitter profile, the only branding consists of the “Cold-FX” name found on the left and the right side of the screens.

Cold-FX Twitter profile

  • Selling the idea to senior management:  1) Showed them the analysis of a full year’s worth of social media monitoring, and 2) presented a variety of real cases.
  • Building up a follower-base is a long process but well worth the time and effort.
  • Company wide initiative:
    • Approximately 16 months prior to the launch of the social media campaign, all employees had an opportunity to discuss their feelings, knowledge and comfort level with social media.  Justin captured the corporation’s learning culture by stating that:  “The more we educate our employees about visual technologies, internet, mobile technology, social media, the more internal support we are likely to gain in the months ahead for our social media campaign.”
    • Training then took place to educate our employees on the use of social media.
    • Firewalls do not block employees from logging onto social media networks at work, although there is a social media policy in place to avoid abuse.
    • As part of their social media policy, Afexa Life Sciences’ employees are encouraged to not talk about product or anything financial.
    • Followers’ engagement with the company via social networks is creating a lot of positive energy and excitement in the organization, and employees are motivated by this.
  • Biggest challenge in managing a social media campaign:  Being new to social media, the organization expects to make mistakes and learn from them.  However, the social networks frequently change the landscape, rules and regulations.  To work through these changes, the organization is partnering with suppliers who maintain a close pulse on upcoming changes within the various social networks in order to help predict and manage upcoming changes.

The FaceBook fan page “wall” snapshot below describes the quick change that the Afexa Life Sciences team needed to implement to stay within FaceBook’s revised contest policy:

Afexa reacted quickly by launching a FaceBook application on December 9 2009, which now allows them to continue their trivia contest on FaceBook while staying within the FaceBook policies.  Just check out the ‘Trivia Contest’ tab on their FaceBook page and you will be brought to the new application.

  • Measuring ROI:  Be clear on your objective for implementing a social media tactic and determine ROI measurements based on that information.  Afexa’s main objective for the Cold-FX social media campaign is not financial.  Instead, the main objective is to build relationships with consumers.  Some of the measurements for this campaign consist of;
    • Number of followers
    • Frequency of engagement
    • Sentiments of consumer communications online
    • Click-through to the Cold-FX website
  • 5 Key Learnings from Afexa Life Sciences:
  1. Leverage monitoring tools to see what people are saying about your brand and the general sentiment of their communications, as well as identify demographics of the consumers who are talking about your brand online and what platforms they are using.
  2. Stay focused on 1 or 2 social media platforms rather than all of them.  Go through the experience with the selected platforms, learn from it, and then scale onto other platforms if your objectives direct you that way.
  3. Leverage partners who are dealing with some of the social networks that your brand is involved with.  Dealing with a company that has an idea of upcoming policies will save you a lot of time and a lot of money.
  4. From an internal organizational perspective, take the time to carefully draft a social media policy and respect everybody’s level of comfort with social media when presenting internally.
  5. Embrace social media.  Social media is here whether we like it or agree with it.  Google Sidewiki is a perfect example; people can comment on your brands or organization whether you give them the platform to do so or not.

Hardeep summed it up nicely with the following comment:

“The conversation is already happening with your product, so why not get involved.  Companies are often afraid of negative feedback, but we have found that brand advocates balance the conversation with positive comments.  Brand advocates -see who they are and develop relationships with them.”

Regulatory considerations for the Cold-FX social media campaign: Cold-FX is approved in Canada as a Natural Health Product, therefore it has more flexibility than a prescription product in terms of regulatory guidelines in its promotions.  I asked Ray Chepesiuk, the PAAB Commissioner, for his regulatory insights with regards to this campaign.  Here was his response;

“The Cold-FX social media campaign is brilliant and appears to be well within the regulatory guidelines.  You can do a lot more with consumers with an NPN product from a regulatory perspective because you can actually advertise with claims.  You can talk about your drug, but the only caution is to make sure that fair balance is included and indications stated correctly in accordance with the product’s license.  It appears that Afexa Life Sciences have respected the linkage policies of Health Canada in this campaign.  If there is promotion, they must follow section 9(1) of the Health Canada’s Food and Drugs Act.”

Kudos to Afexa Life Sciences for taking on this initiative with passion and enthusiasm, and for giving a chance to their consumers to have so much fun with the campaign.

GIVEAWAY: Afexa Life Sciences has kindly offered to give away 5 COLD-FX Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Hockey 3-Pin Sets to those who write comments about this post.  For those who decide to write a comment, I will be in touch with you to gather your shipping information (so please do not include that information as part of the comment).  If more than 5 people write comments, then we’ll have to make it a draw in which case everybody who writes a comment will be given a number (ie. the 1st to write a post is assigned the number ‘1’, and so on) and then will be randomly selected with the use of the random number generator Random.orgDeadline is Wednesday December 16th, 11:59 pm.  Draw (if required depending on number of comments) will take place on Thursday December 17th (to give us enough time to ship you the pin-sets in time for the holidays if you plan on giving as a gift).

DISCLOSURE: Afexa Life Sciences has not paid me to write this article, is not a client and has not requested a business pitch from me.

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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Canada’s Online Health Check – Online Hotspots to Connect with Canadian Pharma Professionals

Last week, I shared with you the results of a recent survey that looked at some high-level trends of where and how Canadian pharmaceutical professionals are using social networks.

Since networking and collaborating with colleagues can have a significant impact on our professional lives, I wanted to follow-up on my previous post with highlights of a few groups within LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter that may assist Canadian pharmaceutical professionals to find and network with one another.  Note that some of these groups offer greater networking opportunities than others, but I will leave it to you to check them out and decide which is best for you.

GIVEAWAY: In the spirit of networking and sharing, I have saved 6 Google Wave invitations to share with 6 Canadian pharma colleagues (client or agency, but must be involved in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry).  Google Wave is a collaborative online tool, which at the moment is only available to those who are invited by somebody already on the network.  How to enter this giveaway contest?  Write a comment on this post.  Since I only have 6 invitations left, if more than 6 people write a comment, then we’ll have to make it a draw in which case everybody who writes a comment will be given a number (ie. the 1st to write a post is assigned the number ‘1’, and so on) and then will be randomly selected with the use of the random number generator Random.org.  The monetary value of this giveaway:  a big, fat $0.00 .  So why am I bothering? The intent is to share this tool with others who truly want to collaborate with their colleagues online.  What better way to find out who these people are than to just ask them to ‘raise their hand’ online.  Plus, once you are on Google Wave, then you get a bunch of invitations to send to your friends as well.  What a great way to connect, share and collaborate with one another.  Deadline is Sunday December 13th, 11:59 pm.  Draw (if required depending on number of comments) and invitations will take place on Monday December 14th.

LinkedIn:

Biotech and Bioscience in Canada

Canadian Health Informatics

eCHE and eMarketing Insider

Market Access for Canadian Pharma

Ontario Pharmaceutical Marketing Association (OPMA)

Pharmaceutical, Biotech & Medical Devices Jobs in Canada

The PAAB

FaceBook:

Biotech/Pharma/Medical Device Careers in the United States & Canada

The PAAB

Twitter:
About a month ago, Twitter added a new “list” feature.  As part of these lists, Twitter users (tweeps) can select certain people that they are following as part of their lists and make the lists public.  You can give a name to the list, so tweeps who see your list will have an idea what it is about.  I have put together a ‘Canadian Pharma’ list that you may wish to peruse or follow.

The development of this list is ongoing as I find new people who meet the criteria and also as Canadian pharma folks join Twitter.  If you work in the Canadian pharma industry and are on Twitter but not on my list, please make sure to send me your username and I will add you to it.

Here are a few resources to help you find your Canadian pharma colleagues on Twitter:

1)      To find people based on their bio, you can use TweepSearch.com and insert the keywords that you are looking for.  This system is helpful, but not perfect because the search results will depend on the words used in people’s bio.  So if you are on Twitter and want to be found and recognized for certain keywords (ie. ‘pharma marketing’), make sure that they are part of your bio… and this includes your location too.  If somebody is searching for a ‘pharma marketing’ tweep in Canada, but your location is left blank, you will not show up as part of their search.

2)      To find people based on the content of the posts that they publish (tweets), you can either do a search directly in Twitter or use one of many search engines that track tweets.  I like to use IceRocket.com and WeFollow.com for this purpose, but there are many other sites that provide a similar type of search at no cost.

Although this is not a Canadian-specific resource, you might be interested in following pharma companies on Twitter.  If so, you can start by checking out Ignite Health’s dashboard.  In fact, the cool thing about this dashboard is that even if you are not on Twitter, you can still follow the more recent posts that are written by these pharma companies directly from the dashboard.

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This is just a sample of the many groups that may be of interest to a Canadian pharmaceutical professional.  There is also a plethora of social networks with an international focus that might offer excellent networking opportunities with both Canadian and international colleagues (for example, just search “pharma” for LinkedIn groups and the list goes on and on).

If you know of other Canadian groups that were not mentioned in this post, but you think that Canadian pharma professionals would be able to connect and collaborate with each other by joining them, please leave a comment with the name and URL for the group.  And remember that your comment will be considered as an entry in the Google Wave invitation giveaway contest (as described above).

Stay in touch,
Natalie

Connect with me on the following networks:
FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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To ensure that you receive all new updates to this blog, insert your e-mail address in the box in the top-right corner. Your e-mail will remain private and will not be shared with any third parties.

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