A lot of colleagues from the pharmaceutical industry have asked me about the recent closure of J&J’s Psoriasis 360 Facebook page in the past couple of days. They asked whether this is a proof that pharma shouldn’t be on Facebook.
Psoriasis 360 was one of the best examples of pharma being open to use social media effectively. It was the first pharma-driven Facebook page initiated by Alex Butler, that allowed comments. People likes that, the industry used it as the example, it won awards. And now, it’s closed.
More than a year after launching its Psoriasis 360 page on Facebook, the Janssen UK unit of Johnson & Johnson is closing down due to a growing number of comments that had to be removed because specific drugs were mentioned or, in some cases, offensive language was used. The decision was posted on the Facebook page today.
I have managed large medical/pharma Facebook pages and I know it can be hard to manage a page with a lot of limitations, but in that case it must have been around 1-2 comments daily. Yes, daily. It means there is another reason behind the closure.
I’ve told all my pharma contacts this is the proof that a pharma-driven Facebook page (or any social media channel) can only be successful if someone with good communication/social media skills is behind that and is responsible for that. As soon as Alex left the company, they decided to close the page.
Take-home message: find the right people for managing and designing these social media channels otherwise it just won’t work.