By Annie Garvey, Director of Patient Outreach, PatientWise
With the use of social media on the rise, it imperative that research sites have a well-planned social media strategy. More than simply having a presence in online communities, it can be a great resource for patient recruitment. After all, what better way to reach your patient population than to be where they are spending their time?
Maintaining your page on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be a daunting task for those who are new to social media. However, with just a few minutes a week, sites can create a strong social media presence. Here, we provide three examples of sites that are doing it right through the use of Facebook.
If you’re interested in increasing your social media presence, you may note that what these successful sites are doing is fairly simple and could easily be replicated at your site with minimal effort.
Access MD Clinical Research
- Post Frequently. Posts to this site are made on a consistent bases – every Monday and Friday with a blog post every other Wednesday. Sites that have regular activity are more likely to have followers versus sites that don’t post often, and thus, provide very little value.
- Share Relevant Content. Recent posts on this page are reposts of articles that provide tips for those suffering from GI discomfort. When recruiting for a study where your audience has GI distress, for example, this is a great way to provide education and awareness without actually posting the details of your study.
- Get a Conversation Going. Taking two minutes out of their day to wish their followers a happy Thanksgiving provides a personal touch, while also getting a conversation going by asking the question, “what Thanksgiving traditions are you most looking forward to?” Social media is, after all, meant to be social and promote a two-way conversation. Posts should not always just be pushing information out, but also attempting to bring others into a conversation.
Preferred Clinical Research
- Personalize Your Page. The staff photo on this page shows the human element to the research and personalizes their site. People like to put faces with names. Simply having your logo is not enough to engage in today’s social environments.
- Make Your Page Accessible. In the header, they make themselves more easily searchable by adding categories that are appropriate to their business (i.e. clinic, family practice, and research service). Additionally, this quickly identifies who they are for new visitors to their page. They also provide their address and phone number in the header for easy accessibility.
- Post Your Open Studies. A recent post states that they are actively seeking patients for a flu study, and they have listed the qualifying symptoms so patients can easily qualify themselves. Note: this is an example of a post that would need to be IRB approved.
Clinical Research Partners
- Like Your Site’s Page. Followers of this page, including staff, are actively posting to the page. All staff at a site should “like” the site’s page and post to it intermittently. This helps keep conversations going and keeps your page current.
- Use Imagery. This page uses eye-catching and appropriate imagery for the COPD recruitment ad they posted. This also would need to be IRB approved.
- Share Your Success. Posting about the success of your trials is great and helps build credibility for your site. When possible, let your followers know how your site is contributing to the advancement of medicine. Also, let your patients know how much you appreciate them. After all, your successes wouldn’t be possible without them!
About the author:
Annie Garvey is the Director of Patient Outreach at PatientWise. She has an extensive history of applying commonsense marketing and recruitment tactics for clinical trial patient recruitment and works closely with sites across the U.S. on their marketing campaigns. Annie is a strong proponent of mixing traditional and online tactics to generate strong subject referrals. She has worked on numerous centralized and localized patient recruitment campaigns and promotes applicable marketing best practices to clinical research sites. For comments or questions, Annie can be reached at email@example.com.