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Roche and Pfizer launch pharma's first official Google+ pages

Pharma companies tentatively investigate Google's new social network, but are already outnumbered by fake pages

Pharma company Roche Google Plus page

Pharmaceutical companies have started joining Google's new social network with Roche and Pfizer the first to set up official Google+ presences.

Roche has two pages, a corporate and an HR one, while Pfizer's Turkish subsidiary has set up a company page.

The social network was given a limited launch in July and fully opened for registrations in September. By October it had attracted 40m users, but has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook (800m users) or Twitter (225m).

Fake pages are already an issue on Google+ and Roche's head of corporate internet and social media Sabine Kostevc explained that one of the reasons she set up Roche's corporate page was to “reserve the space”.

She said: “I do not see our target audiences active on Google+, so I have no concrete plan on how to use it yet. From my personal point of view it is still very much in beta and a playground for techies and the social networking avant-garde.

“Google+ will most likely become an important factor for search engine ranking. But, given limited resources, I'm focusing for now on helping the organisation to engage on the networks where our audiences are.”

Over time use of Google+ is likely to increase due to the way the search giant can tie it together with its various online properties, which include the Gmail email service and video sharing site YouTube.

Google's 'real name' policy could potentially give it an advantage over Twitter, though this doesn't entirely guarantee the use of real names and has already been the cause of some controversy.

In July the company ruffled a few feathers when it shut down thousands of accounts because of what it saw as violations of its naming policy.

And pharma companies haven't been immune to Google's restrictions. When starting to register the page with the official company name "F. Hoffmann-La Roche", Roche had to try alternative spellings as the "F." and the hyphen in the company's name failed to pass Google's naming rules.

For now both Roche and Pfizer are only tentatively using Google+, as befits a still emerging social network, but already official pharma pages are outnumbered by fake ones.

These overwhelmingly target Pfizer, and one even cheekily suggests anyone interested in “aquiring” [sic] the page should contact its current owner.

Update (April 2012): Pfizer's Google+ page is no longer available

6th December 2011

From: Marketing

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