Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Sanofi has taken to YouTube for a new diabetes social media initiative that will see the pharma company answer patients' insulin queries via the video sharing website.
Its interactive Get Blood Sugar Control channel, which ties in with Sanofi's GetBloodSugarControl.com website, is aimed at people in the US with type 2 diabetes.
Sanofi's key product in the area is Lantus (insulin glargine), which last year brought in €3.92bn ($5.2bn) making it the world's best-selling insulin product.
Accordingly, Sanofi's new YouTube channel offers videos on subjects such as how insulin works in the body, as well as what uncontrolled blood sugar feels like.
Pharma's YouTube presences have seen mixed results in terms of viewing figures, but diabetes, where Sanofi joins Boehringer Ingelheim's Diabetes Matters channel and Roche's Accu-Chek channels, has proved popular.
Get Blood Sugar Control continues this trend and, with just three video uploads to its name, Sanofi's channel has already amassed more than 7,000 video views, despite being less than two weeks old.
The pharma company will take patient questions about blood sugar control and insulin, film its responses and post them to the YouTube channel.
In its introductory video Sanofi explains why it won't be able to answer questions that contain specific company or drug names and says it would prefer users submit a video of themselves asking the question.
In a tacit acknowledgement of how keen the company is to receive such videos, Sanofi offers a series of hints and tips for recording clear, impactful videos, though it will also take text-only questions and these can be submitted anonymously.
The new YouTube channel is another addition to Sanofi US' social media focus on diabetes, which has already seen it launch diabetes-themed Facebook and Twitter accounts, and iPhone and iPad app and a diabetes blog.
Talking to the Digital Intelligence blog recently, the head of Sanofi's US diabetes business unit Dennis Urbaniak explained how social media had brought the company closer to the diabetes community.
"The social nature of these platforms has allowed us to meet a lot of new people, listen to what they have to say, and start a conversation with them on living with diabetes, which has brought so much valuable perspective for our entire team."