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Lilly to develop company-wide social media strategy

Wants to expand technology’s use beyond corporate communications

Nearly two years after launching its first major foray into the world of social media in the shape of its LillyPad corporate blog, Eli Lilly is developing a company-wide social media strategy.

Lilly has so far had strict rules about who can use social media on behalf of the company, authorising just a handful of people in corporate communications and government affairs, but now wants to empower other departments to do so.

“There are a lot of parts of the company that are getting interested in social media so I'm working on a strategy that will keep these aligned with one another,” Lilly's director of corporate communications Greg Kueterman told SMI's Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference on Monday.

“We don't want to have eight different social media platforms that all look and sound very different from one another. So we're going to try and do something where they all have their own identity but are still consistent within the company.”

Kueterman acknowledged LillyPad, launched September 2010, and the company's Campaign For Modern Medicines, a US health policy initiative Lilly founded last year that uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, were set up “before we had a full blown strategy”.

“But sometimes that is important,” he said. “Because you have to know what you have, before you can make it even bigger.”

The company's Clinical Open Innovation team, a group working to improve the drug development process, also began using social media earlier this year, with a blog and Twitter account.

The next stage for Lilly will be to continue its expansion of LillyPad (as previewed here in March), following the launch in May of a Canadian version of the corporate blog.

“We've started to go global with LillyPad and we're working with a number of our affiliates to do this. Lilly Canada has been the first one out of the box to do that and they're off to a nice start,” Kueterman said.

Discussions are underway with the company's European affiliates in the UK and Belgium along with its operations in Mexico. “Hopefully some of those are going to be launching this year, although we don't have firm dates yet,” Kueterman said.

“We're excited that this is a programme that's going to start picking up momentum. Looking ahead there are still things that we can do much better. I'm never really satisfied with the way things are going with LillyPad – I'm happy, because I think we're doing things the right way, but I also believe that we can be even more proactive than we are.”

• Links to Lilly's social media presences can be found in the Pharma Social Media Directory's blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube sections 

11th July 2012

From: Marketing

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