J&J Live Facebook Video – #ChampionsOfScience Competition

J&J went live on Facebook yesterday to share their Champions of Science, The Lab Coat of the Future finalists’ competition.  It was completely unbranded and simply focused on science. Their key message was that the lab coat is an integral symbol of innovation and science, yet it has not been updated in over a century. The objective of the competition was to grant the group with the best idea to innovate the lab coat with a $50,000 award.

My interest in this tactic is not the content of the video nor the objective of the competition itself, but rather the means that J&J chose to host the grand finale of the competition; via Facebook live video.

J&J Live FB

This was a well chosen medium because it made it ideal to promote the event and create hype for it online, meaning that a much larger audience could hear and learn about it.  It also created the potential for a much, much larger audience than would have been possible had the event been held in front of a live audience only.  This allowed over 11K views of the live Facebook video.  The finalists must have appreciated this large audience, whether they won or not, because it means that their work was made visible to a much larger audience and potentially to an investor as well.

When Mark Zuckerberg announced the new Facebook algorithm that would allow people to focus on their friends’ posts, he did allude to the face that live Facebook videos would still be a priority feature on page followers’ homepages.  Live Facebook videos remain a method of reaching a lot of eyeballs, and it is still free.  Keep in mind that when you have over 776K followers like J&J’s Facebook page, the odds would definitely be in your favor for getting a large online audience.

Note that there were no ads listed under their ad tab on the day of the live Facebook video.  It is not known if they had advertised on Facebook days prior to their live broadcast.  I am not certain if J&J took advantage of the Facebook stories feature when they were promoting their live broadcast.  If so, then I missed it.  If not, then I would certainly recommend that to whoever is hoping to replicate this type of activity.

A live Facebook video also has the option of living on, getting engagement from viewers during the broadcast as well as afterwards.  For example, after almost 24 hours after the live J&J Champions of Science broadcast, the video was viewed over 11K times, has been shared 146 times, received 465 reactions (all positive or neutral) and 225 comments.

J&J Live FB 1

The live broadcast was even talked about on Twitter with the hashtag #ChampionsOfScience, with 559 posts by 235 users (Source: Keyhole). There are 127 Instagram posts with the hashtag #ChampionsOfScience , however many of these are either from a much earlier date and a few seemed to be completely unrelated to the event.

On a personal note, I hope that we will see more pharmaceutical events such as this one showcased live on Facebook, because this will show the general public that pharma companies do a lot of good work within their communities, and often do not get recognized for them.  Kudos to J&J!

Congratulations to the winners and best of luck to the two other finalists in finding another investor for your ideas.

Pfizer Honors Women in Science with Instagram Story

The pharmaceutical industry is starting to take advantage of the greater visibility of stories on both Instagram and Facebook.  You can see an example of a Facebook story by Bayer here and by Pfizer here.

Today, Pfizer posted an Instagram story to honor women in science.  It is a nice collection of their female employees, known as colleagues, who are making a difference in bringing new medicines for various diseases.  This is well thought-out media tactic as not only does it honor women and promote women in science, but it also gives a public pat on the back to some of their own employees.  Pfizer has a track record of acknowledging its employees publicly and on social media as is described by their #PfizerColleagues social media campaign.

Here are the screen shots of the Pfizer Instagram story honoring women in science:

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Facebook Story by Bayer Focuses on Patient

Bayer Facebook story

Yesterday, the Bayer Facebook page promoted a story that was unbranded and provided health tips for patients.  Screen shots are available at the bottom of this blog post.  Although I have not seen others by Bayer, it appears as though this was part of a series, so there will hopefully be more to come. Keeping the stories unbranded is a great way to ensure that there are no regulatory violations since this global Bayer Facebook page seems to represent all of its affiliates, and each country has its own regulatory requirements. Plus, this shows that the focus of the story was to help patients.  It is very patient-centric.

Pfizer recently used Facebook stories to promote their presence and main message at a cardiology conference.

With the recent Facebook algorithm changes which makes it more challenging for organic page posts to be seen by followers, it is not surprising to see more and more pages use Facebook stories to engage with their followers.  Facebook stories are a great way of reaching out to passive followers, followers that do not see your posts on their timeline anymore or those that just forgot about your page and possibly your organization. Unfortunately, viewers cannot like or comment on stories by pages, but it’s still a great way (and free, at least for the moment) to get your brand name in front of your followers’ eyes.  Note that you can reply to stories by friends, but not by pages.

Replies to someone’s story are sent in Messenger and can only be seen by the story’s owner and the person replying. Here is what the Bayer Facebook story like.

Bayer Facebook story 1Bayer Facebook story 2

Update March 21, 2018:  Here is a new story by Bayer that complements the one above which was posted on the previous day.


Bayer Facebook story A1

Bayer Facebook story A2

Bayer Facebook story A3

Bayer Facebook story A4



Is the Term “Digital Patient” Still Relevant in this New Era?

75685492 - male doctor in futuristic medical conceptThe term “digital patient” has been used for several years now.  So far, it appears to have  referred to the digitally savvy patient that wants to participate in his or her healthcare with the use of technology.  But is this term still accurate?

You may have heard or seen Shudu, the first digital supermodel.  She does not actually exist, but from her Instagram pictures, she seems real, and she has the potential of landing real paying jobs (and may already be getting some, but I’m not sure)! Although she has some critics, she does have a huge following and is getting a lot of attention from the technology industry.

This got me thinking about the term “digital patient”.  In the era of seemingly real characters such as Shudu, wouldn’t the term “digital patient” refer to a non-existing patient that was digitally created, however real that character may or may not appear to be. It might be time to switch to the term “digitally savvy patient” because sooner or later, the healthcare industry will get its own Shudu-like digital patients.  Some may already even exist.

Pfizer Uses Facebook Stories to Promote their Presence at Conference

Many physicians and medical suppliers attended the American College of Cardiology 2018 conference this past weekend.  To follow the conversation on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, follow the hashtag #ACC18 .

One of the participating suppliers cleverly used Facebook stories towards the end of the conference to summarize its key messages about stroke prevention and thanked the conference attendees for following the conversation.  I was not present at this conference, but since I like the Pfizer page, I was able to see thePfizer Facebook story on my homepage.  See the screen shots of the Pfizer Facebook story at the bottom of this post.

Back in the later part of 2017, Facebook opened up stories to Facebook pages.  Pages that post stories get featured on both mobile and desktop.  It is becoming more and more difficult for pages to get noticed on Facebook these days, and Facebook stories provides ideal real estate on its followers’ homepage.  Facebook stories are pretty hard to miss when you are on your homepage, which makes them a great opportunity to become visible again to an audience who may not see many of your posts anymore due to the new Facebook algorithm.  Just like any other type of advertisement, you need to be visible on a relatively frequent basis in order to achieve top of mind status with your audience, so you might want to consider posting a Facebook story on a daily basis.

Have you tried Facebook stories for pages yet?  If so, let us know about your experience.

Pfizer Facebook story from the 2018 ACC conference.Pfizer Facebook story from the 2018 ACC conference.Pfizer Facebook story from the 2018 ACC conference.Pfizer Facebook story from the 2018 ACC conference.

Facebook Wants You to be Healthier, so they Would Like you to See Less of Them

Mark Zuckerberg says that he wants people to spend less time on Facebook so that the time spent on his social platform is truly focused on encouraging meaningful connections between people in order to promote well-being.  Many people don’t seem to be reacting too well to this statement, accusing him of either being untruthful in his statements, making excuses to cover up already reducing activity on his site, or of meddling with their newsfeed, which they designed the way that they like.

I am undecided as to how I feel about his message of well being.  Is it an honest message?  If so, then I applaud his altruistic efforts.  However, I would be curious to know how Facebook plans on measuring whether their users who have reduced their Facebook time have improved their quality of engagement with others.

Until then, don’t forget to set your favorite pages as “see first” so that you don’t miss too many of their posts.

Saving Facebook Posts in Collections – Is this the End of Pinterest?

Do you save Facebook posts from pages that you like so that you can view them later?  I have been doing this since September 2016, and I save a lot of posts.  My saved posts range from medical information, social media updates, to kid-friendly posts.  But up until today, my saved Facebook posts have been all mixed together, with no organization other than how the posts were saved chronologically.  Good luck trying to find that saved Facebook post that you liked so much a few months ago, and only now have time to take action on it.  So although saving Facebook posts has been helpful for me, my only complaint was that I could not categorize my saved posts.

Now you can!  You can create Facebook collections, which are similar to Pinterest boards.  When you create a new collection, you name it and then you can go back to your old saved videos to save them in a collection, and new videos can be saved directly into the collection.  If the saved Facebook post fits in more than one collection, that is fine also.  Just like you can pin an image to more than one Pinterest board, you can save a Facebook post to more than one collection.

You can go back and retroactively assign your old saved Facebook posts to a newly-created collection.  Go to your saved items and find the video that you want to add to a collection.  Click on the “…” underneath the post.  at this point, you have the option of creating a new collection or adding to a collection that you have already named and saved.

Facebook collection - new - to organize saved posts

As for new Facebook posts that you want to save from now on, you can add them to an existing collection or create a new collection.

Facebook collection - new - to organize saved posts 1


Facebook collection - new - to organize saved posts 2

You can see that you added the saved post to a collection by looking at the line above the post itself.

Facebook collection - new - to organize saved posts 3


And finally, you can find all your saved posts either in chronological order or by collection in your Saved items.

Considering many Facebook pages post similar content on Facebook as they pin on Pinterest, the new Facebook post collections may end up replacing Pinterest, at least to a certain degree, with some users.  Personally, since I already save a lot of posts and I tend to spend more time on Facebook than Pinterest, I can see Facebook collections becoming my main way of saving items for future action.

What impact do you think this will have on Pinterest in the long term?

Facebook App for Kids has Health Experts Worried

45663146 - toddler girl watching a tablet computerOn December 4, 2017, Facebook announced its new Facebook app for kids in the United States; Messenger Kids.  The intent of this new product is to allow children under 13 years of age (no lower age limit) to video chat and and message with family and friends that are approved by the parents.  The app can be installed on the child’s tablet but managed by the parent via their personal Facebook account.

When the child opens the app, they first see all the approved people that they can connect with on their screen, and they will know who is online.  At that point, the child can connect with their friend or relative.  There are fun tools such as stickers, masks and drawing tools to enhance the child’s experience with the app.

There are no ads, no in-app purchases and your child’s information is not used for ads.  Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

The way Facebook describes their new Messenger Kids kind of sounds like an updated version of a child calling a friend or relative on the telephone, but with certain technologically advanced features.  But it really is more than just that.

Children’s health experts and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) are concerned about the health issues that may arise in developing children if they start using social media while too young. The CCFC sent a letter signed by more than 100 leading child development experts and advocates urging Mark Zuckerberg to put kids’ wellbeing first and scrap Messenger Kids.  Here are some of the valid concerns that the CCFC highlighted:

The app has no minimum age, and its emojis, colorful stickers, and animations are designed to draw and hold children’s attention even if they’re too young to type.

A growing body of research links social media use by adolescents with depression, poor sleep habits, and unhealthy body image. Younger children are even less equipped to deal with the interpersonal challenges and addictive power of social media.

The “fun” design and anticipation of friends’ responses will keep children coming back to their devices.Moving friendships online displaces the face-to-face interactions crucial for developing empathy and healthy relationships.

The CCFC also started a petition urging the public to show their support in requesting that Facebook scrap Messenger Kids right away.  So far, within just a few mere hours of launching their petition, the CCFC has already collected over 300 signatures.

Personally, I will keep my kids off Messenger Kids.  When my younger children want to call or video chat with grandma or with a little buddy, I’ll just take a minute or so to help them set up the video chat or call from my laptop.  That way, the amount of time is limited (although they often chat with grandma for a good hour, but that’s quality time, right?) but more importantly, they won’t be tempted to make calls whenever they see that somebody is online.  That could quickly become a real nuisance for the person on the other end.

You can follow the hashtag #NoFBKids to read and engage with others who have an opinion on this topic.

New! Approval Required for Medical Device Advertisements in Canada

A30365798_sds Standards has updated their advertising guidelines.

As of January 2, 2018, Canadian marketers must send their medical device advertisements through a review process with Ad Standards Clearance Services.  For more details, take a look the new Guidelines for Consumer Advertising of Health Products (for Nonprescription Drugs, Natural Health Products, Vaccines and Medical Devices).

Here are more details directly from the Ad Standards website:

Effective July 1, 2018, Telecaster Services of thinktv will require approval numbers for any new broadcast commercials. Previously aired commercials can continue to air until December 31, 2018, without requiring preclearance

The updated Guidelines, developed by Ad Standards Clearance Services in consultation with Health Canada and industry, are intended to help advertisers create advertising messages that meet all the relevant provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, the Natural Health Products Regulations, the Medical Devices Regulations and other related Health Canada Policies and Guidelines. They replace the 2006 Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products (for Nonprescription Drugs including Natural Health Products).

Marketed health products workshops

The Ad Standards Clearance Services team will be hosting workshops in Toronto on January 31 and in Montreal on February 15.  Both presentations will be in English.

The workshops will highlight key sections of the updated Guidelines and the dos and don’ts of advertising nonprescription drugs, natural health products, vaccines and medical devices. Though the Montreal workshop will be presented in English, the slides will also be available in French.

Click on the links below for more details on these workshops:

Marketed Health Products Workshop, Toronto – January 31
Marketed Health Products Workshop, Montreal – February 15

Facebook Groups and Watch Parties (new video product being tested)

Facebook is strongly focused on helping people connect with one another lately.  Last week, Mark Zuckerberg informed us that business pages would very soon be getting next to no organic views of their posts anymore.  We heard digital marketers all over the world sobbing instantly.  If you are still bummed out about that, there are things that you can still do to get your posts seen on Facebook.   One of the suggestions is to consider setting up groups, or increase your usage of existing Facebook groups.

Yesterday, Fidji Simo, the VP of  Product for Video at Facebook, announced that some Facebook groups will have access to a new product called Watch Parties.  Interestingly enough, Mark Zuckerberg did mention that we would be seeing more posts from friends and family, and from Facebook GROUPS !!!!  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Here is how she described Facebook group Watch Parties:

I’m really excited about a new video experience we are starting to test today with a handful of Groups: Watch Parties.

In a Watch Party, members of a Group can watch videos together in the same space at the same time — videos are chosen by the Group admins and moderators, and can be any public videos on Facebook (live or recorded). With everyone watching, commenting and reacting to the same moments together, it creates a shared viewing experience for video that helps build the kind of community and engagement we’ve seen with Live.

The Watch Party viewing experience is special because of the people you are watching with. We’re starting with Groups because one billion people use Facebook Groups every month to connect around their passions and hobbies – from foodies, to dog lovers, to sports enthusiasts, to fans of video creators – and video is a huge part of this interaction. While this is just a small test at the moment, we’ll be learning, and hope to expand Watch Party in the future.


Ever since we heard the news last week about Facebook groups having priority on the newsfeed vs. business pages, I have been thinking of ways to benefit my clients with Facebook groups.  There are opportunities there and this new Watch Party that is being tested would definitely be an asset.

My focus is healthcare marketing, so let’s imagine a hospital-run Facebook group that focuses on pregnant patients.  You could choose a public video on Facebook, perhaps from your business page, or better yet, live stream a public video of a prenatal course.  The expecting Moms and Dads could watch together at the same time and post comments and questions to one another while watching.

Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook, posted about the new Facebook group Watch Party as well and she compared this new video product to YouTube circa 2008.  We’ve all seen how far some Youtubers have come along since the earlier years of YouTube.  If you start building your audience now, this might be your opportunity to grow a huge following on Facebook.

Would you use Watch Party, either as a Facebook user or as an admin of a Facebook group?  I know I would, and I’m hoping that my clients’ groups are or will be part of the test group.