Category Archives: Facebook in Science

Anyone for Social Media?

 

social media logos

What are scientific based companies doing on social media? Are popular services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ been used in successfully promoting and selling scientific services? These are the questions I set out to answer in a small piece or research involving 10 well-known companies.

I selected a mix of  companies (please see tha table of results at the end of this blog) that are providing development. manufacturing or packaging services. I then reviewed their use (if any) of Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I tried to identify the official site for the company rather than for a company subsidiary or third-party activity on behalf of a company.

For the purpose of this research I didn’t include LinkedIn, as companies seem to have now, as a default,  some type of listing on Linkedin. This service tends to be very recruitment orientated, good for networking, but lacks the graphical and interactive features of the other social media sites.

Also I didn’t look this time at YouTube. The use of video and therefore YouTube  to promote a company’s products and services, though individual videos and also now through ‘channels’ is becoming more popular. But a company needs good video content to support this and may companies have been slow to develop this particular forum maybe due to the cost of making good quality video. I will however look at this medium as I extend this study for future blogs.

What is Social Media been used for?

The main categories of use of all social media by the companies included in the research were (in no order of importance)

  • Updates on general company news
  • Employee news and activities (charitable, company days out e,t,c)
  • Recruitment, individual job notifications or background to working in the company.
  • Product or service details or information
  • Notification of exhibition/seminar attendance and reporting

What I found…….

What was very interesting from the research was the overall popularity of Twitter over Facebook and Google+. It is been used broadly over the all the categories given above. This could be for the reason that it is still a quick way to post information due to the brevity demanded by the service. It is the nearest to a traditional ticker news service of the past but is also now allowing graphics to improve its visual impact.

Facebook and Google+ offer text, graphic and interactive features but are only used for limited purposes with companies opting out of the interactive features. Both services are used  for similar tasks with content been duplicated and used on both channels. Facebook has still a good lead on Google+ in overall terms of uptake by companies. Google+ is only been used in a small number of cases by companies and was much more likely than Facebook just to have just an address and nothing else. I am not sure why companies establish a Facebook,Google+ or twitter account and presence and then abandon them with no content or updating.  I think that this can be counter-productive as users start judging your company simply by the lack of activity on your social media accounts!

Some of the companies that were surveyed that are  using social media are not providing information or links to their Twitter, Facebook, Google+ sites from their own company websites! A reason maybe that company websites tend to be updated only from time to time and maybe not been updated with the relevant links. But a good social media strategy should have the different mediums complimenting each other and be integrated allowing a user to flow between them plugging into the strengths of each activity/chanel.

What I didn’t see in the survey was the use of social media for customer service or support. This is proving to be a very popular use of social media among other industrial sectors especially in a B2C context. But in this small piece of research I didn’t see evidence of social media been used to interact with customers for customer services actions i.e. recording customer issues, complaints, feedback e.t.c.

Also I didn’t see the use of social media to gain sales leads through requests for information from users (contact forms e.t.c) when accessing information available through the channels. This can be done through so-called   ‘calls for actions’. In return for access to content such as white papers,slides or new/old webinars the details of individuals and companies can be recorded and followed up on. So I would conclude that social media is not actively employed in direct sales activities or information gathering and gaining customer/user feedback but more extending the reach and purpose of existing company websites and linkedin activities.

Below is a table of results for the companies covered in the research.

 Company  Type of  Services             Facebook (activities)          Twitter (activities)         Google+ (activities)
   Lonza Manufacturing
  • Employee News
  • Social news
  • Product/Service Information
  • Company News
  • Careers
  • Product/service information
  • Basic  company details (address, website url)
  Covance Development
  • General company information
  • Events
  • Product/service information
  • exhibitions/seminars
  • Basic company details
  SGS Life  Science Development
  • Basic  company details
  • Basic company  details
  • Basic company details
 Haupt   Pharma Manufacturing
  • None
  • None
  • None
 Recipharm Manufacturing
  • None
  • None
  • None
  Aesica Manufacturing
  • Product/service information
  • Employee news
  • Company news
  • Exhibitions/seminars/webcasts
  • None
  • None
  Eurofins Laboratory
  • None
  • Limited (USA only)
  • Basic(company details)
  Patheon Development
  • None
  • Product/service information
  • Employee information
  • Company news
  • Exhibitions/seminar attendance
  • None
  Metrics Inc Development
  • None
  • Product/service information
  • Exhibition/seminar attendance
  • Company information
  • None
CapsCanada Manufacturing
  • None
  • Product/service information
  • Product/service information
Chesapeake Packaging
  • Product/service information
  • Company news
  • employee news
  • None
  • Product/service information
  • Company news
  • employee news
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