The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Biotech Trends in 2010: Top Three Reasons Why Biotech Companies Should Use Social Media

Tech startups use social media avidly [rabidly?], but biotech companies? Not so much.  Biotech companies should be blogging, tweeting and linking in like mad, though.  Here’s why:

  1. Your customers (pharma companies) do it.  More and more pharma companies are active in social media. Take a look at this article in the December issue of Life Science Leader (h/t @FiercePharma) or read the Dose of Digital blog any day of the week and you’ll be directed to interesting information about how products are being developed, tested and marketed. These are things you need to keep in mind as you move through your own product development process. Also, lots of pharma folks are on LinkedIn, so if you are as well, you’ll maximize your ability to reach out through personal connections when you’re building a constituency for your partnering deals.  Here’s my Twitter list of BioPharma news and analysis.
  2. Your investors do it.  Check out this Twitter List of Canadian VCs, Angel investors and other funders.  Look at what they’re talking about, and you’ll see you don’t have to tell people what you ate for lunch (or disclose your latest lab results) to convey that you’re doing something interesting that other people are interested in.  Check out the CVCA’s blog, Capital Rants or the Maple Leaf Angels blog.  In Toronto? Stop in at the MaRS blog or the R.I.C. blog to see where investors will be and what they’re thinking about.
  3. Your peers (other startups) do it.  If you’re not participating in online conversations, you’re missing a world of good advice and perspectives.  Click over to Rick Segal’s blog or  StartupCFO, Mark MacLeod’s Blog. It doesn’t really matter that these guys aren’t involved in biotech. Lots of startups are facing similar issues to yours — funding, staffing, etc. and getting out of the biotech bubble from time to time can be a good thing.  Plus, being at a startup is isolating, particularly in biotech with its strong incentives to run a virtual company, so go online to find peers, mentors and other resources.

If this all sounds reasonable, but you’re still skeptical, or not interested, then find someone in your organization who’s excited about it, regardless of their actual job, and set him/her loose.  [Not totally loose, of course. Common sense is critical online because it’s hard to hit “undo” on the web, and appropriate confidentiality remains key to biotech ventures.  But all your people have common sense and discretion, right?]

We’ll be keeping an eye out for biotechs and other bioscience companies that are making good use of social media as part of our Biotech Trends series this coming year.  Other suggestions for 2010 biotech trends?  Let us know

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9 responses to “Biotech Trends in 2010: Top Three Reasons Why Biotech Companies Should Use Social Media

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Biotech Trends in 2010: Top Three Reasons Why Biotech Companies Should Use Social Media « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog --

  2. Marady Hill December 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Would you agree that biotech companies beyond the startup phase have an equal need to get into SM and if so, same reasons? and who’s doing it right, now?

  3. Florida Biotech News December 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Social Media is a tool used to accomplish something. What is it exactly that we can expect biotechies to gain by using SM?

    Name recognition, top-of-mind awareness and general Google juice is really all you can hope to accomplish using SM. How do these things translate into innovation? That’s the question we need to be asking…

  4. Jeremy G December 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

    @Marady Hill – yes, it has the potential to be even more useful beyond the startup phase; but those uses look more like Pharma SM uses. Generally: patient recruitment for clinical trials, corporate recruitment, patient education, PR, IR, compliance communities, etc.

    @Florida Biotech News – all the things you point out are useful for biotechs’ capital-raising activities. The point of the post, though, was that SM is also useful for advice, perspectives and business development activities. I should qualify by saying that I’m talking about biotech companies, where what I would call commercialization, rather than innovation, is typically the rate-limiting step.

  5. Pingback: links for 2010-03-11 «

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