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Q & A: How does Big Pharma influence Social Media?
Does Big Pharma pay Twitter Trolls?
In this article, I will share my thoughts on how Big Pharma influences Social Media. More revelations will come as Elon Musk publishes #TWITTERFILES related to COVID.
One thing to understand about influencing Social Media is this. Social Media conversations are incredibly fragmented. Not everything happens on Twitter or Facebook. Less than 5% of the world is on Twitter. Furthermore, different countries use different social media. For example, China uses WeChat exclusively. They only have access to Facebook if they are technically inclined (using VPN to overcome government restrictions). Majority of Japanese use LINE instead of Whatsapp. Koreans uses KakaoTalk.
On top of that, people use different social media platforms for various topics. For example, a Hypertension topic may be widely discussed on Facebook, while a Diabetes topic may be addressed in a popular private individual blog.
Furthermore, they are discussed in local languages. English is only spoken by less than 15% of the world’s population. Here’s a nice infographic of the world’s most spoken languages.
My point is this; the world is highly fragmented.
We must overcome our bias that whatever we experience around us is precisely what someone else is experiencing in other parts of the world. Another example is that some people believe that the #mRNA Vaccine is created by the elites to depopulate the world to 500 million population. How can that be true? The #mRNA Vaccine, as of today, is not even approved in China. No mRNA vaccines are allowed in China as of this point in time of writing this article.
In fact, many years ago, China had a one-child policy. I reckon that would be a more effective tool in depopulating the world. During the One Child Policy in China, many female babies were aborted because of the Chinese Tradition of preferring males. It created considerable problems in rural areas in China today, where there is a vast surplus of males making the term “Bachelor Villages” in China.
Here’s Elon talking about the Population collapse in China.
In my experience working in Global Roles in Big Pharma, I had the opportunity to conduct some marketing studies to determine where conversations happen. Here’s a Pharma study we conducted to determine where Psoriasis conversations happen. We call it “Social Listening”.
Once we understand where the social media conversations are happening, we deploy different tactics to achieve what we want. For example, steering the conversation or stopping the conversation entirely. In addition, we use a lot of Artificial Intelligence to analyse the sentiments of these conversations in a technique called “Sentiments Analysis.”
We use Artificial Intelligence because there are too many conversations, and hiring people to look at conversations is impossible. In addition, it’s costly to hire internal employees to monitor conversations manually because you need to give them a lot of training (adverse event training, product training etc.).
Using Artificial Intelligence to analyse conversations helps us frame the general sentiment of our drug - here is one example out of many scenarios. Each scenario is assigned a tactic.
In some cases, we stop conversations from happening (i.e. taking down videos from Youtube or shutting down Facebook groups)
How is this done?
We spend a lot of money on advertisements for Social Media companies. However, you must understand that most Big Pharma runs two (or more) divisions. The primary division, which is the most profitable, is Prescription Medicines (vaccines etc.). The secondary division is Over-The-Counter Products (cough and cold medicines, cosmetics etc.)
For example, Pfizer sells “Centrum” multivitamins. These products bring down the Profit and Loss KPIs because they are cheap and require a lot of advertising to drive sales. Usually, the profit margins for these products are 20-30%, while prescription medicines have profit margins in the range of 35% - 50%. On a separate note, some Big Pharma companies run Animal health businesses which are the most lucrative in terms of profit margin (60-70%).
Pfizer’s Profit and Loss would look much better without OTC medicines. By simply taking out the OTC business, they can increase the Operational KPIs, thus having happier shareholders because it pushes the share price up. This is why Pfizer and GSK created a new company called “Haleon” to dump their OTC products to separate the business. However, they still “own” the company.
OTC Drugs are needed to control Mainstream Media because these are the ones where Big Pharma can advertise openly as opposed to Prescription Drugs. Spending a lot of money on advertisements gives Big Pharma control over the social media platform. It is the same as Traditional Media. Usually, when you are a BIG SPENDER, the social media or traditional media company assigns you a dedicated account manager whom you can contact 24x7 for any issues. The dedicated account manager is responsible for maintaining a good relationship and increasing advertisement revenue.
So if we want some videos taken down from Youtube, we call them directly. The dedicated Account Manager uses his internal influence because sometimes it is against POLICY to take down certain content. Hence, we pressure them to assign an influential account manager that knows how to navigate their internal politics to get things done. If you want to overcome policies, it’s all about relationships.
Prescription Medicine advertisements are also allowed in the US and New Zealand, making these two countries even more vulnerable to Big Pharma manipulation because the advertisement spending on Prescription Medicine is enormous.
Does Big Pharma hire Pro-Vax Twitter trolls?
Like I said, internally, I don’t believe Big Pharma hires twitter trolls directly. Most of the time, the Public Relations Department works closely with giant PR companies like Ogilvy and Publicis. Do these PR companies hire Twitter Trolls? In my opinion, I don’t think so because even if we work with 3rd party contractors, anyone who talks about our products needs to undergo various pieces of training like Adverse Events, Product Training etc.
I think most Twitter Trolls are just real brainwashed humans who are pro-vax / pro-medication. They probably took the dangerous #mRNA jabs and needed to defend their position by trolling so they could sleep better at night. That’s just my educated guess.
However, the government does manipulate social media conversations for their agenda. Here are some links to it.