Even last year, I used to perform a manual qualitative approach to "listening" to my consumers. Now there are other tools that perform this task automatically and so many are popping up like Radian6 and BuzzMetrics to name a few. So my question is "Is it really important for you to listen to your audience?" And if so, do you use these social media monitoring tools to listen.

Also, when is it not a good moment/industry to listen. Many pharmaceutical companies are hesistant on using such tools because if they detect an adverse effect, the company is responsible to reporting it to the FDA which may represent major product/brand repercussions

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I'm not sure what their take is on monitoring in light of regulation, but Pfizer is doing some impressive things with social media engagement and participation, and I'd be willing to bet they've published guidelines, or would be happy to talk about some of what they're facing.

Although not pharma, Humana is also doing a great deal of work in the healthcare space around social media, and probably encountering some of the same kinds of regulatory challenges.

Definitely think that monitoring social media is still a crucial piece for business, but some industries will most certainly need to plan and consider their industry issues carefully while doing so.

Amber Naslund
Director of Community, Radian6

Thanks Amber for sharing this insight. I actually spoke with someone from Radian6 last week and learned more about its capabilities for one of my pharma clients. I have noticed that many pharma companies are hesitant though, especially before the Fed's release their own guidelines in the near future....

Outside of industries like pharma where regulations kick in, I do not know why a company would not listen through social media. Isn't that the main point of social media, to listen to what people are saying about you and your product and using that along with other intelligence to make better decisions?

Since August do Health care companies such as Pfizer now use social media monitoring. Has the guidlines been worked out for the problems regarding responsibility to act in response to feedback? Can someone direct me to a case study of a healthcare company using a social media monitoring company such as Radian6 please?

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