Eli Lilly aims to up social media game

Eli Lilly ($LLY) aims to replicate some of the success of its LillyPad blog and social media identity, branching out from the U.S. and Canada to Europe and south of the border in Mexico, PMLive reported. The expansion comes as Lilly and other major pharma players work to boost their impact in the increasingly vital online realm.

Indianapolis-based Lilly launched its LillyPad blog less than two years ago as a platform to discuss topics such as healthcare innovation and policy. On Twitter, the company tweets under the LillyPad handle about similar issues and has nearly 9,000 followers. Like other social networkers in pharma, Lilly stays away from product-oriented issues and devotes attention to broader subjects in the healthcare realm. It's a good way to build an online audience and stay out of the FDA's doghouse.

Now the company wants to increase the number of Lilly voices chirping in the social media arena, but it plans to do so with an overarching strategy. "There are a lot of parts of the company that are getting interested in social media so I'm working on a strategy that will keep these aligned with one another," Lilly's director of corporate communications, Greg Kueterman, said during the Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference in London on Monday, as quoted by PMLive.

With LillyPad branches in Europe and Mexico, the company can play by the rules of those areas and sound off on policy and health issues that impact those geographies. Lilly is also looking to give a tailored voice to specific units, and, as PMLive reported, the company's clinical open innovation team earlier this year began blogging and tweeting about its area of interest. The emerging strategy appears to include establishing a wider presence in the social media world while building targeted audiences based on factors such as geography and subject matter.  

- see PMLive's piece
- and Kueterman's blog entry

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