So with the mommy bloggers taking heat for their pay-for-post activity, I got to thinking: What’s going to happen when there are 20,000 physicians in the social media space? Anticipating that certain physician influentials will command big networks, we can expect to see pay-for-post activity evolve as a fertile marketing vehicle.
Pharmaceuticals will, of course, fall under strict FDA guidelines for social media promotion. Medical devices, neutraceuticals, health facilities, and home monitoring devices, however, may be open market and all will be looking for new eyeballs.
Recently Ford Motor Company offered the new Ford Fusion to several influential mommy bloggers. Since doctors fit the Lexus demographic, I was wondering if they’ll be lending out shiny new Lexi to physician kingpins? I can imagine Berci’s obligatory post: “And the rear passenger compartment is so spacious. There’s room for my doctor’s bag, personal genomics kit AND my laptop”
So how will we handle it? Will the standards be different for doctors than for mommy bloggers? I suspect they will. Moms get away with talking about consumer products. Physicians are held to a higher standard. But who will maintain the standard? I suspect the hive will determine what’s appropriate and who’s over the line.
And with the Federal Trade Commission gearing up to drop the hammer on promotional blogging, the lines of engagement should be well-defined by the time MDs reach critical social media mass.