BioInformatics, a research and advisory firm serving the life science industry, has been tracking scientists' online usage and preferences for more than a decade. In a continued effort to monitor how researchers use the internet to find out about products and services, Digital Marketing to Life Scientists: Social Media and Email Best Practices explores the explosive rise of social media and the enduring value of email.
According to the study, one-third of scientists engage in social media either weekly or daily to support their research. And some scientists are constantly using social media for non-work related activities, which indicates they also are more likely to spend time on social media sites to support their research.
The desire to connect with friends and colleagues appears to be more pronounced in researchers who live outside North America and Europe. These scientists spend significantly more time engaged in social media, both professionally and personally, engaging in social media activities about 2.8 hours per day compared to scientists in North America and in Europe, who spend about two hours per day.
"Life scientists have a more favorable view of vendor participation in social media now than they did in 2011—and they are more likely to think that the interaction has been constructive," said Robin Rothrock, Ph.D., director of publications at BioInformatics. Rothrock said, "And while it comes as no surprise that scientific peers are thought to provide more reliable, credible information through social media compared to vendors, vendors can actually take advantage of this preference when developing or seeking content for their social media sites by highlighting customer-generated results and posting testimonials from satisfied researchers."