Social media isn’t limited to major players such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Several social platforms allow patients to form communities and learn about their disease, and one of the latest—and fastest growing—is The Mighty. Founded in 2014 by Mike Porath, The Mighty is a Facebook-style social network where patients are encouraged to open up about their disease. Anyone can start a new topic simply by submitting their story for publication or creating a hashtag. Because it is so easy, a new patient or family member signs up every 20 seconds. PM360 spoke to Porath about this growing platform and how pharma can get involved.
PM360: Why did you start The Mighty?
Mike Porath: When my daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease, what helped my wife and me most was connecting with other parents living in our shoes. As a journalist and digital media executive, I believed we could build a community through content where people could help each other through any kind of health challenge.
What makes The Mighty different from other social communities geared towards patients?
We have a much larger and much more engaged community than others. We have 2.5 million members and expect to have more than 10 million by the end of 2019. And our content reaches more than 20 million people a month. Our social engagement is much larger than the top five health publishers combined (WebMD, Healthline, Everyday Health, Verywell, and Mayo Clinic).
Also, we’re not organized by conditions alone. We treat members as whole people, not just patients interested in one condition. A member can join communities around nearly 1,000 conditions such as anxiety or autism, but they can also create and join communities around hashtags such as #mightytogether, #checkinwithme, and #ItsOKMan that are not condition specific. For instance, there have been over 10,000 conversations using the hashtag #checkinwithme in the last month alone.
What can patients get from your site that they can’t get elsewhere?
They can read more than 40,000 edited stories of people sharing their own experiences. They can read news from our editorial team made up of journalists from the New York Times, HuffPost, ABC News, NBC News, and other respected outlets. They can build their own followings (some of our community leaders have more than 10,000 followers). They can find resources from more than 300 non-profits or hear from 200,000 HCPs who are part of our community. But most importantly, they have an opportunity to share their most vulnerable selves with each other.
In what ways can pharma work with you?
We can create custom content in partnership with brands, distribute targeted ads and patient stories to our community, conduct surveys and panels, and recruit people for clinical trials. We do that on our site, across social networks, and through more than 27 million newsletter emails we send monthly. For instance, we created a compelling story by interviewing a brand’s patient advocates as well as partnered on a video to spread awareness about SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy).