#followpharma this Friday

Written by Silja on 16 July 2009 in pharma twittersphere - 9 Comments

There were a lot of responses to my pharma twittersphere analysis - thank you all for so enthousiastically contributing!

Most of the discussion focused on the issues pharma twitter accounts face with “following“ others. Here is what I heard from  the “souls“ behind these accounts (Special thanks to all of you for sharing your perspective on this delicate topic) :

1. Following every one who follows you is not a viable solution for all pharma accounts as it difficult to manage and risks to clutter important conversations. Also many accounts that follow twitter are themselves not active and might just want to listen.

2. Following and followers do not overlap 100%. Look what John from Boehringer says, for example:

1198 people follow Boehringer that we don’t follow back. 772 people that we follow, don’t follow us.

Thank you John for providing the exact stats – impressive.

3. Many listen to twitter using monitoring tools. This allows them to filter for keywords rather than follow specific accounts. Some follow people using their private twitter accounts. Many feel they do not need to use the twitter following function in order to listen to the ongoing discussion.

4. The decision to follow an account is not based on any precise “evaluation process“, but rather driven by the value-add content you provide and your profile ( ie. whether you fit in the “target audience“- journalists, physicians, patient groups etc.).

5. Some are struggling with the “endorsement“ aspect of following an account on twitter. In particular, they wory that one of the accounts they follow could tweet about inappropriate or legally iffy topics.

6. All pharma twitter accounts are run by single employees passionate about social media. Many represent their company on twitter in addition to their normal day job -simply as a service to us “pharma twitterers“ ;-)

So the question is: who are these twitter accounts that are of high value to pharma? What are your “must follow“ accounts of the pharma twittersphere. I believe that there are many value-add, “safe“ twitter accounts that should be worth pharma’s while.

This Friday, in an effort to further facilitate the pharma twittersphere discussion, I propose to add a twist to your #followfriday tweets.  Under the #followpharma hashtag, let’s tweet the twitter accounts that we believe pharma should follow. Here is how it works:

1. add #followpharma in your tweet

2. type @twitter _account and a short rational why you think this account adds value to the pharma discussion

You will be able to follow all suggestions via “Cover it live“ below:

I will consolidate your suggestions afterwards, including how many times they were mentioned and a summary of the value-add perceived. I have my list of accounts ready – cannot wait to see yours ;-)

9 Comments on "#followpharma this Friday"

  1. Sally Church 16 July 2009 at 21 h 54 min ·

    Nice post, Silja and thank you for the kind mention. I am honoured.

    For those companies who have not yet grasped the power of social media, this slideshow assimilates some statistics very well, if a little bluntly:

    What the F**K is Social Media: One Year LaterView more documents from Marta Kagan.

  2. Silja 17 July 2009 at 3 h 18 min ·

    Wow, that is one awesome presentation – LOVE it! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Andrew Spong 17 July 2009 at 7 h 17 min ·

    What a great idea, Silja! #followpharma is already off to a flying start.

    To respond to some of the feedback from pharma Twitter accounts you collate above:

    1. Following every one who follows you is not a viable solution for all pharma accounts as it difficult to manage and risks to clutter important conversations. Also many accounts that follow twitter are themselves not active and might just want to listen.

    1. No-one expects pharma Twitter accounts to follow *everyone* that follows them; nobody does that. What we might hope for is that they’d do what everyone else does: inspect their followers, and follow those that are health related. A follow isn’t an oath of allegiance: it is an expression of interest. The reciprocal expectation is that these accounts will also prune all the spammers from their followers. We want to see that their accounts are being tended and taken care of; it is a signifier of purpose, and a tacit means of showing that you understand why you have a Twitter account in the first place.

    2. Sure. Follows logically from the above.

    3. Why is it that when Chris Brogan says he’s setting up a listening post, I’m OK with it, but when pharma says they’re tuning in, I feel spied on? That’s not a stick to beat pharma with, it is a reflection of the fact that I have a relationship of some sort with the former and feel that I understand a little about who he is, why he does what he does, and the fact that he wants to listen authentically in order understand his community better, whereas the latter just makes me feel that I’m anonymous, raw material being processed as data for inclusion in a strategic plan.

    Both approaches are driving their respective businesses forward; it’s just that the former is relationship-driven and personalized, the latter is target-driven and anonymized. One builds a sense of trust, one diminishes it.

    4. This doesn’t sound quite the same in timbre as the preceding comment. I’d rather define ‘target audience’ as ‘community I want to be associated with and contribute to’, but otherwise, OK.

    5. See 1. So you follow me on Twitter? Thanks. I don’t expect you to send me a xmas card, though, and it doesn’t shoot you to the top of the list of people I want to sue ‘because of the tweet you sent in 2008… look, here’s the URL!’. They’ll sue you anyway, regardless of what you do, and when and where you did it. That said, you can buy me a whisky, though. :)

    6. Quite so. We know who they are. We like the fact they interact with us. The question for pharma is: are you happy for X (who has done you a great service by flying solo as a transparent, accountable, recognizable company employee and making sure that you are seen to be a progressive early adopter of an important new communications technology) to be the public face of your company? If so, acknowledge their contribution, and empower them. If not, do something about it.

  4. Dalton 4 May 2011 at 12 h 25 min ·

    More posts of this qiulaty. Not the usual c***, please

  5. ycwabdbl 5 May 2011 at 2 h 58 min ·

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  6. cheqpc 7 May 2011 at 5 h 23 min ·

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