Beyond its impressive reach, Twitter has furthermore created an unprecedented opportunity to influence highly targeted pockets of conversations. It thus provides pharma with the unique chance to demonstrate that it can be open and transparent by providing value added information in disease areas of strategic importance. It is an opportunity to show how much a company cares about its customers and patients simply by injecting the right information at the right time in a conversation.
The exhibit above the visualization of a sample of pharma followers that stated an interest in a specific therapeutic area. The bigger the bubble the larger the interest. This clearly shows that most pharma followers are most receptive to content in Oncology or diabetes, which in turn then proves that via smart engagement a company can build its presence selectively around specific topics and target audiences.
The next graph below illustrates different companies’ reach within stakeholders interested in oncology. As we can see, Boehringer, via great content and engagement, especially with patient advocacy stakeholders manages to outperform competitors, reaping the highest relevant reach in Oncology, a strategically important therapeutic area for all three companies.
Boehringer achieved this strong presence by identifying active and relevant stakeholders online via listening and engaging. Using hashtags, @replies and Direct message functionalities, a company can thus reach specific target audiences on twitter and highlight content that is relevant to them.
The reach within these stakeholder groups is almost less important though than the fact that twitter provides pharma with a way to directly engage with them via direct messaging and @replies. Unfortunately, this is also exactly what has slowed down twitter’s, and social media’s, adoption in pharma.
The pharmaceutical industry is regulated along stakeholder communications. Yet twitter, unlike regulations, does not usually grant us the knowledge as to exactly which stakeholder was reached with which message. It also makes no provisions for the type of immediate and continuous exchange that social media is based on.
We hope that with this ground breaking benchmarking analysis, we can spurr the discussions necessary to change pharma’s approach to twitter. At the upcoming 7th eyeforpharma conference eMarketing and mobile conference in Barcelona March 27th-28th, we hope to shed light on the high relevance and engagement twitter enables. We also want to facilitate the appreciation and understanding that pharma companies have of their followers: They are not just numbers in social media audits, but new channels to important existing and new stakeholders. Twitter is a new communication’s method that necessitating new approaches.
Find out more about our studies here and here.
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Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.