In Q4 2022 many pharma companies had second thoughts about using Twitter due to the turbulence the platform experienced and Twitter introduced the new Gold Checkmark verification for businesses as a counter measure. Some of the pharma companies, who have used Twitter for many years as a key pillar in their digital medical and marketing eco-system, even temporarily paused their activities.
While pharm was on the fence for a while, we decided to look at how HCP customers have reacted. Ultimately, the HCP presence and usage of the platform should inform the pharma marketers´ channel selection and presence going forward if we believe it is efficient to “fish where the fish are”.
We picked out ASH 2022 (American Society of Hematology Conference) and a couple of other major congresses towards the end of 2022 and compared against 2021. We looked at the 2 primary congress Twitter hashtags, typically considered the main social media touch point for any of the main congresses.
The insights were very interesting and showed:
ACTIVITY: The Twitter activity using the 2 key congress hashtags did not decline – it actually significantly increased vs 2021, suggesting that Twitter is not abandoned by the HCPs to who the congress is relevant. It remained the social media go-to place for our key customers (HCPs and to a lesser extend Patients) during key congresses.
RELEVANCE: In terms of relevance, the Twitter activity specifically related to the congress in the period 2 weeks before and after the congress, remained very relevant to and aligned with the topics and themes of the congress.
These are just a few and high level data points and insights and a lot more and nuanced research can be done on the topic, but I find it interesting and relevant to any channel strategy discussion. Especially in organizations, who are sitting on the fence in terms of leveraging Twitter for digital congress activation and see the turbulence as a reason for not engaging.
The opportunity to reach massive amounts of both participants and non-participants, who use Twitter before, during and after the congress, is massive and a proven fact in many pharma companies. The opportunity to drive HCPs both to your on-site activities (awareness of own sessions and presentations, drive sign up to on-site activities etc) as well as to your digital assets (key messages presented in Twitter posts, KOL video perspectives, websites, recordings of speakers and sessions, sign up to newsletters(e-permission collection)) etc.
It will be interesting to see how the pharma industry at a large reacts in 2023 but among our current clients, the majority believe Twitter remains the social media go-to place for HCPs around congresses despite recent turbulence and will continue to engage with them on the platform.
Opportunities and challenges as regards marketing of an establish product in pharma