More on Twitter and Pharma

Before breaking for summer vacation, I had posted about the increase in Twitter followers among pharma companies this year over last and noted that the overall number of Twitter followers of pharma feeds had increase significantly. That was true despite the fact that we did not see a huge increase in the number of pharmas with Twitter feeds, meaning that the ranks of existing feeds grew considerably.

The numbers come from a database that contains all of the social media activity by pharma and device companies of which I and my colleagues have become aware over the years. We add to the database as we note new activity and each entry is classified by type and we track the number of followers, KLOUT scores, country of origin and frequency of updates.

Every year, we update the profiles with the specifics (no small task).  My first posting about Twitter solely focused on the overall numbers of followers for pharma as a sector. Today, we’ll look at that with a bit more detail.

  • The highest number of followers by a pharma has increased significantly – In the 2014 census which ended in the Fall of that year, the largest number of followers for any pharma Twitter feed went to @Pfizer which had 108,000 followers. In the most recent census @TeamNovoNordisk clocked in with 183,000.
  • KLOUT Score – As a demonstration that number of followers do not automatically mean the highest KLOUT score, in 2014, the highest KLOUT score that a company had was 83 (@AstraZeneca) but in the latest census, it had risen to a highly respectable 88 (@GSK).
  • Regularity of Postings – The number of companies that posted daily increased from 54 to 66, however the number of social media properties that were classified as inactive or dormant also increased from 83 to 121.
  • Country of Origin – Here there was little change – both years about 44 percent of the Twitter feeds were U.S. based – the rest came from outside the U.S.

The types of Twitter feeds varied a great deal. The fields tracked include corporate, career (recruitment), product specific, disease awareness, campaign and advocacy – with corporate being by far and wide the most common and product specific being among the least common.

In sum, the number of feeds has not increased dramatically, but it would seem that companies that are engaging are doing so more effectively, increasing not only the number of followers by quite a bit, but improving their KLOUT scores as well. In other words, among those pharma companies using Twitter, they are getting better at it. While on the other end of things, there is also an increase in abandoned properties (not a good idea) which suggests that the interest in pharma and Twitter has become more concentrated among a group of feeds rather than spread out.

Note:  After publication, an error was discovered and corrected. Originally @Pfizer_News was named as the feed with the most followers in the prior year, but it was actually @Pfizer. The text was corrected to reflect this.

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