Analysis of Pharma Engagement on Twitter – Pfizer, Sanofi and Novartis lead the race

While Pfizer leads in followers, Sanofi US leads the way # of tweets and Novartis leads in engagement on Twitter

It is quite an obvious fact that Twitter has become a very important tool for pharmaceutical corporate communications. However, what struck us as a question is how successful has Twitter been in driving engagement with all stakeholders.

To do this analysis we decided to look at 12 companies and do some kind of benchmarking on their activity on Twitter. There are 3 broad KPIs that we decided to look at:

  1. Driving Engagement – How active is a particular company (# of tweets)
  2. Passive Engagement – How many followers of the twitter page
  3. E-Gage score – A composite score looking at various engagement parameters

Time frame of analysis: November 1, 2012 – April, 30, 2013 (6 months)

Sanofi US emerged as the most active company on Twitter followed by Boehringer Ingelheim. Novartis and Lilly (LillyPad) are quite close in terms of their activity in the last 6 months

However, the picture was quite different when we looked at the # of followers; Pfizer clearly emerged as the winner followed by Novartis and J&J. This is probably driven by the sheer size of these organizations and appears that employees and other stakeholders have opted to follow these companies. Hence, we considered this parameter as an indicator of passive engagement; followers need not be actively engaging with these company updates and clicking on follow was probably an “automatic” action

We defined a KPI for active engagement – we are calling this as E-Gage score which is a weighted average score of the following parameters:

  1. # of Retweets – Weight 40%
  2. # of Replies to Tweets – Weight 40%
  3. # of Tweets made favorites – Weight 20%

This resulted in Novartis being the top scorer in E-Gage score followed by a cluster of companies who were almost at the same levels – Roche, SanofiUS, JNJ and Boehringer

This resulted in an additional question around what is the “ROI” of this investment by pharmaceutical organizations. Thereby we tried to explore how the investment (#of tweets) compares with the E-Gage score. The results were quite interesting and we observed these 4 segments of companies:

  1. Low Investment High Return – GSK, JNJ, Roche, Abbott, Lilly
  2. High Investment High Return – Boehringer, Novartis, SanofiUS
  3. Low Investment Low Return –Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Merck, BMS
  4. High Investment Low Return – None

However, this data is to be interpreted with caution because this analysis is only restricted to a 6 month time frame. The E-Gage score is influenced by the number of interesting posts on the Twitter page of the company.

The fact that no company fell in the segment of high investment and low return probably tells us that the social media strategy by big pharma has been quite a success, with some variation of shades. Top-line observation of the tweets of most successful companies tell us that these companies engaged with their audience to spread overall healthcare messages and provide early stage research related updates more than regular corporate news.

Data collection supported by Apurva Mudgal

4 thoughts on “Analysis of Pharma Engagement on Twitter – Pfizer, Sanofi and Novartis lead the race

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