Online, everybody loves lists. A number like 1001 is impressive. But would it be useful? I’ve compiled an extensive, curated list of people (and feeds) focused on Pharma and Life Science. The list continues to grow as more people hop on the Twitter hype-train.
I was going to publish the list a while ago, but then it occurred to me that a Twitter directory is in effect a mechanical tool that – while practical and useful – could actually discount the most important value which Twitter offers: the re-humanization of traditional communications. That’s not something you can achieve by pushing 1001 follow buttons in one afternoon. Twitter is discovery.
FELLOWSHIP AND PHARMA
So what if you follow 1001 people on Twitter who specialize in Pharma (or any other industry for that matter)? What matter most are the purposes, meaningful conversations and valuable links to interesting and relevant content which Twitter can enable. Taking a mechanical and technology-focused approach to Twitter deprives you of the core experience – the one that will ultimately help you to accumulate social capital.
Also, it’s my opinion that the Pharmaceutical industry’s traditional marketing philosophy and approach won’t square with the realities and opportunities presented by the Web and the communities which it has the power to engender.
I’d rather Pharma marketers and doctors and nursers and researchers take advantage of Twitter’s ability to connect people in meaningful and productive ways. And that can only be accomplished by starting out Twitter small, following the exchanges and links of who you follow, participate in conversations and following whomever you find interesting. Social relations involve time not numbers.
1001 REMARKABLE PHARMA PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER
You can follow thousands or millions of people on twitter. But if you followed 1001 of the “right” people on Twitter all at once, you’d lose any sense of meaning and orientation. If, however, you follow and engage a few people at a time, you will slowly but surely develop a strong fellowship – you’ll be following 1001 or more before you know it if you’re sufficiently active.
Rather than following some arbitrary number at once, here’s who I recommend you focus your following on:
- @Boehringer – Boehringer Ingelheim’s Twitter account. Perhaps the first Pharma tweeter to “get it”. Providing pertinent and interesting content, the interaction with the community is outstanding and probably sets a standard for how Pharma can use Twitter to provide value to its communities. You could just follow this one stream and find just about anybody who’s tweeting about Pharma and related fields.
- @WhyDotPharma – Silja Chouquet blogs over at WhyDotPharma with a focus on patient-focused social communities. She’s obviously sincere about leading the use of social media for Pharma, interacts heavily with the Pharma Twitterverse and provides links to intelligent content.
- @Arthur_Alston – Arthur tweets from Down Under and is an oncology marketer and project manager for Big Pharma. In addition to tweeting about Pharma, he understands social technologies and for that alone he’s worth the follow for anyone interested in exploring where social media is heading.
- @WendyBlackburn – Wendy blogs at EyeForPharma and has an active presence on Twitter. Always engaging, and scouring the web for high quality content she brings an intelligence to Pharma’s social media needs that is hard to find. Follow her. Period.
- @Shwen – Shwen Gwee founded Social Pharma, blogs at Med 2.0 and is currently Lead, New Media Communications at Vertex. Shwen is the arrow head for the industry’s trek into emerging technology and new media trends in science and medicine. In addition to tweeting most of his day he promotes some of the best material and people related to life sciences. View his presentation Twitter Power Tools for Health Activists.
- Bonus: @swoodruff – Steve Woodruff is Pharma consultant who brings in a marketing perspective important to online presences.
I selected the above six because I’m certain you could connect to the right people in your own way just by following them. I have literally thousands of remarkable people I could recommend for life science tweeting. Any of those deserve to be mentioned. Twitter’s like a universe of connect-the-dots: Twitter reduces the degrees of separation between us.
SOME CHEATING TIPS FOR TWITTER FOLLOWS
Feel like cheating? #FollowPharma is a hashtag that helps to collect Pharma tweeters. Feel free dump yourself into that stream and learn to swim. In addition to following the above, it’s a way to follow Pharma activity and introduce yourself to the community.
PARTING THOUGHTS ON TWITTER, PHARMA & MARKETING
Everything is marketing: 21st Century marketers need to understand that (there are lessons in this post’s title). The old model of massive unilateral communications is being inverted by real-time conversations. Hopefully, I have pointed you in the right direction to exploring just what that means.
You can follow me, but less than 10% of my tweets are Pharma-related. My interests in Pharma & Healthcare social media marketing lie in creating living spaces for remarkability in how we come together, share experiences and increase social capital in health care for the next generation. I’m just an idea man. You need focused executioners, like the people above.
For me, Twitter is useful chaos. As for yourself, perhaps that’s just what you’ll see it as too.
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