Twitter chats are one of the most useful ways for pharma and healthcare companies to engage other people in the industry as well as their potential customers.
For those that are not aware of Twitter chats, they are arranged in advance with one or two hosts and at a pre-designated hashtag, which is used to link the tweets in a real time conversation. They can be viewed on the Twitter timeline, but it is better to use a tool that displays the tweets as they are posted. There are a number of free tools available on the web of which TweetChat, Tweet Deck and Twitterfall are just a few.
If companies within the pharma and healthcare sectors want to explore the world of Twitter chats, there are many existing chats to choose from (we have included a list of some of the most popular at the end of this post. One problem for UK companies is that most of the chats are hosted in the United States and the timing is not always convenient.
Nevertheless, for areas of particular interest a chat may well be worth staying up for. Chats can cover a wide area or very specific topics. For example the National Health Service social media chat (#nhssm) covers a huge variety of issue but #rheum concerns only Rheumatology topics.
After familiarising themselves with the Twitter Chat format, companies may wish to start a chat themselves to discuss issues relating to their particular products and services. Good planning and advance promotion is vital to success, but it is an excellent way of getting customer feedback and identifying areas of concern.
Popular Pharma and Health Twitter Chats
(All times are GMT but subject to change)
Rheumatology #rheum 8pm
Non-Communicable Diseases #NCD 24 hour
Postpartum Depression #ppd 6pm
Nurse Chat #NurChat 8pm (fortnightly)
Occupational Therapy #OTalk 8pm
National Health Service SocialMedia #nhssm midday
Elderly Care #eldercarechat 6pm
Medical Devices #MedDevice 9pm
Health Care Social Media UK #hcsmuk 12.30 (on the third Thursday of every month)
Brain Tumours #BrainTumorThursday all day
Health Care Social Media Europe #hcsmeu midday
Health IT and Social Media #HITsm 3pm