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ASCO 2016 Twitter Analysis


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Two members of our Digital Strategy team, Steve Hunt and Jason Mazur, explored the activity around the #ASCO16 hashtag – please browse through the deck below where Steve and Jason share their thoughts on:

The broad trends
Who were the active users
Who were the top pharma influencers
What new ways are pharma engaging with their audience

Published in: Healthcare
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ASCO 2016 Twitter Analysis

  1. 1. How did pharma use Twitter at ASCO 2016?
  2. 2. Part of UDG Healthcare plc2 The meeting is one of the largest gatherings of medical professionals in the world, with world-renowned faculties discussing the very latest in cancer treatment, and ground-breaking research announced throughout the event Additionally, ASCO’s Annual Meeting has led the way in terms of social media utilisation. Indeed ASCO themselves state that “Social media serves as one of the major public health engines of the 21st century, granting doctors and the general public alike unprecedented access to information on cancer prevention, treatments, research, and survival.”* In particular, ASCO has championed the use of Twitter to open conversations around the world and provide guidance and knowledge to the public and professionals alike. Each year, ASCO’s Annual Meeting brings together 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world *Source:
  3. 3. Part of UDG Healthcare plc3 In particular, we wanted to look at how pharmaceuticals are communicating using the hashtag, to provide insight into how the most active companies are being successful on the platform We found that pharma companies were a large and valid part of the ASCO conversation, and were using increasingly innovative techniques to interact through the platform That analysis can be found here:  asco-2015 So the question is… How has this evolved in 2016? Last year, we conducted some analysis of the #ASCO15 hashtag
  4. 4. Part of UDG Healthcare plc4 ASCO focus in 2016 The theme for ASCO 2016 was Collective Wisdom: The Future of Patient- Centered Care and Research. ASCO state “We must partner with healthcare professionals and specialists of diverse backgrounds to meet the evolving challenges in providing optimal care to our patients”* *Source: Did Twitter support this goal?
  6. 6. Part of UDG Healthcare plc6 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000 #ASCO12 #ASCO13 #ASCO14 #ASCO15 #ASCO16 We are beginning to reach the point of maturity for the hashtag, continued growth will be largely reliant on overall Twitter usage growth, rather than awareness and engagement with the hashtag 154% increase 50% increase Use of the ASCO hashtag continues to increase, albeit slower than in previous years Source: Symplur, Date range: 2nd June – 7th June Numberoftweets 15% increase
  7. 7. Part of UDG Healthcare plc7 As with #ASCO15, #ASCO16 was utilised to raise awareness within specialist areas of oncology #bmsatasco #lcsm #immunotherapy #cancer #bcsm #immunooncology #lungcancer #oncology #breastcancer MOST POPULAR HASTAGS FOR #ASCO16 #cancer #oncology #hcsm #btsm #breastcancer #asco14 #lungcancer #melanoma #hpm MOST POPULAR HASTAGS FOR #ASCO15 Lung Cancer/Breast Cancer Social Media communities These topics included breast cancer and lung cancer, for which specific community hashtags have increased in popularity Also, perhaps unsurprisingly given the industry’s continued increased focus on immunotherapies, immunotherapy hashtags featured amongst the most popular
  8. 8. Part of UDG Healthcare plc8 Looking at overall mentions of terms used alongside #ASCO16, a similar picture emerged, with immunotherapy leading the way 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 Mentions Immunotherapy Breast Cancer Lung Cancer Myeloma Immunooncology Pancreatic Cancer Kidney Cancer Ovarian Cancer Genomic Source:, based on Tweets using #ASCO16, between 2nd – 7th June 2016 Topic Mentions
  10. 10. Part of UDG Healthcare plc10 Who were the major influencers within #ASCO16 conversation? Impressions are a way to measure conversation around an event on Twitter, showing the potential number of people who could have viewed your tweet, as opposed to follower count. As in 2015, four pharmaceutical companies featured in the top 10, demonstrating their continued prevalence on the platform Merck featured in the top 10 for the first time, amassing 5.6 million impressions 2016 2015 Vs
  11. 11. Part of UDG Healthcare plc11 Across the board, 2016 saw a decrease in tweets from pharma companies during the event when compared to 2015 Roche BMS Genentech AstraZeneca Merck Pfizer ASC02015 ASCO2016 Total number of #ASCO16 tweets by company Source: Sysomos, Date: 2nd June – 7th June 200 150 100 50 0 Numberoftweets Across the most active pharmaceutical companies, there was an average 57% fewer tweets sent!
  12. 12. : Part of UDG Healthcare plc www.ashfieldhealthcare.com12 Pharma representation in the top 10 influencers, measured by impressions * Source: Symplur, Top 10 by impressions, Date: 2nd June – 7th June *Genentech were the 11th biggest influencer in 2015 and 2016, included for illustrative purposes. This resulted in less impressions overall from the top pharma influencers Numberofimpressions 0 5,000,000 10,000,000 15,000,000 20,000,000 25,000,000 30,000,000 35,000,000 40,000,000 45,000,000 50,000,000 ACSO13 ASCO14 ASCO15 ASCO16 Merck Astra Zeneca BMS Pfizer Genentech Roche Novartis Boehringer 17% decrease
  13. 13. Part of UDG Healthcare plc13 BMS Merck Genentech AstraZeneca Roche Pfizer ASCO15 ASCO16 Nevertheless, despite fewer tweets, retweets of top content were on par with #ASCO15 BMS generated 2,917 retweets over these 20 tweets, which is the likely result of a sponsored twitter campaign 3000 2500 1500 1000 0 500 2000 Source: Sysomos, Date: 2nd June – 7th June Total number of #ASCO16 retweets by company – top 20 tweets only Retweets Merck's engagement with the hashtag generated the 2nd highest number of retweets over ASCO 2016 This shows that the quality of the tweets has remained high, pharma companies are just reducing the quantity being sent 3500
  15. 15. Part of UDG Healthcare plc15 WHAT WERE THE TOP PHARMA THEMES DURING #ASCO16?
  16. 16. Part of UDG Healthcare plc16 Pharma added a face to #ASCO16, through well- received video interviews, statements and trial updates 13 Retweets 14 Favourites 9 Retweets 45 Favourites 29 Retweets 60 Favourites 19 Retweets 27 Favourites
  17. 17. Part of UDG Healthcare plc17 Immunotherapy featured heavily, with pharma engaging with the topic through a wide range of content types infographics Videos Surveys Animations
  18. 18. Part of UDG Healthcare plc18 ‘Patient power’ was a theme of many of the tweets
  20. 20. Part of UDG Healthcare plc20 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 30-May 31-May 1-Jun 2-Jun 3-Jun 4-Jun 5-Jun 6-Jun 7-Jun 8-Jun 9-Jun 10-Jun Tweets The top pharma influencers continue to extend the life of the congress through the hashtag, but could do more... #ASCO16 was utilised before, during and after the event, however this graph demonstrates that the top pharma influencer’s content was still very much focused on the days during the event – only Roche were still tweeting the hashtag 2 days after the event ASCO 2016 0 5 10 15 20 25 31-May 1-Jun 2-Jun 3-Jun 4-Jun 5-Jun 6-Jun 7-Jun 8-Jun 9-Jun 10-Jun 11-Jun Genentech Pfizer Bmesnews Aztrazeneca Roche Numberoftweets 36,703 #ASCO16 tweets on 5th June, a 120% increase from #ASCO15 BMSnews AstraZeneca
  21. 21. Part of UDG Healthcare plc21 New trend 1: Promoted campaigns to drive retweets BMS retweets outnumbered all combined pharma retweets by approximately 37% This is likely to be due to a selection of tweets promoted through a sponsored Twitter campaign to reach a larger audience On the surface, this campaign looks to have been successful, with significant exposure of the tweets and a huge number of likes To our knowledge, this is the first time the ASCO hashtag has been utilised within a sponsored campaign 2401 likes 3602 likes 1922 likes
  22. 22. Part of UDG Healthcare plc22 New trend 2: Utilisation of polls to engage with the audience Twitter introduced polls in October 2015, and these are beginning to be utilised by pharma to engage with the audience in a compliant way These polls registered between 69 to 86 votes, which is great engagement and can allow for some really useful insights for both viewers of the poll, as well as the pharma company
  23. 23. Part of UDG Healthcare plc23 Source: Twitter Creating content that requires the audience to respond in an interactive way is a great way to ensure users spend longer engaging with content Genentech continue to lead the way here, following up last year’s ‘T Cells Attack’ game with a game to raise awareness of MRD status. They have also created a great piece of content exploring cancer trends in the USA – this was amongst the most retweeted content of the meeting New(ish!) trend 3: Creating interactive content
  24. 24. Part of UDG Healthcare plc24 FINAL THOUGHTS
  25. 25. Part of UDG Healthcare plc25 Thoughts for #ASCO17 Last year we hoped for more of a focus on patients and for pharma to help amplify the work of patient advocacy groups and associations. While ‘patient power’ was definitely a major theme this year, pharmaceuticals still tend to focus in on their own initiatives rather than demonstrate partnership with these groups and really try to lift the patient voice. Let’s use Twitter to highlight great initiatives outside of pharma!
  26. 26. Part of UDG Healthcare plc26 Thoughts for #ASCO17 Whilst Twitter polls have enabled a form of interaction with the audience (and should continue to be encouraged!), Twitter and #ASCO16 was still primarily used as a push, ‘one-way’, platform for pharma communications. Additional direct engagement with professionals during the congress, through scheduled tweet chats involving experts and researchers should be encouraged, and will support in ASCO’s quest for ‘partnership’ across disciplines
  27. 27. Part of UDG Healthcare plc27 Thoughts for #ASCO17 #ASCO16 was the year that pharmaceutical companies reduced the quantity of tweets and continued to increase the quality. This is a trend we would like to see continue. The audience is exposed to an incredible amount of information during ASCO, so every tweet must count. The leading companies will continue to refine their Twitter strategies and this can only be a good thing for themselves and their audiences.
  28. 28. Part of UDG Healthcare plc28 Authors Steve Huntand Jason Mazurare StrategistswithinAshfieldDigital & Creative, part of AshfieldHealthcare Communications,a global leader inmultichannelmedicaleducation,healthcare communicationsandPR. Theviews presented inthisslidedeck are the authors’ own. Contact Steve Hunt Jason Mazur