It’s easy to focus your attention with a Twitter hashtag, wherever you are

twitterdigpharm It’s not so long ago that if you wanted to see what was going on at a conference or other event, and gain some insight into issues and topics being discussed in real time, your only feasible option was actually to be there.

That was before the Age of Twitter.

Now, all you need to do is follow tweets that use a hashtag –  a device that let’s you pay attention only to tweets that contain a particular word preceded by ‘#’ – in order to see all the aggregated commentary surrounding a particular topic.

A case in point – the Digital Pharma Europe conference taking place in Berlin, Germany, yesterday and today. Participants are congregating commentary around the hashtag #digpharm, making it easy for everyone there and wherever else to follow along with what people are saying. It goes beyond just passive listening, though, as anyone can respond or contribute a view that’s connected if they also use the same hashtag.

It adds genuine depth to the phrase “join the conversation.”

Not only do you get a broad sense of the flow of content at the conference, but also some insights into specific topics or news, depending on what people are tweeting about.

For instance, Roche impressed one participant yesterday about their social media activity online, who says “Great approach from Roche giving team control and authority to actively engage, without seeking weeks of approval.”

Another tweeted: “Love it! @skoko from @Roche_com: it’s not about followers, it’s about connection and building relationship.”

One more: “RT @paulgrant: Roche legal department endorsed SM guideline policy of 1/ draft a tweet 2/ walk around the table 3 times 3/ comfortable? Tweet!”

Such innocuous-looking comments actually give you some insight into aspects of an organization’s behaviour and approach to engaging with stakeholders online and social media: a topic often viewed with some apprehension in the pharmaceutical business.

And to suggest how informal and friendly the social media space can be when everyone’s trying to figure it all out, this example from the official AstraZeneca Twitter handle is perfect: “Just heard great #Digpharm talk about how #Roche_com uses Twitter. Hoping to follow @skoko ‘s lead and step it up in the future!”

There’s much more to read and glean in what people are thinking and willing to openly share if you just take a look at the #digpharm hashtag.

(Cross-posted from the WCG Common Sense blog.)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. TAGtribe

    Hashtag is definitely a great community-building resource for events and such – interesting blog, we will be following from now on!

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