That was before the Age of Twitter.
Now, all you need to do is follow tweets that use a hashtag â€“ a device that letâ€™s you pay attention only to tweets that contain a particular word preceded by â€˜#â€™ â€“ in order to see all the aggregated commentary surrounding a particular topic.
A case in point â€“ 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 thatâ€™s connected if they also use the same hashtag.
It adds genuine depth to the phrase â€œjoin the conversation.â€
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 â€œGreat approach from Roche giving team control and authority to actively engage, without seeking weeks of approval.â€
Such innocuous-looking comments actually give you some insight into aspects of an organizationâ€™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 everyoneâ€™s trying to figure it all out, this example from the official AstraZeneca Twitter handle is perfect: â€œJust heard great #Digpharm talk about how #Roche_com uses Twitter. Hoping to follow @skoko â€˜s lead and step it up in the future!â€
Thereâ€™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.)