Digital Disruption in Pharma
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Will Twitter’s New 280 Character Limit Make Pharma Marketers Glad?

Will Twitter’s New 280 Character Limit Make Pharma Marketers Glad? | Digital Disruption in Pharma |

Will pharma learn to love Twitter now that it’s doubled its character limit to 280? Last week, the popular social media platform announced it would offer all users twice as much space, and at least one pharma ad agency says industry marketers should be glad.


The higher count will allow pharma more freedom and flexibility in using Twitter while still staying FDA compliant, according to Intouch Solutions social media manager Andrew Grojean.


“It’s not a cure-all because it’s only 140 more characters, but it does give us the flexibility to add more language that’s consumer friendly and familiar to them. Historically, Twitter has been pretty hostile for pharma,” he said.


One of the agency’s first clients to use the expanded count was Novartis with its cancer clinical trials handle @NovartisOncCT, which is separate from the corporate Novartis handle. Several tweets last week about trials went over the previous 140 limit and included links out to government websites. That ability to give users more information and context is important, Grojean said.


It’s not nearly the once-promised 10,000 character bonanza that Twitter toyed with previously and had pharma managers hopeful (but read “A 10,000 Character Limit Won't Solve Pharma's Twitter Problem”; But the space bump is still good for the industry.


It will likely take time for pharma marketers to widely use the 280 counts because of medical legal approvals, but companies should start thinking about how to use the expanded platform. Twitter may still not work best for branded products with full risk and benefit statements, but the extra space means extra real estate for fair balance, as well as more content possibilities to consider, such as in disease awareness marketing or for customer service to answer user questions without a redirect.


“We’re going to start to see tweets from pharma that include an image, a link, a message, and a quote that provide fuller content and context, instead of having to choose one or two of those to include,” Grojean said.


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Pharma Guy's insight:

Of Course it will make them glad! But… These Days It Won’t Be Enough to Allow Branded Messages with All the Required Important Safety Information. New drugs are too complex, even for 280 characters!

Amanda Cinfio's curator insight, November 15, 3:06 PM
Share your insight
nicholas yearwood's curator insight, November 15, 5:53 PM
 ah no i dont think so
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