Abbott spinoff AbbVie starts social media effort from scratch

AbbVie ($ABBV) began life last week as a new pharma entity from the drugs business of Abbott Laboratories ($ABT). And the fresh beginning also means that Abbott vets at AbbVie must start all over again to regain an audience on Twitter.

While many drug giants count their Twitter numbers in the tens of thousands, AbbVie, provider of the world's top-selling drug, Humira, had a modest following of 734 as of Sunday evening. As PMLive reports on one of its blogs, AbbVie is starting small on Twitter with use of its handle for news and communications. It's fired up recruitment efforts via Facebook and LinkedIn, too.

AbbVie appears to be picking more than 100 Twitter followers per day (which it could easily do just pulling from its vast global workforce that PMLive places at 21,000 strong) and that's reason to brush aside the modest numbers for now. What is probably more noteworthy is the fact that AbbVie made Twitter a high enough priority to go live on the social media platform from the start of the new company. 

Twitter gives pharma companies a unique way to reach the masses in real-time, and have messages spread around the twittersphere among patients, doctors, scientific experts and journalists. Beyond spreading "the message," social media lets them bolster corporate images, attract skilled workers and recruit for clinical trials.

This explains why many drugmakers operate multiple handles for various purposes. 

AbbVie is starting small with one handle. But the fast start on Twitter augurs well for its expansion in the social media realm.

- check out PMLive's post

Special Report: Top 50 Industry Voices in Biotech Twittersphere -- 2012