Novo Nordisk among latest to join pharma flock on Twitter

As a sign of growing interest in Twitter among pharma companies, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) and other drugmakers have boosted their online profiles on the social media platform, Dominic Tyer writes in PMLiVE. As the publication notes, the latest participants show that it's never too late for major pharma groups to join Twitter.

Some other companies in the industry such as Pfizer ($PFE) and Eli Lilly ($LLY) are now veterans on Twitter. In fact, Lilly is among drugmakers with accounts created for special purposes, including those that target specific audiences such as journalists or people in certain geographic areas.

Novo Nordisk, which is the world's largest producer of insulin, also needs to compete for the attention of diabetics and doctors on Twitter with industry rival Sanofi ($SNY). Sanofi has an evolved social media and digital strategy, including a Twitter account dedicated to its diabetes business and a variety of user-friendly mobile apps for patients. Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim are also diabetes players that are active on the platform.

Twitter now has well north of 500 million users and growing. Facebook has roughly double as many participants, yet Twitter has become a vital platform for gaining instant feedback on the latest news and issues in healthcare. Twitter has also become very mobile friendly, with features such as the video app Vine, which pharma companies have begun to test.

Yet PMLiVE also identified some zombie Twitter accounts from pharma groups and listed them in his Digital Handbook. Zombie accounts of any kind in the social realm look bad because they make companies look at best disinterested in their online identities and at worst irrelevant or stagnant.

The bottom line: While it's not too late to join the Twitter party, once there it's best to remain active and avoid being an inactive lurker.

- check out Tyer's post