Mar 16 2011

“You RT me and I’ll RT you” & other marketing lessons from Twitter

Published by at 8:04 am under healthcare,marketing,portraits,social media

Update: My guest blog post for the Digital Pharma Blog on Better Meetings Through the Use of Twitter was published today. There are tips on attending meetings and admiring them from afar. Start here and then click over the the DigPharm Blog.

RT”, for readers not engaged in the Twitter world is short hand for re-tweeting, or sending the post of someone else to your followers. It’s a way for you to agree with the original observation and spread the message while giving credit to original author.

This brings the mesage to your followers and introduces them to someone they may wish to follow. It’s an act of support and friendship that creates relationship all around, and serves as a form of currency in the network.

The new marketing haiku, “You RT me and I’ll RT you” came from Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. @Doctor_V who I recently met at the Digital Pharma West conference in San Francisco.

20100530 dpw 47731 “You RT me and I’ll RT you” & other marketing lessons from Twitter

@Doctor_V - Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. speaking at Digital Pharma West

He was on a panel discussing ways that pharmaceutical companies can reach doctors now that golf junkets are out and drug reps have a hard time getting face time. Bryan gave a more intelligent sounding answer while on stage. But his private conversation RT quote was more profound and representative of the shift that’s going on in marketing. (You can read more profound thoughts on his 33 Charts blog.)

The drug companies can look to Twitter to find some of their marketing answers. They can move to creating a relationship, where there is an exchange with their audience instead of selling.

The traditional one way marketing message doesn’t work well on Twitter. Beverly Macy, the co-author of the upcoming book “The Power of Real-Time Marketing” @PowerRTM likes “the 80/20 rule of Twitter – give 80 percent of the time + ‘get’ or talk about yourself 20 percent of the time”.

20100529 dpw 41321 “You RT me and I’ll RT you” & other marketing lessons from Twitter

TweetDeck is the new black bag for @Doctor_V

This could mean a paradigm shift from moving product to focusing on helping the patient become healthier. From selling to the doctor to helping them do their job.

We heard great examples at the conference of companies creating patient support communities. Could we see a similar support to doctors that would offer practice management tips, assistance in moving to electronic medical records, or working to connect attendees at dinner meeting talks to expand referral networks?

What would be other examples of RT a customer that would work to reach physicians? What else can we learn about marketing from Twitter?

Don’t forget the Better Meetings Through the Use of Twitter post.

Mark Harmel


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