Roche continues to get things right on Twitter

The Roche Twitter account continues to lead by example under the steady hand of Sabine Kostevc with two nice initiatives over the last couple of days.

Firstly, the account offered its followers (or indeed anyone seeing the tweet) the opportunity to participate in the crowdsourcing of a theme for a new profile picture:

The result was definitive, but perhaps surprising (even to Roche):

These are some of the reactions which the link above to pointed at at the time of writing:

[Edit: the current picture is a ‘holding’ image in lieu of a Roche logo whilst a file is prepared. Sabine Kostevc explained that she ‘changed the profile pic first and asked for comments, which then triggered the poll’]

What I found particularly interesting was the way that the commentators at the top and bottom of the selection above are looking to the account as ‘an official communication channel’ focused on ‘representing [the] company as a whole’. This infers that the respondents view Twitter accounts (or at the very least, this Twitter account) as a channel for conversation (I really wanted to put ‘dianoetic reciprocity’ there. Should I have done? Perhaps I should have a poll :)), which is certainly not unreasonable in the case of Roche which is one of the major pharma presences with the most human of faces.

However, with these expectations come strategic responsibilities, and companies must feel that their status updating presences and the colloquy (a rather more formal term than ‘conversation’, signifying the import of the exchanges taking place) they generate and which they must respond to are tightly integrated into a broader plan.

The second project I appreciated was Roche’s attempt to introduce some of its employees (presumably having secured their prior consent 😉 ) who have Twitter accounts but whose connection with the company would not necessarily be self-evident otherwise:

I thought this was a great idea, and one that I would like to see other pharma Twitter accounts adopt.

What do you think of these initiatives?


4 thoughts on “Roche continues to get things right on Twitter

  1. Pingback: Roche on Twitter « Pharma Events & Travel Blog

  2. I think that asking for input on the roche_com avatar was inspired. We tweeted on this in response to your questions:

    RT @andrewspong: wht U make of @roche_com avatar result? #hcsmeu @aurorahealthpr says not surprised: logo = company

    With the company logo as the avatar the positive emotion that a properly engaged Twitter account generates will lock in on the logo and hence the company (which is what branding is all about).

    • Hi Neil

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

      Anything that pharma can do – and carry through – that connotes its having a human face rather than being an impersonal corporate bloc has to be a good thing. I agree: over time, the association of the company logo with dialogue rather than pronouncement is a positive brand endorsement.

  3. Pingback: Creation Interactive » Comparing the use of social media by Pharmaceuticals

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s