Twitter recently highlighted the success of Boehringher Ingelheim (BI)’s TweetChat with media and healthcare professionals on COPD at the European Respiratory Society Congress 2013 (ERS).

BI are one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world but, as such, the challenge they face is raising awareness and engagement in a strictly regulated industry. Many promotional techniques that are open to other non-pharma brands are not available to BI and its fellow pharmas, and so the sector is constantly exploring other methods of engagement.

The overall objective was to engage healthcare professionals (HCPs) and media who were interested in respiratory conditions to join the conversation on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) during the European Respiratory Society Congress. The conversation was led by host Professor Andrew McIvor, and all content was prescreened by Boehringer’s medical, legal and regulatory reviews before the TweetChat started.

Nitro Digital worked closely with brand, communications and the social media team at Boehringer, along with Cohn & Wolfe, to ensure the #COPDChat was a success. Our team used promoted tweets and Facebook posts to raise awareness of the TweetChat and drive participation. Potential participants were targeted using Twitter handles, key phrases and interests, and on Facebook hashtags and interests. A landing page was created by Cohn & Wolfe on NewsHome to drive traffic to, and this page was visited over 800 times in the weeks before the TweetChat.

Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Chat

Having promoted a number of TweetChats in 2013, those that are coordinated with key congresses and conferences have much more participation and engagement than standalone ones. In this instance, using TweetChats during the event allowed this pharma brand to engage with healthcare professionals who may not have been at the event. If you are considering doing TweetChats this year, you may also want to try running them either bilingually or multilingually for maximum reach. Our Twitter team have informed us this increases the chances of the TweetChat hashtag trending substantially.

Overall, BI’s TweetChat succeeded in raising community engagement and generating awareness of COPD. BI also gained 1,200 new followers and their Twitter handle, @Boehringer, was the most mentioned username at the ERS congress.

You can read the full Twitter case study here.