Friday, March 19, 2010

According to Follower Wonk, I Have More Followers in Common with Pfizer Than Other "Experts"

This morning I learned about "Follower Wonk," a neat Twitter application that creates Venn diagrams showing the overlap among followers of up to three different Twitter accounts. It does other stuff, but I was mostly interested in looking at the follower overlap.

I compared my follower profile with that of @pfizer_news (Pfizer's official Twitter account) and a few of my Twitter pals (@shwen, @jonmrich, @maverickNY, and @swoodruff; except for @shwen, these people are consultants to the pharmaceutical industry or work in agencies servicing the industry; @shwen is employed in a pharma company as a new media expert). The charts are shown below (click for an enlarged view).

In each case, I share MORE followers with Pfizer than the other people. For example, @jonmrich and I share 480 followers with @pfizer_news, but I uniquely share 720 additional followers with @pfizer_news, whereas @jonmrich uniquely shares only 122 additional followers with @pfizer_news (see chart on upper left). Or to put it another way, I share a total of 1,200 followers with @pfizer_news whereas @jonmrich shares only a total of 602 followers with @pfizer_news.

What does this mean? Well, if more Pfizer Twitter followers also follow me than follow the other "experts," I guess what I have to say is more relevant to these people. The people who follow me and Pfizer are in the pharma mainstream. I have been surveying my followers and have put together a profile, which you can find in this Pharma Marketing News article: "Pharmaguy's Twitter Followers: What Do They Want and How Is It Relevant to You?"

Let me restate it this way: I made a comparison between me and the best of the best on pharma's "team." By which I mean that @jonmrich, @MaverickNY, and @shwen are very "pro" pharma and have been known to support many pharma marketing practices that I have been critical of. In that context, it was interesting to ME and probably ONLY to me to compare who follows these people with who follows me. The fact that I can compete with these industry advocates to reach the same audience that follows the world's largest pharma company means a lot to ME because it proves I am not of marginal influence among industry watchers. From time to time it is nice to toot one's own horn, which is what this is all about.

You can see from the comments that I may have offended some of my colleagues. I am truly sorry for that and hope we can move on.

10 comments:

  1. Ugh. What's the point of this, John? Sounds like an ad for your blog and newsletter.

    "What does this mean? Well, if more Pfizer Twitter followers also follow me than follow the other "experts," I guess what I have to say is more relevant to these people. The people who follow me and Pfizer are in the pharma mainstream."

    What's the implication of this supposed to be? "Ignore the other folks competing for your valuable time and only pay attention to me?" I'm sure it's not, but that certainly sounds like the point. You could re-write that statement as, "If you're in pharma and only have time to pay attention to one person, it's me."

    Double ugh. I'm sure that's not what you're going for with this post, but I couldn't help but point out what the implication appears to be. I know you've taken me to task in the past for some "questionable" conclusions based on limited data, but assuming that your content is more relevant to more pharma people based on who follows you and @pfizer_news sounds little thin as far as arguments go.

    Just to illustrate how ridiculous this is, I did a little research of my own. Since you're thinking that you're more relevant and influential, I figured I'd check that with two tools that measure influence on Twitter, Klout and Twinfluence. On Klout, my score is 50 and yours is 44. On Twinfluence, our "Social Capital" (a measure of how influential are a twitterer's followers) scores are 3094 for me and 1511 for you.

    So, guess what that means?

    Absolutely nothing...about the same as your analysis.

    Sincerely, Your Less Relevant "Pal"
    Jonathan
    @jonmrich
    Dose of Digital

    ReplyDelete
  2. My implication is simply what I stated in my Tweet followup: as an industry "critic" I was pleasantly surprised that I had more followers in common with the largest pharma company in the world than "experts" to whom the industry pays for advice. You may have many more followers who simply are not focused on Pfizer or the drug industry because your company also does work for non-pharma companies. So, for example, if we did an analysis of Nestle vs pharmaguy vs you, I am sure you would more followers in common with Nestle than I do.

    Those other measures you speak of have absolutely no relevance regarding clout with pharma companies, which is my most important concern.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or, you might look at the two pharma Twitter accounts that are most recognized as the most engaged and valuable users of twitter since they tweet and reply the most: @jnjcomm and @boehringer.

    I have more followers in common with each of these than you do. So, you might argue, that the pharma Twitter accounts that "real" industry insiders, who know who's really the score when it comes to social media, choose to follow me more selectively...

    Alternatively...you could just say, "who gives a s%$@?"

    Coincidentally, this is what I'm saying and I'm guessing many others are as well.

    Jonathan
    @jonmrich
    Dose of Digital

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK, already! I never intended to make such a big deal out of this. Once in a while, I like to toot my own horn. The fact that I used you as a comparison means that I think you are the best of the best on pharma's "team" by which I mean you are "pro" pharma and support many marketing practices that I am critical of. In that context, it was interesting to ME to compare who follows you with who follows me. If nobody else cares, they should just move on with their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww, shucks...

    "The fact that I used you as a comparison means that I think you are the best of the best on pharma's "team""

    Now I feel like a jerk...

    Sort of...

    Thanks for the kind words in all seriousness.

    Jonathan
    @jonmrich
    Dose of Digital

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lost more like a VennT diagram to me, then...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry, Steve. I don't get what you mean. Can you rephrase that?

    ReplyDelete
  8. A diagram over which people vent!

    Look, I'm not sure the "data" on this post would be accepted for a Phase III study (well, maybe by SOME pharmacos...!), but it's sorta fun to play with the numbers, even if they don't tell us much. My numbers are skewed anyway because I occupy two main worlds - pharma/eHealth AND general social media marketing - which intersect to some extent, but which render comparisons fairly meaningless.

    It is a compliment to even be used in a comparison, however!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Steve,

    Yes, I now realize it was unfair to think of you guys JUST as pharma experts. So, I ended up comparing apples to oranges. But at least no rotten tomatoes were in the group!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous3:02 PM

    Funny thing is, one of the cardinal rules of social media is to be educational, not promotional.

    FAIL on that one!

    ReplyDelete