Supersizing Share of Voice

Laura Bushell

Tracking and measuring conversations on digital platforms is now accepted as vital in measuring a pharmaceutical brand’s influence. With altmetrics, pharmas can gain a better measure of the broader societal impacts of their research and products. 

Altmetrics take the familiar concept of Share of Voice and widen its scope by exploring new facets related to digital communication styles. These include:

  1. Social Share of Voice: based on original social media content, shares and followers 
  2. Viral Share of Voice: based on how far the content has been shared 
  3. Media Share of Voice: based on high profile media coverage, the status of media outlet and its readership 
  4. Blog Share of Voice: the reach of any blog content.

Share of Voice that uses altmetrics data recognises the influence of different platforms, whilst analysing specific types of engagement, such as original posts, shares, likes and comments, which all indicate differing degrees of interest.

As a result, it presents a clearer picture of how a pharmaceutical company’s brand is perceived. It can identify whether or not recent research publications have been well received, and the extent to which specific demographics are aware of a brand’s products or indeed those of their competitors’. All of this can help companies map the overall effects of their outreach efforts and redefine their strategic objectives accordingly.

Improved forward planning

One major benefit of using Social Share of Voice for publication planning teams is that it offers more targeted information on the audience receiving and engaging with a pharma company’s message. It pinpoints Digital Opinion Leaders (DOLs) and reports how each one, in a specific therapeutic area, is talking about a company’s research – and whether they are promoting it or critiquing it.

This type of insight not only helps in the planning of new campaigns, it also enables medical affairs teams to better measure return on investment (ROI). They can see exactly where a message has landed, where it’s been shared, and its relative influence. It’s much more difficult to measure the impact of investment in traditional conferences and publishing.

Deeper insights

Beyond this is the increasing ability for altmetrics data to detect the tone of conversations, known as sentiment analysis. On platforms like Twitter, negative opinions often appear to dominate the space, especially when those delivering them use strong language and ‘shout the loudest’. Sentiment analysis offers a way to delve deeper into this dialogue, getting under the skin of some of this information. Armed with in-depth qualitative data, pharmaceutical brands have the power to shift the conversation in their direction; they can understand their current position in the market and which messages are landing, as well as any potential challenges or critiques that require a swift response.

There’s no doubt that social media and online conversations will play an increasingly important role in building understanding, knowledge and credibility for new pharma research and products. As we get smarter at tracking those conversations and their influence, every brand will see the contribution they are making to specialist therapeutic debate. This is crucial for any forward planning, to ensure budget and attention is focused where it’s most needed.

Read our report ‘Building a bigger picture to’ to learn more about supersizing your Share of Voice.