Wow! Pfizer’s official Twitter account, @pfizer_news (“The official site for Pfizer Inc., where we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life.”) has over 5,000 followers, making it the MOST followed pharma Twitter account! And just this last December it had less than 1,000 followers (see chart below). How did Pfizer get so many followers so quickly?

This chart was created at where you can find follower and tweet stats for any Twitter account. I compared stats for @pfizer_news with two other pharma-related Twitter accounts having a comparable number of followers (ie, @pharmaguy – me – and @swoodruff – Steve Woodruff).

Something unusual happened around Christmas last year – Pfizer somehow attracted about 3-4,000 NEW Twitter followers in just a few days! Did someone give Pfizer a Christmas present?

[Ha Ha! See comment about Pfizer PR people asking employees to follow. Maybe they sent employees a Christmas card?]

Perhaps Pfizer was spewing out a ton of informative Tweets that just naturally attracted 4,000 new followers. Oh, but wait, that can’t be the reason. According to the stats, @pfizer_news has only posted 100 tweets since its launch last fall. It was practically silent around the end of the year in 2009.

More likely is that Pfizer got new followers by doing what it does best — advertise! Kudos to them. What I want to know is how much did you pay per follower and where did you advertise?