Social Media Insights: ASCO 2020 Part 1

The American Society of Oncologists (ASCO) annual meeting is a major fixture in the global oncology calendar aimed at oncology professionals, patient advocates, industry representatives, and major media outlets worldwide.


Last year, following the ASCO 2019 annual meeting, we combined social media listening technology with traditional market research analysis to gain an overview of the most impactful messages coming from the event. The results of the analysis can be found in this ebook. In this post we explore the social media insights gained from our analysis of the conversations happening around the first virtual ASCO. 


ASCO2020 info (2)


ASCO moves online for 2020


Like many events across all industries this year, the American Society of Oncologists (ASCO) annual meeting is entirely virtual for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The title for this year’s event is year’s event is Unite & Conquer: Accelerating Progress Together and the program has been divided into two parts for the first time; the scientific program and subsequently the education program. Part one took place at the end of May, and part two is taking place 8-10 August.


The conversations taking place online between industry representatives, HCPs, and patient advocates during and following the event provide an indication of the issues, therapeutic areas, and developments at the forefront of the healthcare industry.


Social Media Insights from ASCO 20 Virtual


We analyzed the social media conversations surrounding part one of the virtual ASCO 2020. Below are several key takeaways.


Share of voice – Cancer Types


  • 28% - Lung cancer 

  • 21% - Breast cancer 

  • 9% Colorectal cancer

Share of voice – Products Mentioned amongst HCPs


We analyzed the mentions from a total of 1834 HCPs between May 28th - June 7th 2020. KEYTRUDA was the most mentioned product surrounding the digital event with 19% of the share of voice. OPDIVO was second with 14%, YERVOY, TECENTRIQ, and TAGRISSO all at 11%. 

Types of users


The types of users posting about ASCO on Twitter were mostly HCPs (68%), followed by organisations (29%). Only 3% of the posts were from pharmaceutical companies. 


Company activity by volume of posts 


The top 15 companies by activity were mostly big pharma companies with the notable exception of Natera oncology, a tech company that presented its product signatera, a tumor test detecting recurrence  using circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA).



Comparing online conversations around ASCO 2019 to ASCO 2020


While there are fewer mentions around part one of the 2020 event when compared to the physical event in 2019, we see from the social media insights analyzed that prescribers are attending the virtual ASCO conference and that they are ready to hear from industry actors.


  • The total number of mentions related to ASCO 2020 was significantly down when compared to the 2019 edition. When considering this decrease in conversation, we must consider that the event is shorter and split into two programs this year 

  • Organizations in particular (hospitals, associations, online journals & magazines) participated significantly less in conversations surrounding ASCO 20 with a 29% decrease when compared to last year.  

  • The volume of mentions from HCPs was slightly down year on year but HCPs continued to expect and discuss new information from the event. 

  • The volume of mentions from pharma companies was down going from 1253 in 2019 to 775 in 2020, a decrease of 38%.


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