Harrisvaccines, now Merck Animal Health, is one of the world’s leading experts on swine disease. Their research and knowledge of major farm and companion animal species has given them the ability to treat infectious diseases with herd-specific vaccines and thwart the spread of devastating infectious diseases.

Despite its groundbreaking work in the field of animal health, Harrisvaccines was far from a household name. As a part of an overall effort to raise its profile in Iowa and across the nation, LS2group recommended Harrisvaccines host a Twitter chat. This would serve as a means to driving engagement to the Harrisvaccines Twitter page and heightening its social media presence overall. Our team chose to focus the conversation on PED, as it is the most devastating swine disease to strike North America in several decades. Harrisvaccines was the first company in the nation to receive a USDA license for a PED vaccine, so this topic highlighted their strength in the market.

Joel Harris, head of sales and marketing for Harrisvaccines, participated in the chat on behalf of Harrisvaccines and answered all questions. To ensure the success of the event, LS2group created a hashtag to drive people to the page and allow them to participate in the conversation. That hashtag, #HarrisChats, was unique to the company and easy for users to remember and utilize.

Prior to the first HarrisChats, the team promoted the event topic and time and date through Harrisvaccines’ social media channels. Potential questions were drafted and sent to members of the swine industry and internal channels to encourage participation. To ensure questions were asked during HarrisChats, LS2group secured individuals to ask questions at scheduled times throughout the hour. These planned questions promoted many outside participants to join the discussion, including several members of trade media. In the end, the vast majority of the interactions were organic.

Through these efforts, LS2group was able to secure eight new followers on Twitter in the one hour HarrisChats occurred. Key members of the industry, including Swineweb.com, PigCareers.com, and National Hog Farmer Magazine, also participated in the #HarrisChats.