With millions of users and over 500 million tweets being sent each day, Twitter presents a great opportunity to healthcare providers to reach a global audience of new and existing patients. No wonder Twitter is increasingly gaining acceptance as a medium for instantaneous scientific dialogue. Going by the official statistics, Twitter already has over 316 million monthly active accounts and nearly 500 million tweets are sent per day. What makes Twitter different from other social media channels is that it promotes real-time sharing and conversing with other users and you can keep track of up-to-the-minute news. The users become a part of larger peaking trends or conversations that take place. The 140 characters that can be posted at a single time on Twitter have definitely redefined the way information and idea exchanges take place on the Internet. In the context of healthcare marketing, Twitter can be a vital tool that can be used for strengthening professional connections. Physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals can use Twitter to create strong online visibility, connect with their patients and stay updated about the latest trends in the industry. For healthcare competitive analysis, Twitter is a gold mine of digital health insights and market trends. You can use Twitter to educate users on subjects pertaining to your specialization and at the same time, you can become a part of peaking trends or conversations. Insights on the digital health landscape you gather from Twitter can be channeled for your personal and professional development. Promote your brand by building a strong Twitter profile Your Twitter account and profile are the foundation of your Twitter experience and will determine how the world perceives you online. It’s important to invest the time in getting it right, as it’s a golden chance to let the Twitter community know about your practice and is a gateway to drive potential patients to your profile. Subscribe to lists Your job as a healthcare provider demands a lot of time at work. To stay updated about digital health developments, you can create some lists and subscribe to them. You can also subscribe to receive a regular feed of tweets by people on these lists and can change/alter the preferences easily by just logging in to your account. This practice will help you stay abreast about the topics that interest you and about contemporary developments. Make it a point to read all emails from Twitter Take some time and make it a point to skim through all the emails you receive from Twitter. Through these, you can quickly get a sense of what people in your Twitter network are sharing and talking about. This effective broadcasting platform’s high viral possibilities can be leveraged for online marketing of your practice. Some precautions for physicians on handling their Twitter account:
- Keep HIPAA regulations in mind and be very cautious about your words.
- Retweet articles and information from trusted sources, like the NIH, AMA, WHO, CDC or other credible organizations.
- If someone trolls you on Twitter, handle the situation calmly and carefully.
- Regularly tweet helpful health tips for patients.
The bottom line is “Twitter counts” and it’s an excellent digital intelligence resource for your practice. It provides exposure to a global audience and a platform to discuss topics of interest. An active presence on Twitter will not only help you establish an identity on the Internet but it can be a medium to voice your opinions and be heard.