Time your Tweets: In order to initiate and maintain interest, try tweeting on a regular basis. This doesn’t require tweeting everyday, but even once a week, or once a month. Less than that may be too infrequent. This will help you maintain relevance and keep your followers updated. Followers may be less likely to interact if twitter updates are scant.
Keep Your Tweets Focused: Decide whether you want to make this a personal or professional account. As a Physician Assistant, I try to keep my tweets relevant to the profession, health care social media, conferences I attend, topics related to my area where I work (Orthopaedics). Examples of things you can tweet about:
- Call to action
- Upcoming professional events
- News articles relevant to PA’s
- Links to material you have generated – blog entries, articles, graphics
Tweet with your Audience in Mind: My tweets are written with a specific audience in mind – other physician assistants, MD’s, RNs, NP’s, patients, and other health care stakeholders in mind. This allows me to keep my tweets and focused and relevant, which I am sure my followers appreciate as well.
Be Professional: I avoid writing tweets about my meal of the day, concerns, singers, celebrity gossip. I reserve that for my personal twitter account which I keep private and separate. Be mindful that if you are promoting yourself on your twitter account as a Physician Assistant (or any health care professional for that matter), you are also posting material that may undermine the reputation of the profession.
Consider placing a disclaimer on your twitter page: stating that your tweets are your own and that do not represent the organizations that you are affiiated with.
Think Before You Post: There are many examples of employees that have been reprimanded for complaining about their bosses, or making offensive statements on social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook. Remember, what stays online, can stay online forever.
Direct Message: To use direct messages, type “DM” before a person’s twitter username. Individual replies, or even thanking new followers. If you are asking the same question directed at different users, consider using direct message. There is no need to spam your current followers with messages that are relevant to only a few.
Listen to Feedback: Twitter is a great way to gauge what groups or individuals think about your brand, a health care topic, profession, government or company.