If used property, Twitter can be an extremely useful social media platform for a healthcare facility. From showcasing brain surgery to showing the effectiveness of disaster-response planning Boston Marathon Bombing, Twitter has a lot of potential benefits. To be used as an effective communication tool there are some best practices a facility should follow:
- Always use hashtags (#). Hashtags are basically keywords included in your Tweet to help others find you. Hashtags can help you attract users who are searching for a particular subject, People and other businesses monitor and follow specific keywords and if you include relevant ones in your Tweets your posts can become more visible and potentially go viral to new patients. You can also register your facility’s specific hashtag on a directory like Twubs.com.
- Don’t automate your Tweets from Facebook. Marketing departments have a lot going on and it may be a nice shortcut to have your posts on Facebook automatically feed to your Twitter account. Since Twitter only supports140 characters, a Facebook post is likely to get get cut off on Twitter and make the Tweet look incomplete.
- URL shorteners have a lot of marketing benefits. If you are going to include a hyperlink in your Tweet, always use a URL shortener. Twitter will automatically shorten your link, but other services like Bit.ly will not only shorten the URL but also provide you with a lot of analytics and data on how and when the link was clicked on.
- Don’t use the full 140 characters. Twitter allows each Tweet to be 140 characters. That doesn’t mean you should always use them. Tweets that get retweeted are compliments of someone else saying you wrote good content and it should be shared. You want them to be able to include your handle in the Tweet and include any comments without the original Tweet getting cut off. A good rule of thumb is to have your original Tweet be at most 110 to 120 characters.
- Determine the best times to Tweet. Is your audience local? Do you cater to a telemedicine audience that could be in a different time zone? With over 255 million, monthly active users it can be hard to determine when your Tweets will be effective. Using a free tool like Tweriod can help. This tool analyzes your tweets and your followers’ tweets so you can start tweeting when it makes most sense to reach your target audience.
If done properly, it is amazing what Tweets can do for your healthcare facility. To maximize Twitter to its biggest potential it is critical you follow best practices. For additional examples of how Twitter can benefit your healthcare facility as well as other effective ways to use this microblog platform, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.