How to Make Your Hospital’s Twitter Account Effective

Have you just started a Twitter account for your hospital? Or just need some ideas to put a little life back into your strategy? Today’s blog will focus on a few simple ways you can do just that.

I stumbled upon this great article from GIGaOm the other day titled “62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business.” It’s an informative article that is extremely useful and relevant, despite the fact that it’s more than a year old.

The list is great, but it could easily seem overwhelming for anyone just starting out with a Twitter account. So, I decided to take the easiest and most practical ideas from GIGaOm’s list and apply them to how you can use them to make sure your hospital’s Twitter account is effective.

Note: I’ve used the numbers from GIGaOm’s original list, and I have kept their original wording as well to keep the authenticity.

#5: Report industry, company, world and other news that’s related to your business, together with some commentary.

#10: Join industry and topic groups related to your business and career on sites like www.twibes.com and www.wefollow.com.

#12: Combine your social media approach: when someone asks a question in Twitter, respond briefly in Twitter with a link to another site with the detailed response.

#13: Participate in Twitter chats related to your industry or business on a regular basis. Although you should beware that the stream of tweets from chats can overwhelm contacts that aren’t participating in the chat, so consider using a separate ID for chats.

#24: Spread your tweets throughout the day, rather than posting them all at once, as people check Twitter at different times of the day. It’s always prime time on Twitter.

#31: Use applications and tools like  www.twittercustomizer.com to enhance your Twitter background and profile.

#33: Track conversations mentioning your name or your brand.

#34: Respond to tweets talking about you and your brand.

#35: Link to your content wisely and sparingly to avoid looking too promotional.

#38: Publish your Twitter ID on all marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects can learn more about you.

#42: Link to your presentations and videos.

#46: Announce job openings to find qualified talent.

#49: Save the “Thanks for following me,” “Thanks for the RT” or similar tweets for direct messages (DM).

#57: Follow experts, companies, competitors and leaders in your industry.

#59: Think quality not quantity.

#61: Mix up the tweet types to include retweets (RT), @replies, original thoughts, and links to other people’s content (not just your own).

As great as these 16 items are, I must add a 17th item; one that doesn’t appear on GIGaOm’s list:

Have fun.

None of the above ways matter as much as this. Twitter may be a great way to market your hospital and connect with patients, but if you aren’t having fun while doing it, none of the items from the list will matter.

Happy tweeting!

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