Twitter Search Part 1: Twitter Features That Let Others Find You

For hospitals, the most important aspect of a Twitter account is having an audience. But with so many people out there, how do you go about finding that audience?

Luckily, Twitter has methods in place to help you attract followers. And because those options are not always immediately clear, I am going to give you a brief overview of a few Twitter features that will help other users find your hospital.

Optimize Your Profile

It all starts with your profile. Writing a descriptive and effective bio for your hospital is the first step to being discovered. As a hospital, there are three things you need to make sure your biography has.

Location.
We’ll get into this later in this blog, but including your location is key. By adding your city name and state, you allow others to find you more easily

Your Hospital’s Mission. What does your hospital do? This is a chance for me to learn what I need to know about you in 160 characters. Be concise and clear and use as many keywords as you can. By adding descriptions of your hospital that include common healthcare terms, such as specialties, you increase the likelihood that your hospital’s Twitter account will show up in a medical-related search.

Link to Your Hospital’s Website. Make it easy for other users to learn more about your hospital by adding your hospital’s web URL to your bio. The best part? It doesn’t have to be part of your 160-character description.

Tweet With Your Location

Making it easy for others to find you is just as important as being able to find others in your area. That’s where the Tweet With Your Location Feature, which allows you to send Tweets with your approximate and exact location, comes in.

The Tweet With Your Location Feature is off by default, but is easy to activate and you can even turn the feature on and off as you wish, should you choose to only use it for select Tweets. To opt into the Tweet with Your Location feature, go to your Account Settings and check the box marked “Add a location to your Tweets.”

When you are ready to send your next Tweet, you should see a little compass-like icon with the words “Add your location” below the “What’s happening” field. (On my account, I didn’t find this until I clicked the “new tweet” button on the top right corner of my account.)

Click on the link and when a drop down menu appears, you’ll see your location options. For example, my options include adding my city as the source of my Tweet, as well as several local businesses.

You’ll want to use the name of your city for general Tweets and reserve the specific location, such as a business or venue, for events like fundraisers or a conference. By using a specific location, you are giving others in the same situation a way to connect with you and, if needed, to find you on location.

Twitter Lists

Twitter users can organize themselves into groups, or “lists” on Twitter that allow people with similar interests to connect. Because of this, lists are an effective way to affiliate your hospital with other leaders in the medical field.

There are several ways you can get on a Twitter list. One is to be added by another Twitter user, and the other is to add yourself. When adding yourself to a list, you can either create a list of your own and add yourself and others, or you can add yourself to an existing list.

To create a new list, you first go to the profile of a user you want to add to your list. Then, click on the icon that looks similar to a bulleted list. Select “create a list,” determine what you want your list to be called and then mark it as “public.“

Once you have added several users to your list, you’ll want to send a Tweet out announcing your new list. The Tweet should include something like “Just added @[insert user’s Twitter handle] to my _____ list.” To mention the list, you’ll have to add a forward slash “/” followed by the list name to list owners username: @<username>/<listname>. Here’s an example: @hivedan/socialmedia.

Once you have created and added users to your list, those users will be able to see what lists they are a part of by going to their profile and looking for the link for “lists.”

You can also add yourself to a list by going to another user’s profile, and simply click on the Lists tab when viewing their profile. Select which lists options you want to see and click the follow button to follow one of their lists.

This is just a brief overview of creating a list, so if you have more questions regarding lists, such as how to remove a user, or how many lists you can create, visit Twitter’s How to Use Twitter Lists help page.

I hope these three methods will help get you the audience your hospital deserves! As the title of this blog indicates, I’m going to write a second part about how to gain followers using third party features.

And as always, I want to hear from you! What has helped you get some attention from the Twittersphere?

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How we help

Hive Strategies helps hospitals engage patients through social media. We don’t manage social media. Instead, we help hospitals develop an effective social media strategy and mentor them through the implementation process. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.

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