Hospitals: 6 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Twitter Account

Why does your hospital need a Twitter account?

The honest answer to this question may be that your hospital doesn’t need a Twitter account. As is the case with all social media tools, only adopt Twitter if it fits into your overall marketing strategy. You should never launch a social media channel just to launch a channel.

That said, many hospitals make powerful use of Twitter to build communities and share information. Read more

Tweet Chats 101: What They Are and Why You Should Participate

Every Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. west coast time, my Twitter feed lights up with Tweets referencing #hcmktg, signaling to me that the weekly healthcare social media marketing Tweet chat has started.

If you haven’t heard of a Tweet chat, it’s a lot like a chat room within Twitter. Tweet chats use a pre-determined hashtag to engage a group of people in a real-time conversation at a specified time. To participate in the chat, all you have to do is create a new column in your TweetDeck, Hootsuite or other feature like TweetChat, and track the specific hashtag. Then, when you want to participate, all you have to do is Tweet using that hashtag and anyone else participating in that chat can read and respond to your Tweet.

It is important to know that a Twitter chat is different than simply using a hashtag to label one of your Tweets. It is real time. For example, if you choose to add the hashtag #hcmktg to one of your Tweets on a Tuesday morning, it will not show up in the Tweet chat on Friday. Read more

Twitter Search Part 2: 3 Third-Party Applications to Find and Be Found on Twitter

Last week I covered some ways to be found on Twitter by using Twitter features. Today I am going to focus on some third-party applications that will also help you find others and be found.

If you do a quick Google search for third-party applications for searching Twitter, you’ll find about two dozen of them. However, they’re not all created equally, so I’ve compiled a list of my three favorite applications to help you sort through them to find the best ones. Read more

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. Read more

Honoring Copyright Part 2: Legal Ways to Use Common Social Media Logos

flickr: MikeBlogs

Last week I covered legal ways to use photography on your blog, but there was one important element I left out: how that translates to the use of a company’s logo. If you do a quick “images” search for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube in any search engine, you’ll see pages upon pages of logos, most of which appear to be fine to just download.

But just because you can do a Google search for a logo doesn’t mean it’s okay to take that logo and use it on your website, blog or even in print materials. So how then, are you supposed to know?

The good news is, I’ve done the work for you by summarizing the legal uses of several of the most popular social media platforms below — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn® and YouTube. Read more