You and your practice have finally given the green light to getting your healthcare social media networks off the ground. You’ve brainstormed ideas and topics that you should discuss, but how do you build your network? How do you and your practice build a reputation as an authority in your specialization? Should you signup you’re a social media company that promises to connect you with 10,000 followers by the end of the month? Building your social reputation isn’t a walk in the park, and takes a great deal of hard work and dedication, but as a doctor, hard work and dedication are something you’re very familiar with. So where do you start?
I’d suggest you start with Twitter. Twitter is a wonderful platform for all communities, but is growing at a rapid pace in the healthcare sector.
One of the first places someone is going to look on Twitter is at the bio page. It’s very important to fill out your practices bio section. You only get 160 characters, so make it count.
- Tell users what your practice does- add specializations, interests
- Let your practices personality show- you want people to see your practice as real people
- Give some background- If there’s room to spare, give some background information
Start connecting with likeminded Twitter users. Now is the time to find other people and practices that you think can share and contribute to your community and vice versa. Once you find someone, click the follow button.
- A great place to start is with Twitters built in search engine. Twitters search moves fast, but it is well organized. When you enter a subject into the search field you can toggle between top tweets, all tweets, and tweets from people you follow.
- Another useful search aggregator to find likeminded Twitter users is called Topsy. Topsy is a real time social web search engine that is very searchable. The Topsy program displays results from a very wide range of dates. It also has an option to filter search results into categories such as experts, links, photos, and more.
- Building relationships can be tricky but a community management tool like Commun.it can help bridge that gap. Commun.it lets you monitor important topics, receive detailed reports, and generate some wonderful leads.
- Your first 140 characters don’t need to be anything crazy. I quick intro or link to an interesting article is all it takes.
- If you see an interesting tweet or article in your Twitter feed retweet (RT) it to your followers. Retweeting is a great way to enrich the healthcare community and bolster some Twitter relationships at the same time.
- Engage with other users by responding to them. If you see something you agree or disagree with, respond to the tweet. 99% of the time people will engage back.