This article was written by Laura Clemons, Director of Strategic Operations, at Greystone.Net.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet! Now, hundreds of millions of people around the world share their thoughts, experiences and opinions as they happen. While Twitter may once have been used for sharing inconsequential news, that changed when politicians, celebrities, and other notable figures realized it could be used to speak directly to the public.
In 2008, Greystone.Net wanted to make our hospital following aware of the free online service and we provided some explanation around Twitter. Since social media was new, most were struggling with how to use this new tool. MarketingProfs saw the usefulness of this tool and created a list of seven ways marketers can use Twitter. M.D. Anderson was using the tool to update their followers on the latest news https://twitter.com/MDAndersonNews, which is still ongoing, with 106,000 followers and counting.
Now, healthcare is more sophisticated with social communications that goes beyond news and advertising the latest procedures. Hospitals and other healthcare brands are using Twitter to create an online relationship that goes beyond the bedside.
Here are three things that healthcare organizations should be doing on Twitter in 2020:
Listening. Healthcare providers should take the opportunity to listen and respond to patients as they share health struggles, steering patients to the resources they need to improve their health.
Though there were struggles in the past with how to handle negative feedback in the healthcare industry, healthcare brands have learned that if a patient has a poor experience with your brand and shares it with the world, it’s important to respond in a timely manner. This makes the patient feel heard and gives healthcare brands a chance to learn about issues impacting your quality of care, such as customer service or long wait times.
Healthy engagement. Healthcare providers are building their brand in communities by providing content designed to engage, interact and inspire. Include specific tips, advice, stories and support specifically for patients while getting the relevant products in front of your target audience.
Nurture relationships. Doctors and other caregivers should be encouraged to use their own Twitter profiles to connect with patients, share interesting health-related content and even answer questions. In addition, these providers should feel free to share their personal stories, family photos and other thoughts to help patients get to know their caregivers better.
We began with personal relationships offline, stumbled upon impersonal relationships online and now, 14 years later, where people are providing case studies and presentations on how to communicate with just 280 characters, we are back to personal relationships -- online.
Let us know if you are struggling with a Twitter strategy at email@example.com
. Here is a recent case study that was done on Twitter from the Annual Healthcare Internet Conference