“Twitter gives doctors a chance to nurture relationships with patients outside of the exam room.” – Nick Reese
Twitter is another popular social networking site that many people around the world use. Many businesses and industries use it to send out short messages or tweets to their followers. Healthcare is one industry that can potentially utilise the features of this platform. Concerns, however, have been raised regarding its usage, leaving many healthcare practitioners wondering if it’s the right platform for them. Here are the benefits practitioners can get from using Twitter.
From a Marketing Perspective: Why Use Twitter?
Twitter is one of the most-utilised social media platforms worldwide. Currently, more than 330 million people visit and engage on this website monthly. Additionally, 63% of the Twitter user population is between the ages of 35 and 65.(1)
Apart from these statistics, the platform itself is a great way to spread information. The posts are short-form and easily searchable. Trends are updated quite regularly, with searchability boosted through the use of hashtags. The tone of the posts is usually conversational, making it a good platform to connect with people.
A study shows how Twitter is the most effective form of social media for healthcare communication at this time, which is referred to as social medicine. There are 31% of healthcare professionals who use social media to build their professional networks. As for patients, 41% of them say that social media affects their choice of doctors and medical facilities.
Potential Benefits of Using Twitter in Healthcare
- Listening to Followers, Clients, and Potential Clients
Many social media platforms are excellent places to listen to your followers, clients, and potential clients. Usually, “listening” here means monitoring what these people usually talk about so that marketers can use it to optimise their materials.
On Twitter, thanks to its short-form posts, many are primarily concerned with communication. If you have followers on this platform and you can see their tweets, you can immediately learn about their needs, listen to their opinions and situation, and take immediate and necessary action.
This helps foster professional relationships between clients and practitioners. It also helps elevate the quality of care you can provide a client with.
- Creating Engagement
While they’re short, your posts here are effective ways to communicate and engage with your clients. Because of the brevity of Twitter posts, it’s a good idea to make conversation starters to engage with followers. Ask questions and opinions, and get to know your audience better through this platform.(2)
Additionally, engaging posts on this website are not limited to the written ones. Twitter also lets you hold live streams you can use to connect with your audience or your fellow professionals.
- Sharing Information
Thanks to the Like and Retweet buttons on this platform, as well as the Twitter trends and hashtags, shareability on this website is high. This means there’s potential for your tweets to reach a large number of people over a short period.
This feature can potentially help the healthcare industry in a great way, and you can be a part of this movement. Twitter is a great platform to educate people by sharing legitimate and informative articles through links. As a healthcare professional, especially with a moderate to large follower count, you can help to spread relevant and useful information. These can be both curated articles or ones that you wrote.
Concerns Regarding Using Twitter in Healthcare
Despite its popularity, Twitter is still an imperfect platform. While it only takes a click of a button to Retweet, Twitter users have to put in more effort into verifying the authenticity of shared info. The success of informative campaigns also relies on this.
There is still a huge problem of fake information proliferating online, and many Twitter users fall victim to this. With this, many healthcare workers agree that there should be guidelines in place for information dissemination on Twitter.(3) However, until those are in place, take it upon yourself to verify the information you share.
While the potential for Twitter marketing is there, in the healthcare industry, the use of this website focuses more on forging connections with your clients. People in the healthcare industry, such as practitioners, use Twitter to communicate and connect more with their clients rather than market their services. It’s a tool used for engagement, and it’s one that can help you create working relationship foundations with your audience.
There are various unique social media platforms that a practitioner can use in this day and age like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Their features and functions can be drastically different from each other. Twitter provides a great foundation for client-practitioner relationships, which can elevate the care you can provide to them. It does so through communication and the responsible sharing of information.