I believe mastering conversation strategies via social media is as essential to today’s clinical practice as our stethoscope and our brain. Why?
The world of healthcare has amazing potential for using social media to reduce waste, improve efficiency, quickly share research and allow healthcare providers to share accurate info with patients and families!
I’m a Healthcare Social Media Evangelist
Not “Social Media Expert”…far from it. I AM passionate and sincere in my desire to encourage nurses to claim their place at the table. Nurses are the most trusted profession. We have amazing power as curators of accurate and evidence-based health information! Corporations would pay billions to have our powerful brand!
People go online for their health information. We should meet them where they are. Social media channels provide a fabulous way for us to educate, inform and network professionally.
When I have someone contact me to ‘Teach me about social media’, I often start with Twitter.
Twitter users are often the first people to know the newest information and love to post updates about it online. It’s an interesting way to see what’s new in the world – finding out what people are talking about literally “right now”. Plus it creates an interesting crowd from which to ask questions like, “ Is anyone getting anything out of this conference? ”
So how do I get started, you might ask?
It doesn’t have to be a grand scheme. Begin as I did….take one step. Start where you are.
I must admit, I felt a bit intimidated at first. My exposure to Twitter was through sensational news stories of ‘celebrities gone wild’ and HIPPA gone wrong. I soon learned the healthcare social media (#hcsm) community on Twitter is very welcoming AND they were talking about A LOT MORE than what they had for lunch!
I have been using Twitter now for over 6 years. During that time, I have met people who are now my friends in real life (#IRL). Through these connections, I have:
- Worked with my Tweeps on projects as both a volunteer and a consultant,
- Had interviews with national healthcare reporters,
- Received invitations to speak to healthcare organizations across the country related to my experience with Twitter.
Ready to get started? Now is the perfect time to join in the conversation!
Go to www.twitter.com and sign up for FREE (choose a name and a password). I recommend using your real name as your Twitter handle. Why? Because you want to build your personal brand. (You will find me @thesocialnurse…my whole ‘real name’ was already taken).
You can use Twitter via your PC or on your phone – you can look at it once a day or once a week. Don’t feel obligated to look at it and respond instantly…..it’s your network, after all!
Once you’re signed up, you can start “following” people and they can “follow” you. I am following people who have interesting things to say about healthcare innovation, healthcare social media, oncology nursing, telehealth, and gardening. I also follow the regional weather. Hey, I live in Kansas…..land of tornados and hail storms…. I need real-time access to severe weather in real-time!!
Next step? Get connected!
Start by following me (@thesocialnurse) and I’ll be glad to follow you.
Then, let’s get a conversation started! Tweet your favorite quote about innovation or change, followed by @thesocialnurse and a hashtag #distruptivenurse. An example is this post from the Association of Public Health Nurses (@PHNurse_org) Twitter account:
Marrvy factoid: Did you know hashtags were created by the Twitter community as a method to categorize topics? You can read more about healthcare hashtags via this informative post from our friends @Symplur. Check out a marrvy infographic about the history of hashtags in my post, “Get Your Hashtag On!”.
Next, create your first post and share a favorite health resource, article or tool & mention someone you are following. Check out an example below.
See that string of letters and numbers following the word ‘barriers’? I did that by using a link shortener. Since the length of each Twitter post is 140 characters, a link shortener will be your best friend. You can check out a common shortener by following this link to bitly. Just copy the URL to the resource you wish to share, paste in the bitly shortener field…and VOILA! Your link is automatically shortened and ready to copy & paste into your Twitter post!
If you’d like to use Twitter and need some more guidance, just let me know.
Now, what are you waiting for? I look forward to connecting!