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A Physician's Guide to Twitter



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A Physician's Guide to Twitter

  1. 1. Social Media 101 A Physician’s Guide to Getting Started on Authors Eric Glazer, Vice President, Physician Engagement & Social Media, Best Doctors |@EricGlazer Kelli Slimp, Content and Programming Producer, Physician Engagement & Social Media, Best Doctors |@kellislimp Physician Instructors Garry Choy, MD, Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts | @GarryChoy Howard Luks, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, New York Medical College and University Orthopedics, New York | @hjluks Matthew Katz, MD, Oncology, Radiation Oncology Associates, New England | @subatomicdoc @BestDoctors | #bestdoc
  2. 2. Table of Contents I. About Best Doctors V. Defining Your Twitter Objectives II. What is Twitter? a. Questions to Ask Yourself III. Why are Physicians Using Twitter? b. Develop Goals IV. Getting Started c. Keep it Personal and Social a) Username and Password d. In Short b) Following Other Users VI. Who is Using Twitter? c) Account Bio a. Physicians and Others Using Twitter d) Account Settings b. Hashtags to Follow e) Finding Other Users by Keyword Search VII. Use Twitter more Effectively f) Composing a Tweet a. Mobile Twitter g) Direct Mentions and @-Mentions b. Twitter Aggregate Tools h) Hashtags c. Link Shorteners i) Retweets and Modified Tweets VIII. Glossary of Basic Twitter Terms j) The Value of Retweeting IX. Contact the Authors @BestDoctors | #bestdoc
  3. 3. About Best Doctors Best Doctors provides expert medical consultation services to over 30 million people globally. We do this through a medical analytical process in which we bring together the right physicians to evaluate a patient case at the right point in time Our expert physicians or Best Doctors are identified through a nationwide peer-polling process. In the US, Best Doctors is hired by large employers such as Home Depot, Procter & Gamble and Pepsi to help individuals and their treating physicians be absolutely sure they have the right diagnosis and right treatment. We believe in the importance of collaboration amongst medical peers, and between patients and physicians. Social media channels has the potential to be a live altering communication tool in certain cases and as such we are happy to provide this Physician’s Guide to Twitter. Best Doctors was founded in 1989 by two Harvard professors. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 3
  4. 4. What is Twitter? @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 4
  5. 5. Think of Twitter as a Networking Reception that never ends …. • Short updates on users’ interest or activities • Opportunity to connect with those talking about your interests • Ability to share content succinctly and with an engaged, far-reaching audience • No reason to listen to those who have unrelated or irrelevant content @BestDoctors | #bestdoc What is Twitter? 5
  6. 6. Twitter describes itself as, “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” @BestDoctors | #bestdoc What is Twitter? 6
  7. 7. At its core, Twitter is an online social networking platform which allows users to share text-based content of up to 140 characters with their followers. This allows each tweet to be part of a worldwide conversation which can translate to powerful and connected patient-to-physician or peer-to-peer- physician communication. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc What is Twitter? 7
  8. 8. Why are Physicians using Twitter? @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 8
  9. 9. There are currently ~1,500 physicians on Twitter, and the number is growing Physicians use Twitter to: • Stay abreast of trends, news and research in the medical profession • Connect with patients in real time • Interact with other physicians or specialty peers • Establish collaborative relationships with other physicians and healthcare professionals @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Why are Physicians Using Twitter? 9
  10. 10. Twitter can provide physicians with: • Links to clinical resources via other physicians’ posts • News and links concerning medical politics • Information on current patient concerns • Notes and discussion with peers on complex cases Twitter can allow physicians to: • Establish a foundation of followers for a blog or website • Post links to interesting news articles or blog posts • Engage in online dialogue and develop peer relationships @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Why are Physicians Using Twitter? 10
  11. 11. Getting Started @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 11
  12. 12. Username and Password • Go to • Enter your real name • Enter your e-mail • Choose a password • Click “Sign Up” @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 12
  13. 13. Upon registering, you will receive an e-mail with a link to click on to confirm your registration. Enter your REAL name. Twitter is about real people Insert your e-mail address and password Choose a username If you share your computer that will most with others, we advise you to accurately describe you NOT check this box. This will help protect your privacy. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 13
  14. 14. Twitter will take you through a series of steps to help you build a quick network of interest Follow the on-screen instructions Your tweet stream will show on the right Click on Next @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 14
  15. 15. Following Other Users By following people that have the same interests as you or educational leaders and organizations, you can create a powerful learning network on the fly Click on “Follow” You can skip any of the following presented steps by clicking on “Skip this step” to the bottom left Don’t feel obliged to follow someone - your twitter experience will be determined by those who you follow, so follow reputable sources. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 15
  16. 16. Account Bio Upload a photo of yourself Say something about yourself that will give potential followers a sense of what you do or Dedicated to physician collaboration your interests via social media You can always access your Account Settings by clicking the Account icon and choosing “Settings” Make sure that your biographical information is professional and takes your privacy into account @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 16
  17. 17. Your Account Bio should resemble this when completed: @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 17
  18. 18. Account Settings Change your time zone to the appropriate selection Choose if you want others to see your location (you will then be able to locate others near you) Un-check ‘Protect my tweets.’ Do NOT protect your tweets – your post will not display in the conference stream if you do! @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 18
  19. 19. Finding Users by Keyword Search Search for colleagues by typing relevant keywords into the search bar If you like what you see, click “Follow” Before you follow someone, first click on their name to learn more about them You can always unfollow someone if they do not add value to your Twitter experience @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 19
  20. 20. Composing a Tweet Tweets are in reverse chronological order with the newest at the top. Your tweet stream appears on the right. Write your new tweet (status update) here Or click here to open a new tweet window @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 20
  21. 21. Direct Mentions (DM) and @-Mentions (@) There are 2 ways to communicate with another user on Twitter @ will send a public message Direct Message (DM) to a user will send a private message to a user @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 21
  22. 22. Hashtags (#) You can also include a hashtag before keywords in your own Tweet so that when another user performs a hashtag search, your Tweet will be added to the conversation. Searching keyword(s) preceded by a hashtag (#) lets you follow conversations about the word(s) @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 22
  23. 23. Retweets (RT) ‘Retweeting’ allows you to tweet an exact copy of another’s post This is a post which has been ‘retweeted’ (RT) from @ericglazer @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 23
  24. 24. The Value of Retweeting The value of RT is that you become a filter for your followers and create relationships for a powerful network • Check the resources first before passing it on! • Think if you REALLY want to pass it on! Re-tweeting means that you value the information and feel that it is worthwhile to pass on. It adds value to your followers’ experience. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Getting Started 24
  25. 25. Defining Your Twitter Objectives @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 25
  26. 26. Ask Yourself… • Will you engage with patients, physicians or both? • What is your purpose in posting status updates? • Have you identified credible Tweeters or hashtags (#) to follow? • Will you use Twitter to inform others of your own work or as a means of linking to interesting news and articles? • Will your Twitter channel present a strictly clinical profile, or will you share personal thoughts and opinions? • How will you respond to legally sensitive questions or situations? @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Defining Your Twitter Objectives 26
  27. 27. Develop Goals such as… • Increase interactions with patients • Engage in meaningful professional dialogue with physician peers • Stay abreast of medical news @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Defining Your Twitter Objectives 27
  28. 28. Keep it Personal and Social… • Use the keyword search bar to find others tweeting about topics relevant to you, and then follow them • Engage others in conversation if appropriate • Retweet (RT) others’ posts to your followers • Post your own thoughts or opinions, and be sure to use a hashtag (#) to highlight relevant keywords • Be sure to curate content from around the web to post as well, and always give credit to content sources @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Defining Your Twitter Objectives 28
  29. 29. In Short… • Follow colleagues/friends • Follow those who are tweeting relevant news • “RT” other news • “Reply” to other members on twitter – start a conversation • Follow hashtags • Follow conversations or tweets of those that interest you • Identify topics that you may want to become more actively engaged in sharing content @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Defining Your Twitter Objectives 29
  30. 30. Who is Using Twitter? @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 30
  31. 31. Physicians and Others in Healthcare Using Twitter • Kent Bottles @KentBottles • Garry Choy @GarryChoy • Val Jones @drval • Matthew Katz @subatomicdoc • Ronan Kavanagh @RonanTKavanagh • Howard Luks @hjluks • Berci Mesko @Berci • Kevin Pho @kevinmd • Mike Sevilla @drmikesevilla • Michael Thompson @mtmdphd • Bryan Vartabedian @Doctor_V • Mayo Clinic: @MayoClinic • Stanford University School of Medicine: @SUMedicine • Duke University School of Medicine: @Duke_Medicine • Harvard Medical School: @HarvardHealth • American Medical Association: @AmerMedicalAssn More doctors are listed at For a full list of over 300 doctors on Twitter, email Kelli Slimp at @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Who is Using Twitter? 31
  32. 32. Hashtags # (Areas of Interest) to Follow • #mdchat • #epatient • #ehealth • #hcsm • #sxsh • #HealthIT • #informatics • #GlobalHealth • #HITsm • #healthreform • #hcsmin • #BCSM • #phealth • #ptsafety • #(enter your specialty or other relevant disciplines) More hashtags are listed at @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Who is Using Twitter? 32
  33. 33. Use Twitter more Effectively @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 33
  34. 34. Mobile Twitter • Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twitter and others offer apps for your smart phone • Using apps, you can upload photos to Twitter • Many websites allow you to ‘share’ an article to Twitter from that site without having to log in to Twitter and manually post a link • You can also access Twitter from your smart phone by going to your mobile browser and typing in • In your Twitter settings, you can opt to receive texts when you receive direct messages or get mentioned (Look in ‘Settings’ under the ‘Mobile’ tab) @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Use Twitter more Effectively 34
  35. 35. Twitter Aggregate Tools can help you organize and manage the lists, hashtag searches or users you follow (Shown here: | Also popular: This feed displays all Shown here are all posts This feed displays all posts from the ‘pharma- This feed displays all from users you follow mentions of #mdchat and-hcs’ list mentions of @EricGlazer @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Use Twitter more Effectively 35
  36. 36. Link (url) Shorteners will help you keep Twitter’s 140 post limit. Copy and paste a long link (such as one garnered from an article or blog you’d like to post) into the site’s text box and the site will shorten it to better suit Twitter’s character limit. Shown here: • • Paste a long url (link) into the text bar and click ‘Shorten’ A newly-shortened link will appear below which you can then use in your tweet @BestDoctors | #bestdoc Use Twitter more Effectively 36
  37. 37. Glossary of Basic Twitter Terms Character Each individual typed text unit is a ‘character.’ This could be a letter, a space, a number or a special character like a ‘#’ or ‘!” A limit of 140 characters is allowed per tweet. Reply: @ The @ symbol allows you to reply to another Tweeter by answering one of their tweets directly (messages of up to 140 characters). This is also how you engage in a conversation with someone. When you wish to reply to or address someone, you either use the reply link or you can type @ before their Twitter user name. Direct Message: DM This is a message that only the recipient will be able to see. It is also subject to the 140-character limit. Either use the direct message link via the interface or type d followed by a space in front of the user name at the start of your message. For example: d kimvallee How are you doing? Retweet: RT Typing the letters RT before your message allows you to repost the tweet of someone else. The text will be verbatim the original post. Hashtags: # These were invented by users as a quick way to follow all conversations surrounding an event, a topic or a brand. You add a hashtag simply by prefixing a keyword with a hash symbol: #keyword. You can also follow hashtags on Twitter to track conversations pertaining to a particular keyword. @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 37
  38. 38. Contact the Authors Garry Choy, MD Howard Luks, MD Matthew Katz, MD Radiology Orthopedic Surgery Oncology Massachusetts General Hospital NY Medical College/University Ortho. Radiation Oncology Associates @GarryChoy @hjluks @subatomicdoc Eric Glazer Kelli Slimp Vice President Content and Programming Producer Physician Engagement & Social Media Physician Engagement & Social Media Best Doctors Best Doctors @EricGlazer @kellislimp @BestDoctors | #bestdoc 38