7 Quick Tips for Physicians

1. Be Yourself – Twitter rewards authenticity, so give serious thought to who you are and how you want to be regarded with readers, followers and peers. Being genuine in your content and comments will be easier to sustain over the long term, and social media is a long term investment.

2. Understand How Twitter Works – Twitter operates through algorithms, which means understanding how those algorithms work will accelerate your audience growth and allow you to be more efficient. You’re rewarded for crisp, concise tweets and normative threads, and punished for including links.

3. Be Consistent – More than authenticity, Twitter rewards consistency. Try to post tweets every day. (See #4 below.) Engage when people respond to your tweets. And make an effort to comment, ‘like’ and retweet when your peers and followers tweet at least a few minutes each day.

4. Be Efficient – Twitter can be an enormous time sink. Use tools to automate and queue up posts. Reuse, repeat and retweet your important tweets to increase engagement. Dedicate 10-5 minutes a day to engage with peers, followers, comments, and then get back to your real work. And if you can, assign an assistant to take some of the Twitter burden off your shoulders.

5. Make Your Twitter Profile Stand Out – The first thing people often review is your Twitter profile. Include a meaningful, interesting banner and a photograph. Have a terse but compelling description of who you are and what you’re about. Include a link to your institutional profile page, your personal website, or an important paper.

6. Employ A Team Approach – As an expert physician, you have a substantial advantage in your ability to leverage the work and influence of your peer physicians. Establish a team of like-minded collaborators and then actively comment, like and retweet each other’s posts. Twitter especially rewards the recognition that comes from retweets, so make a point to expand the reach of your posts through teamwork.

7. Leverage Your Institution – If you’re part of an academic center or large institution, you have a significant potential advantage to be optimized. Find the marketing/communications people in your organization and work with them to have your tweets liked and retweeted. In most cases, it will take some cajoling, but ultimately they are looking to promote the medical excellence and expertise of the institution… and ultimately that is the work that physicians like you are doing.

In response to our work with NetCancer and CancerConsult, we’ve begun to develop a Twitter video course specifically for physicians. If you are interested in learning more and having free access to the course when it launches, please fill out the short form below and check the small box.

    You will only receive email update specific to the course, and only rarely. (The course should be available within the next 2-3 weeks.)