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Twitter Tips - A Physician Blogger’s Perspective

Twitter Tips - A Physician Blogger’s Perspective | Digital Healthcare Trends | Scoop.it

“When people come to Twitter and they want to express something in the world, the technology fades away. It’s them writing a simple message and them knowing that people are going to see it.” ~ Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter (from Brainy Quote)

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Last week we discussed the power of Twitter. This week, as an extension of that, I wanted to discuss some Twitter tips I have learned along the way over the past 2 ½ years. As you can tell, I am very passionate about Twitter, and social media in general, despite my initial reservations. I am currently reading Social Media in Clinical Practice, and to illustrate our rapidly changing digital world, some of the information has significantly evolved in the 2 years since it was printed. Its author, Bertalan Mesko, spends some time explaining the history of social media, which is useful when you consider where it began and where we are today. One of the articles he cites, Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media, defines social media as: “…a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0*, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content”. Although the article goes into great detail, the general idea behind social media is the exchange of information. In the case of Twitter, the information has to be 140 characters or less. It sounds limiting, but as it turns out, you can convey a lot of information within those parameters.

Twitter tips

By no means is the following list all inclusive, but instead, just some of the more important tips that I feel I have learned along the way as both a physician blogger and Twitter engager:

1) Understand some basics. The @ symbol comes before your username, also referred to as a Twitter handle. Hashtags are denoted by the # symbol and allow you to be part of a conversation, categorize tweets and add flare to a tweet. Be careful though, do not to overdo hashtags – maximum 3 per tweet.

2) What constitutes an ideal tweet? If you look at some of the most retweeted content, you quickly realize no hard-fast rules exist. In general, when sharing educational material, a few words followed by the title of the article, the URL, the relevant Twitter handle(s), and 1 to 3 hashtags.

3) If you start a tweet with the @symbol, Twitter considers it a private conversation between you and the Twitter user you are referring to. This has its advantages for sure. If you want to start a tweet with a Twitter handle, but want it to appear for everyone to see, you can start the tweet with a period.

4) What is the perfect number of tweets a day? Social media frequency has been researched and analyzed, but the bottom line revolves around 3 key factors – consistency, quality and personality. To each his own, but I aim for 3 to 5 ‘quality’ tweets per day.

5) Avoid looking like spam. When I look at someone’s Twitter feed and it is full of either links to their website/blog or their own tweets with little evidence that they share other people’s information, it comes across as ‘spammy’ to me.

6) Only follow who you want to follow. What do I mean by this? Some people ‘unfollow’ people who don’t follow them back. In some cases, this behaviour may help your decision when you are ‘on the fence’, but don’t let it guide who you follow.

7) Twitter is all about engagement. If someone mentions you, reply. I continue to work on how best to do this. For instance, if someone retweets a tweet of mine that has original content (i.e. a link to one of my posts), I will thank them. Also, you can engage in a conversation about a tweet. You can see it when you click on the tweet. This is still a work in progress for me. Finally, look for Twitter chats (scheduled times for a live Twitter conversation) that you might be interested in joining. I recently discovered @WeDocs (#WeDocs), part of the We Communities that meets once a month.

8) If you like something, but don’t want to necessarily retweet it, click ‘Favorite’. You can look back on these tweets as well. If you love a tweet, you may want to both retweet it and favorite it!

9) Try to add a personal touch and have some fun! As with any online content, a personal touch can go a long way. If people can get to know and identify with a real person behind the tweets, you are more likely to find other like-minded people to engage with.

Are you on Twitter? If so, what tips can you pass along that you have found to be helpful? If not, why not start today.

SaraTMD

*Web 2.0 is a term that was first used in 2004 to describe a new way in which software developers and end-users started to utilize the World Wide Web; that is, as a platform whereby content and applications are no longer published by individuals, but instead are continuously modified by users in a participatory and collaborative fashion.⊃2;

Resources

1. Mesko, B. (2013). Social Media in Clinical Practice. Springer: London.

2. Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.

3. Twitter Tips for Beginners: Everything I Wish I Knew About Twitter When I Started

 


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Mark William's curator insight, July 30, 2015 9:32 AM

This is a very good post. These tips will help you to handle your twitter account more efficiently and effectively. 

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Tiny Sensor Can Wirelessly Track Tumors

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Scientists at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research have developed a tiny sensor that can be implanted in cancerous tissue during a biopsy. The sensor then measures predetermined biomarkers and wirelessly sends data to an external device, allowing physicians to adjust and monitor therapies accordingly.

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The sensor is based off findings that showed that cancer tissue sometimes becomes more acidic when it is under assault from chemotherapy. The sensor subsequently reads pH levels.

The sensor also measures dissolved oxygen. Tumors thrive in low-oxygen conditions, and the lower the oxygen, the more radiation that is needed. The sensors could allow doctors to adjust radiation levels depending on the oxygen levels in the tumor.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 10, 2015 12:43 AM

The sensor is based off findings that showed that cancer tissue sometimes becomes more acidic when it is under assault from chemotherapy. The sensor subsequently reads pH levels.

The sensor also measures dissolved oxygen. Tumors thrive in low-oxygen conditions, and the lower the oxygen, the more radiation that is needed. The sensors could allow doctors to adjust radiation levels depending on the oxygen levels in the tumor.

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Oncology hashtag project leads to a sarcoma hashtag with rallying cry for more treatment options

Oncology hashtag project leads to a sarcoma hashtag with rallying cry for more treatment options | Digital Healthcare Trends | Scoop.it

What do you get when you combine social media, an oncology hashtag project to provide better educational resources for patients and connect patients with physicians in this specialty and a patient population that sees few treatment options geared to them? The development of a new cancer community around sarcoma patients, #scmsm

Matthew Katz (aka @subatomicdoc) is a a radiation oncologist who founded Rad Nation, a community of radiation oncologists.

One of the ways #scmsm members have used the new handle is to amplify their push for more drug options designed specifically for sarcoma patients with an appreciation of the diverse variations on the rare condition. Although there are 50 different types of sarcoma, only one drug is designed for one of these subtypes but is used for the others and it was developed more than 30 years ago..

About 15,000 new cases of sarcoma are diagnosed each year. Sarcoma accounts for 15 percent of childhood cancer cases but only about one percent of adult cases.

The fact that these hashtags include specialist physician insights along with voices from patients make it stand out from some of the patient communities I have seen on social media. A collaboration of patients and physicians could prove more effective at getting the ear of the pharmaceutical communities they address.

Although a dominant theme has been to make July national sarcoma month, there were other conversation topics.

 


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In US, UK, and Germany, top 10 pharma apps make up 66 percent of downloads

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Sixty-six percent of all pharma app downloads in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, were downloads of the top 10 apps according to an infographic recently released by German app companySmartPatient (not to be confused with Roni Zeiger-founded online patient community SmartPatients).

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Fifty percent of the apps in question were found to be patient-facing and 36 percent were made to be used by physicians. Fourteen percent had another user in mind.

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wanderingsalsero's curator insight, August 8, 2015 1:28 PM

I haven't read this but I know enough about the question to know the answer has value. This would probably be worth a read by any business owner too.

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