Twitter 101 for healthcare

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Presentation given to American Health Care class at Brandeis on 10/20/10


  • 1. Twitter 101 for Health Care Jodi Sperber, MSW, MPH October 20, 2010

2. Before you take notes


3. What well cover

  • Twitter basics
  • Examples
  • Getting started
  • Tools that make it easier
  • Best practices

4. 5. Photo credit: kevharb, via Creative Commons license All if this,andyou want me to tweet? 6.

  • Many people have assumed that Twitter is just another social network, some kind of micro-blogging service, or both. It can be these things but primarily Twitter serves as areal-time information network powered by people around the worlddiscovering whats happening and sharing the news.

Photo credit: Terje S. Skerdal, via Creative Commons license 7. People have a lot to say

  • Updated numbers:
  • As of June 2010, Twitter averages:
  • 750 tweets per second
  • 65 million tweets per day

8. Photo Credit: emerald isle druid, via Creative Commons license 9.

  • Atweetis an individual message
  • Tofollowsomebody is to subscribe to their messages.This doesnotmean they will also follow you.
  • ADMor direct message is a private message on Twitter. Often written simply as D.
  • RTorretweetis to repost a valuable message from somebody else on Twitter and give them credit
    • Sometimes noted as via instead of RT

Photo credit jovike, used via Creative Commons licenseAdapted from Twitter 101 for Business 10.

  • @usernameis a public message to or about an individual on Twitter
  • Ahashtag the # symbol followed by a term and included in tweetsis a way of categorizing all the posts on a topic
  • Shortened URLs . To fit links into the short message format, URLs are oftened shortened. Can be accomplished using a variety of services.
  • Trending topicsare the most-discussed terms on Twitter at any given moment

Photo credit jovike, used via Creative Commons licenseAdapted from Twitter 101 for Business 11. Anatomy of a tweet 12.

  • First step:
  • Listen
    • Try searching
    • for a few keywords or topics

Photo credit: Erica Reid, used via Creative Commons license 13. Developments Research Meetings and Conference Info Q&A Conversations Chit Chat Campaigns What do you hear? Photo credit: bullcitydogs, via Creative Commons license 14. Photo credit samcrockett, via Creative Commons license Asking questions 15. Photo credit: Sifter, used via Creative Commons license Sharing information 16. Photo by kevharb, via Creative Commons license Connecting 17. Real time news 18. Start a conversation 19. More on conversations 20. 21. Full list here: 22. Photo Credit: arbyreed, via Creative Commons license Does it feel anything like this? 23. You can do it!Really!

  • People like tips, links to interesting stories and blog posts (they dont have to be about you), and a good sense of humor.
  • People like the human touch and will appreciate posts with your thoughts and experiences more than you think
  • They also like it when you say hi, respond to their questions, comments, praise, complaints and jokes

Photo credit: kate.e did, via Creative Commons license Adapted from Twitter 101 for Business 24. Getting started

  • Signing up takes approximately one minute

25. To help people recognize and trust your account, fill out your profile completely and include a picture Adapted from Twitter 101 for Business 26. This is where you type your 140 27. Follow relevant accounts

  • Following somebody means youve subscribed to their tweets
  • When you find a good candidate, look under their picture for theFollowbutton
  • Start small follow five.Listen for a while.Then follow five more.
  • Lists are also useful for finding/creating groups on a specific topic

Adapted from Twitter 101 for Business 28. Get a jump start

  • Follow a list of users that someone else has already created
  • @jsirkin/healthpolicy

29. Thats the basics!But its only the beginning 30. TweetDeck HootSuite 31. TweetDeck: desktop based This is where you type your 140 32. HootSuite: web based Search term Type 140 here Mentions Integration Integration 33. Best practices

  • Build relationships on Twitter
    • Listen for comments about you
    • Respond to comments and queries
    • Ask questions
    • Post links to things people would find interesting

Adapted from Twitter 101 for Business 34. Best practices

  • Retweet messages you find interesting/valuable
  • Use a friendly, casual tone
  • Do. Not. Spam.
  • Dont tweet anything you wouldnt want your mother to read


  • No matter how sophisticated the algorithms get, no matter how many machines we add to the network, our work is not about the triumph of technology, it is about the triumph of humanity. 36.