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Twitter can be an overwhelming platform, especially with those people who love information and are easily distracted by a constant stream of new and exciting content. While it can be scary for people who have a very limited amount of time in their day, it can also be very rewarding and an exciting adventure in finding new and relevant content for your practice.  Here are my top 5 for physicians on Twitter.

1. Make It Part of Your Day

5 Twitter Tips for Physicians Icons-01One thing I always tell our physicians new to Twitter, and social media in general, is that being social doesn’t require a lot of extra time.  Obviously, it’s really easy to get absorbed in all the conversations and cute puppy photos on the different social channels, but in reality you don’t need to spend more than 5-10 minutes a day engaging on social. You’re probably reading articles you find interesting daily, add 10 seconds to your read and share it with your social audience. Simple as that!

2. Keep Your Message Simple

The best part of introducing a micro-blogging platform like Twitter to your already busy physicians is the ability to share and broadcast without a lot of effort and content building. Keeping your message terse and under 140 characters can be a challenge, so I recommend one of my favorite tools for long winded Tweeters – 140it.com

3. Engage With Your Audience

5 Twitter Tips for Physicians Icons-02Make sure your physicians know they don’t have to be afraid of questions and interaction with their Twitter audience.  More than 80% of Americans now turn to the interweb before visiting their doctor to self-diagnose themselves. Online feel free to make it a practice to refer your audience to websites like Sharecare.com. Its a platform where you can ask questions and get responses from other physicians and experts.

4. Know Your Audience

Are you being sensitive to what they want to read? Or are you posting the latest cute puppy photo? If you’re a pediatrician, your followers are probably fellow colleagues and moms – remember your audience when posting tips and articles. You can have multiple audiences – refer fellow physicians to academic articles you find interesting while sending moms to an article in the New York Times.  Know and engage your audience!

5. Be the Expert You Already Are

5 Twitter Tips for Physicians Icons-03Be YOU! You’re the expert in your area and you just happen to be online.  Give tips and share what you find interesting and remember that you’re the expert and people are looking for your everyday knowledge.

Twitter isn’t a bully on the playground looking to steal your lunch money, it’s more like a librarian with an endless stream of really great books. So it’s time to renew your library card and get reading!