The future is digital – which means the way we connect, educate, and learn is moving online. Twitter can be a powerful tool you can leverage to do all of the above!
There are countless reasons why a healthcare professional is well advised to use Twitter, despite years of debate over the pros and cons. While there are justifiable risks to using Twitter and some well known cautionary tales, it has still become the social media platform of choice for a number of medical practices, hospitals and healthcare professionals.
Twitter is flexible enough to be used as a conduit for disseminating information, creating engagement, providing information acquisition, or any combination of the three options. While Twitter is often viewed as a purely social tool, here are three reasons that you will want to use Twitter as a professional tool.
1.) To Connect
Bringing people together is merging information. Having a platform to quickly connect to patients, colleagues and professional human resources is invaluable. Twitter can serve as the door to connect to peers that you may have never had the opportunity to confer with otherwise. It’s fast, simple and highly customizable, making your Twitter community an excellent hub for your online communications.
While you will want to exercise caution interacting with patients or non-medical professionals soliciting advice, the collaboration among colleagues that is possible on Twitter can be invaluable. It is also an excellent avenue to increase your visibility in your local market and beyond, which can lead to professional opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
2.) To Educate
While the 140 character count limit Twitter imposes on each tweet can make it difficult to pass along comprehensive information in the style a blog or platform like Facebook makes available, Twitter is perfect for passing along information in other ways.
Sharing relevant links to videos or websites is easy. Informative infographics can easily be posted and passed along with a descriptive snippet. It may not be the ideal place to have a highly technical discussion, but that in no way means Twitter is not an impressively powerful tool to educate through.
3.) To Learn
As a healthcare professional, you are a lifelong learner. There will never be a time in your career when there is not something new to learn. As such, Twitter is a remarkable tool to stay on top of what is new and what is on the horizon. In the same manner that you would use Twitter to educate others, it is available to you to learn as well.
Twitter is very intuitive in the manner it employs to suggest who to follow. When you cross match the suggestions with lists of medical professionals and agencies available online, you can follow the best of the best in any or all fields in a matter of minutes.
While you will always want to verify any information you retrieve on Twitter, regardless of the account it comes from, the same is true of any online portal. With that said, whether you choose to use Twitter to educate, learn or connect, the most important thing is that you get started. Like any tool at your disposal, it’s only useful if you use it.