Healthcare Social Media: 5 Keys to Telling Stories with Twitter!

With social media consistently on the rise, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already. You already know that your hospital needs a company website, a Twitter, a Facebook and even a LinkedIn page, but how do you get the most out of it? Your web presence should not only exist, it should flourish!

Of these social media channels, Twitter can be the most challenging to understand in a business environment. Hashtags, trending tweets, feeds…there’s a flurry of key vocabulary words you’ve got to understand and implement in order to get ahead in the Twitter game.

No need to worry– we’re here to help. We monitor and measure many impactful healthcare Twitter accounts here at Healthcare Intellavance and we want to share our knowledge with you. Here are some fun and easy suggestions to optimize and maximize your Twitter presence.

Understand Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is key. For large healthcare organizations, that can be as broad as the general public looking for a primary care physician or people in the community looking to share their healthcare experiences (good or bad) with others. For hospitals with certain niches, you’ll want to target your message to that market. If you’re a rehabilitation hospital, your target audience would be those with orthopedic needs like sports injuries or musculoskeletal trauma.

Once you know your audience, post with them in mind. Tweet and retweet things they might find interesting to keep them clicking for more.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are an important way to spread your message over Twitter. By adding a simple number sign (#) in front of a word, you’re making it into a search term. For example, a Tweet that says, “Currently in the waiting room #SampleHospitalName” would then be linked to every other message that also hashtagged the name of the hospital.

So, if someone searches a hashtag for bariatric surgery, a hospital that offers the service will pop up only if they’ve tweeted something with that hashtag. It’s an easy way to break past the barricade of your followers and maximize the number of eyes viewing your tweets.

Tell Stories

A Twitter account works best as a story-teller. It’s a great way to share those key stories about patient experiences and form stronger connections with your community. Any good or interesting PR that surfaces should be shot back out at your Twitter followers for favorites and retweets.

For hospitals, this means keeping an eye out for your doctors in case they have any public appearances or just screening Twitter for feedback on patient experiences. It’s the perfect way to strengthen your bond with patients and connect with the broader community.

Spread the word! Any good feedback, special occasions, events, doctor appearances or awards, let your followers know. It’s a great way to promote a positive and knowledgeable reputation.

Offer Useful Information

A healthcare Twitter doesn’t have to be all about the hospital or healthcare organization. Tweeting links to relevant blog posts or valuable insights about current events in the healthcare industry will prove that you’re a worthy follow. Your followers will then in turn take those tweets and spread them to their likeminded friends.

As long as you’re offering useful tidbits that can be used in everyday life (think: 5 Ways to Avoid the Flu,) your following will grow.

Keep it Relevant

Above all else, Twitter is about growing your brand and developing your web presence. Don’t lose sight of that in the efforts to keep your followers entertained. If you want to post a picture to spice things up, make it relevant. Don’t stray away from your primary goal—spreading the word about your healthcare organization.

Want to know more about your healthcare organization’s PR efforts and how to get ahead? Click here to request a free sample report or send an e-mail to for more information on our PR & Marketing Intelligence services.