Officially launched in 2007, Twitter was originally conceptualized as tool for employees at a podcasting company to instantly communicate with one another in real time. Five years later, Twitter has more than one million users producing more than 200 million tweets per day.
Though the company’s website boasts Twitter is a real-time network connecting people to information instantaneously, it is now increasingly used as a marketing too; a way to provide information on new products and monitor what people are saying about them. And healthcare organizations are joining the conversation.
Today, many hospitals, doctors and home health agencies tweet not only about what’s happening within their facility or practice, but about what’s happening in healthcare on a broader scale. Participating in the community allows followers to monitor and engage in the dialogue, keeping them informed on topics they discern relevant to their lives.
Below is an overview of Twitter syntax essential for communicating on Twitter.
- Tweet: Messages are composed of 140 characters of text and/or links
- Username: Users identify themselves by a username or handle. HMS Healthcare Management Solutions username is @HMS_Inc.
- Retweet: The retweet function allows users to forward a relevant message to their network.
- Mention: Twitter enables users to link to each other bu putting the @ symbol in front of the username in a message.
- Hashtag: A hastag is created by putting the # symbol in front of a word. Using hastags allows others to join the conversation on a topic by providing them an easy way to find it.
Remember, there is no wrong way to tweet. Just using the service will allow you freedom to discuss, share and receive relevant information as well as connect with other professionals across the healthcare continuum. Following HMS on Twitter is a great place to start!