Best Practices Guide: Twitter for Healthcare Professionals


Twitter, like many social media outlets today, can be an effective tool used to connect with potential patients and colleagues, promote your practice as well as create interactive relationships with your followers.

Twitter Glossary

Tweet 140-character post update aka “Tweet”

Twitter Handle Your user name is called your
Twitter handle. There is an @ in front of your Twitter handle, e.g. @practicebuildrs is the Twitter handle for Practice Builders.

Twitter Stream When logging onto Twitter, your Twitter stream is list of Tweets from users you follow. These are posted and updated in real time, with the most recent Tweets being at the top.

Retweet When you retweet a Tweet, it means you are posting a Tweet that another Twitter user tweeted. There are two ways you can retweet, the first being type RT @userhandle, copy the original Tweet. An easier way of retweeting is clicking the Retweet button on the specific Tweet that you want to retweet. You can also write additional comments on the retweet; however, it must not go over 140 characters.

Follow To follow means to follow a user on Twitter.

Follow Back To follow back means to follow anyone who initiates following you.

@reply An @reply is a publictweet directed at a specific user, e.g. Tweeting @practicebuildrs… would not only update on your followers’ Twitter streams but @practicebuildrs and their followers would see the same Tweet.

Message Sending a message to a Twitter user who follows you is like sending a private Tweet. Formerly known as Direct Messaging, use can now send a message to specific person by clicking on Message and typing out the 140-character message you would like to send the person.

Tips on Getting Started

You can tweet short announcements or links to any relevant information you’d like to share with your followers such as articles, webinars, podcasts and blog posts:

  • Double check to make sure the links you share are correct so that you don’t direct your followers to the wrong content.
  • You can shorten your the website links by using or on Twitter.
  • You can promote your practice by tweeting about special promotions, products and services and events that your followers may not know about.
  • It’s good to diversify your Tweets so that you are not solely promoting yourself but also offering informative or useful information to your followers.
  • You can retweet content that you feel is relevant or contributes to your Twitter overall message
  • Try not to use medical jargon that your followers might not understand.
  • Don’t tweet any patient information.

Gaining Followers & General Guidelines of Twitter Promotion

Follow users with similar interests or who are in the same industry:

  • Engage with your followers; Twitter isn’t just about broadcasting to a group of followers but fostering a community and a meaningful conversation.
  • Once the people you’re following notice you, it is likely they will follow you in return.

Gain web visibility by adding links to your Twitter as well as your other social media websites on email signatures, business cards, brochures, websites, etc.

If possible, tweet at different times throughout the day to better your chances of showing up in your followers’ news streams.

Don’t give medical advice over Twitter. If somebody asks you a question via Twitter, refer them to call your office for a consultation.

Stay active and vocal within your Twitter community by asking questions, “Retweeting” or commenting on content you read as well as messaging followers for private conversations.

Interested in additional social media solutions that will help you reach more patients?

We also offer complete social media solutions for Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Yelp. Click on any of the icons below to visit our social media networks!

Contact us at 855-898-2710 to find out more information on how our social media solutions can be effective for your practice.

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