| Monday, January 01, 0001
5 Apps to Tame Physician Twitter Feeds
In 2015, the case for social media is a strong one. Sure, it gets a bad rap every once in a while, what with teenagers, cyber harassment and all those annoying game requests, but social media can also make us better citizens. Many of us are better informed on current affairs due to social media, and no one really has any excuse to ever forget a birthday ever again. Social media can also help physicians do their jobs better, as anyone who's followed the trend can tell you. For one, it renders physicians more visible to their patients, it allows safe, controlled conduits through which to share health and treatment information and by having social media accounts in place, physicians can place a positive spin on their own Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means that when someone Google searches a physician's name, the first few results will be those controlled by the physician, putting the control back in place of the physician.
Granted, any time physicians interact with patients outside of the official confines of the office, there are privacy concerns to consider, including HIPAA. However, as the landscape continues shifting and physicians on social media becomes increasingly more and more common, precedent and protocol for these situations rounds off many of the serrated edges.
This day in age, the most stringent consideration a physician must make in regards to social media is just how much time they're willing to put into it. Some physicians have found that putting just an hour or two in a week has helped them up their profile, while others spend significantly more. While the specific time requirements for a physician on social media varies from practice to practice, one essential fact remains the same: physicians can't always control how their day will play out. Here are 5 apps that will help social-media savvy physicians make the absolute most of their social media presence, cutting much of the extraneous fat and ensuring they're getting the most from their profiles..
Bit.ly is a link shortener, one which takes long and unruly URLs and snips them down into a uniquely clipped link which can be shared on any platform. This tool is especially helpful for physicians who use social media to share links to healthcare information contained on other websites or social media profiles. It also helps character-conscious Twitter users keep their allotted 140 character Tweets within spatial regulations and best of all, Bit.ly contains its own set of user analytics. Essentially, anyone who uses Bit.ly to shorten a link can monitor the "performance" of said link through the Bit.ly platform, for example: how many engagements (clicks) the link received along with general demographics information. While there are other link shorteners floating around, Bit.ly is likely the most famous for its streamlined design, mobile features and cross platform interoperability.
EveryPost works under the premise of a "social media blast" allowing users to tailor and curate content and then upload it directly onto multiple social media platforms all at the same time. It's currently compatible with Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and even custom Email blasts, with more integration in the works. One distinct feature of EveryPost, one which takes the wide breadth of social media platforms into account, is its automatic Tweet shortener, which takes the contents of your Tweet and automatically shortens them to fit within the 140 character limit. Though EveryPost does offer distinct pricing plans for content marketers and social media experts, their free tier boasts more than enough bells and whistles to keep social media savvy physicians on top of their output across all their individual profiles.
Of all the social media platforms, Twitter, with its character counts, hashtags and the relatively short shelf-life of Tweets, may just be the most daunting for newbies. Fortunately, numerous apps aim to take the sting out of Twitter, and actually render it a viable social media platform to share information. Tweepi is kind of like a "bulk streamliner" that allows users to quickly and efficiently "flush" out unwanted Twitter followers in bulk (for instance, those whom you follow but do not follow you back.) On the other side of the coin, it also allows users to quickly and painlessly reciprocate a follow, and can be done with large groups of followers, so as to prevent the user from having to hunt through one by one. Finally, and likely one of its most vaunted features, Tweepi allows users to search for Tweets around a specific word or phrase, to easily access the most relevant Twitter users possible and make them more aware of your presence. For example, a physician in pediatrics may find great utility in building an audience around those who are tweeting around relevant pediatric topics.
TweetDeck is another app that aims to make Twitter a more manageable platform, and since it comes directly from the developers, there's no cross-program headaches to worry about. Tweetdeck takes the standard Twitter interface and tweaks it just slightly, adding in its most famous feature, a "live updating" stream, which allows users to stay up to date on developments and trends as they're happening in real time. TweetDeck also performs many of the tasks of the other apps, like allowing for search term customization and bulk "Twitter Maintenance" but does so with such an intuitive interface, it will remain a popular choice for its utility and panache.
Hootsuite is the premiere in a small group of content management systems and it's time-saving capabilities come in the form of "scheduling" in which users can coordinate their content, days, week and even months in advance. Most salient
internet marketing concludes that for maximum efficacy in social media engagement, regular and consistent content is key. Hootsuite allows users to plan their content out, along with when it will go out, and allows for much customization on that end. For example, users can ensure that their most relevant content goes out at specific "peak" times for the maximum impact. Furthermore, Hootsuite eliminates the need for physicians to be constantly pulled from their work to engage with social media. It can all be pre-scheduled to go out on its own time, so that those scheduling the content, can stay engaged with what is most important. Hootsuite also allows for last minute revisions and works on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Ultimately, the question of physicians on social media isn't really why as much as it is how much. While social media is still a relatively new development, one which hasn't worked out every single one of its bugs and flaws, these apps make the multi-faceted job of modern physician just a titch easier, streamlining the content curation process and ensuring that all physicians can efficiently manage their output without compromising their on-the-job healthcare capabilities.
Pho, Kevin. "Physicians Using Social Media Should Try Hootsuite."
KevinMD.com. KevinMD, 10 June 2015. Web. 16 June 2015.