When we compiled a list of reasons why people won’t “follow” someone on Twitter, we nearly ran out of paper. Twitter is an immensely popular social media, and for many hospital social media efforts, it can be a highly useful tool. Ask your followers about what they like and don't like and you're bound to get responses that can help shape the ways you tweet. (And avoid the social sins of Twitter.)
If your social media objectives in healthcare, medical group or hospital marketing include establishing and maintaining a relationship, the feedback you get should reflect what the audience considers when deciding who to follow, who not to follow, and why. (And what they want and don't want to find in the Twitter stream.)
Fortunately, the Citizens of Twitter-land are outspoken about what they like and dislike about Tweets and Twitter. (Not that professional communicators would do this stuff, but it's a quick sample of social media preferences.) Published opinions on this abound; there must be a million of them. Here are some of the most common dislikes—and reasons not to follow on Twitter—included variations on these ideas:
1. Nobody likes spam, or even the hint of spam. (See also the next two items.)
2. Too often is too much. People differ about the right tweet frequency, but they don’t like it when it feels like it’s too much or too often.
3. If it feels “automated” it doesn’t feel personal.
4. The Me-Me-Me message doesn’t fly. Purely one-sided communications is not a dialog and not much of an engaging relationship.
5. Twitter’s default avatar-egg is a turnoff. People relate to people; this might not be the place for your logo (or an egg.)
6. Everyone has a need. Feed their needs and interests, not yours.
Here's a sampling of comments from Twitter users and some of the most common Twitter-follower disconnects. Some issues apply more in person-to-person situations, but can also be useful insight for medical practice marketing.
Credit: Brankida Underwood
Credit: Alan Graner
Credit: Atherton Bartelby
Credit: Alison Gianotto
Credit: Mark Evans
The lesson here is that it pays to know your social media audience, understand their needs and interests, and to use Twitter and Tweets in ways that build a two-way relationship. Ask for their feedback; everyone has an opinion on this one. And we'd like to hear from you. What do you think? We welcome your comments about social media etiquette.
Read more Twitter Tips for Social Medial and Healthcare Marketing in this additional Healthcare Success article.