Twitter is one of the four best known social media tools—YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you look at Ed Bennett’s accounting of 890 US hospitals using social networking tools, almost 75 percent have Twitter accounts. (That’s a close second to hospitals with Facebook pages at nearly 80 percent.)
But name recognition isn’t as important as knowing who uses Twitter, and knowing if they are the target audience you’re trying to reach. It turns out that the people who use Twitter are far fewer in number than the name awareness might suggest.
Only eight percent of American adult Internet users are Twitter users, according to Pew Research Center findings. Twitter is still a niche product; one that is particularly popular with young adults, minorities and urban dwellers. But not everyone.
Does the Twitter micro-blogging phenomenon belong in your healthcare and hospital marketing mix? Clearly Twitter as an important social tool for some. But exactly how relevant it is to your situation depends on your intended audience. Twitter is big with some demographic slices, but much less so with others. (At least right now.)
You’ll want to take a close look at the Pew Research numbers, but the top line data says that the groups with relatively high levels of Twitter use include the categories: Young Adults (ages 18-29), African-Americans and Latinos and Urban Residents. Women and the college-educated are also slightly more likely than average to use the service.
By one account, Twitter reportedly picks-up hundreds of thousands of new users daily. So keep a close watch on the scoreboard. The numbers will certainly be changing as the popularity grows. And if you need a little help keeping score, there's more social media marketing insight on our website.
By the way, you can follow Healthcare Success on Twitter @HCSuccess.