Why Twitter Matters, Even for Small Startups

 

I know what you’re thinking … “I don’t need to bother with Twitter, that’s for big companies with big departments to run it.” But you’re wrong.

Social media is now on the list of things most companies should have as part of their business model. Similar to a website and business cards, it’s a standard way to engage with your audiences.

Twitter has more than 300 million active monthly users worldwide. According to 2016 Pew Research, 21% of American adults are using Twitter. Although Facebook remains the most popular social media site, 42% of Twitter users log in at least once a day, with 23% logging in more than once daily.

PwC research found that 33% of consumers use social media for health-related activities, and 45% say information gathered in social media searches would affect their health decisions.

The one advantage Twitter has for health news and information, for both physicians and consumers, is its brevity. The information presented in a tweet must grab your attention and be easily digestible. This allows for easy review of pertinent topics. With the expansion from 140 to 280 characters per tweet, there is more opportunity to communicate with clarity on healthcare topics, for all audiences.

Both physicians and consumers are using mobile devices for Twitter – mobile plus a character limit is a perfect match for searching and learning about medical topics. Consider how much easier it is to view your Twitter feed than it is to navigate a website on a smartphone. Even with responsive website design, Twitter is a much more straightforward medium.

Many physicians have small pockets of downtime between procedures, and they can easily utilize those few minutes on Twitter. Physicians can leverage Twitter to learn about clinical trials, journal publications, professional society news, upcoming educational conferences, and read up on what KOLs and industry peers are doing.

Patients searching for answers in their own health journeys will also look to social media for information on relevant subjects and procedures. If you have a section on your website dedicated to patient education, Twitter is also an important forum for this material.

In medical device marketing, Twitter is preferred because followers cannot make direct comments to your posts, which can trigger complaints in a company’s quality system. As with any other communications, all Tweets must be aligned with your company’s regulatory clearances and internal quality system guidelines. Check out the guidance with your regulatory team and work together to outline a strategy first. Contrary to popular belief, Tweets are usually not done on the fly or without an advance plan.

Even a small startup can manage a Twitter account in about 2 hours per week. So don’t wait … join the conversation!

 

 

 

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