Oct 29 2009
by Jenn Riggle
I read a great article by Brian Solis this week about the science of retweets. The article got me thinking about why hospitals don’t use the Twitter retweet function more often.
According to Ed Bennett’s most recent list of hospitals engaging in social media, 297 U.S. hospitals have established Twitter accounts. Yet when you look at these accounts, one thing is readily apparent – most don’t understand the power of the retweet. Instead of using Twitter to engage with the community and to humanize health care, they’re using it as a broadcasting medium to promote their service lines and extend their brand. And when you look at their Twitter stream, more often than not, they’re doing all of the talking.
Why is this? One reason is that not all consultants seem to understand social media and the value it brings to health care . My client shared with me an August 12, 2009 Advisory Board article that pooh-poohed the value of the retweet function saying: “By retweeting…hospitals missed an opportunity to connect the story to a service offering or a call to action. While retweets can be an easy way to boost the number of messages sent to your Twitter following, you’ll want to be selective in order to retain your own voice with your audience, avoid ‘content spam,’ and maximize interest in your specific institution.”
Hospitals that feel this way are never going to harness the power of the social media. Here are five reasons hospitals should retweet more:
Hospitals need to realize that they can’t just talk about themselves – they need to provide information that is relevant to their community and their followers. Retweeting others is a great way to do this.
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