Jumping into the Twittersphere: A Nurse’s Guide

When you heard about twitter, you probably thought that it is just another social media network where post an every-second accounts of their lives.

Maybe it is true, but, hey, did you know twitter is great, too, as long as you follow the right people?

When I first started on twitter, very few of my friends were using it so there was very few to follow and there were very few who followed me back. Then my timeline started showing tweets and retweets about the latest news, links to articles, links to websites, and links to new blog posts. I was surprised that I was hearing about the latest news from twitter and was more amused that I was getting the news quicker than my friends.

What I did next was to follow all the news portals on twitter and viola! I started feeling like I am the most updated person in the world!

I also started following renowned people on twitter. Key opinion leaders, bloggers, writers, executives, and yes, even celebrities! Among the first few people I started following is Ms Melanie Hetfield (@melaniejane88) whose tweets showed me the enormous potentials of twitter.

Among the most important takeaways from my twitter experience are the healthcare and nursing updates I get from reliable health and nurse twitter users I follow. Now I spend less time searching for updates. The updates come to me.

So far, everything has been great. I tweet great stuff I am working on, the new articles I post on my blog, and other professional activities and I think may interest them. I also reweet to them the great posts I often stumble upon.

Not on twittersphere yet? You might want to give it a try!

Here’s how you can get started:

1. Join Twitter. It’s pretty simple. Go to http://www.twitter.com and register. You will need an email account and a twitter name.

2. Update your profile. You can add a photo and write a should profile.

3. Search and follow people. There is a search box where you can type in the specific twitter names of the people you already know. You may also type in relevant keywords for the kinds of twitter user you are interested in.

4. Tweet. Here’s the catch: you are only allowed 140 characters. Some people find it too restricting, but I find it a great creativity stimulator! It allows me to find creative ways to say what I want to say in a few words. You can literally answer the question, “What’s happening?” and tweet about it. Do you have a question? Do you have a blog? Do you have a new blog post? Have you witnessed a newsy event? Go ahead and tweet them!

5. Retweet. If you don’t have anything in particular to tweet yet, spend some time going over other people’s tweets. Did your follower tweet something really interesting that you think is worth sharing to your other followers? Retweet!

With these 5 tips, I think you are good to go! But tweeting doesn’t end here. There are still so many things that you can do. There are terms like hash tags, lists, twitter chats, shootout and many more that you will learn along the way. Stay tuned to my blog to get more info about these!

I hope I have I have somehow helped you find your way around twittersphere. Before I end this article, I would like to leave you a message. You probably have heard many news reports about how twitter and other social media networks have brought lawsuits to healthcare professionals. For this reason, remember that professional responsibilities and patient confidentiality are very important whenever you tweet as a nurse. Remember, too, that each of your tweets has a potential to be retweeted to hundreds and thousands of people. Tweet responsibly.

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What do you think about the use of social media in healthcare? How do you see Social Media in Healthcare in next few years? Let us know what you think! Send a guest post to info@medicalbutler.com and be heard on the latest online voice of nurses!

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