Are You Tweeting Yet?

Want to get started using — or become more active on — social media on a professional level? A blog on your practice website, or a practice Facebook page, Twitter account, and/or YouTube channel can be highly effective tools for building your reputation and your practice, and for connecting with your patient base. 

Of these four social media channels, Twitter can be the most difficult to master, with its fast pace, 140-character limit, and confusing terminology, say TMA's Steve Levine and Debra Heater in their new TMA publication, Get Social: Put Your Practice on the Social Media Map.

But interestingly, the 2015 Texas Legislature provides a painless opportunity for you to wet your feet in the Twittersphere, as a TMA advocate.

Twitter is a communication tool of choice for the Texas Legislature. Groups that most effectively use this social network to influence the legislative process have trained their supporters to faithfully echo the organizations' Twitter messages. This tactic substantially increases the groups' Twitter reach and impact.

That's why Mr. Levine, TMA's vice president of communications, created four basic lessons from the TMA Twitter Academy that show you how to set up an account, tweet, follow, retweet, and more as part of the TMASMA (TMA Social Media Advocacy) campaign (PDF).

"While TMA has been active on Twitter for years and has a large following, our tweets don't get enough reinforcement from TMA members. As part of our plan to better engage the 2015 Texas Legislature at all levels, we're asking TMA leaders and member physicians to join the campaign in the Twittersphere," Mr. Levine said.

So check out TMA's six-step TMASMA Marching Orders (PDF) and get tweeting. By the end of the legislative session, you may be ready to create a Twitter account for your practice and start your own dialogue in cyberspace.

Get Social: Put Your Practice on the Social Media Map is available in the TMA Education Center. It's about putting your practice on the social media map while avoiding HIPAA potholes and other detours.

Published Jan. 13, 2015

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