Twitter can be a minefield of dubious information, but Lists can help medical practices stay organized and engage with the right content.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important platform for healthcare conversations. Patients are sharing their experiences with chronic illnesses, engaging with influential physicians, and taking advice from leading hospitals. Social content also has the potential to impact where patients turn for care — in one survey, 41% of patients reported that social media influences their treatment plan and even their choice of doctor.
However, when it comes to Twitter in particular, the constant stream of information on the platform can be hard to manage. Fortunately, Twitter allows users to create groups of relevant accounts called Lists. Medical practices can build their own Lists or subscribe to Lists created by others in order to stay organized and up-to-date on the latest industry information.
Twitter Lists not only streamline the user experience, but can help you keep track of influencers, news sources, and competitors. Here’s how healthcare professionals can use Lists to engage with patients and expand their social media presence.
How Do You Create a Twitter List?
Lists allow medical practices to view the activity of chosen accounts without needing to officially follow them. List activity appears in a separate timeline of curated tweets, and you can organize this information by topic, depending on your preferences. For example, medical practices may choose to build one List to keep an eye on local competitors and another to stay apprised of healthcare news in real time.
To create a Twitter List, follow these five simple steps:
- From your Twitter profile, click “Lists” in the row of stats next to Following, Followers, and Likes.
- Click “Create List” on the top right.
- Name the List and write a description.
- Choose to make your List public or private.
- Save the List for future use.
Each List can support up to 5,000 users. To add an account to your List, click the Settings icon (the three small dots on the right) on the chosen user’s profile. Then, scroll down to “Add or Remove from Lists,” and select the appropriate List.
Medical practices can also benefit from subscribing to preexisting Twitter Lists. By visiting a competitor’s or follower’s profile, you can see all the public Lists connected to that account — both the ones they’re subscribed to and the ones they’re a member of — and choose to subscribe as well.
After creating or subscribing to a List, click on the List name to view a timeline of tweets from the included accounts. You can then choose to interact with the users in the List by sharing or responding to their content.
How Lists Can Help Medical Practices Build their Social Media Presence
Healthcare professionals can build a variety of different Lists in order to organize relevant content. Making a List of patient influencers, for example, can help you find trending content to engage with — you might want to try retweeting posts, answering questions, or sharing interesting articles. Similarly, building a List of active followers can help healthcare practices keep track of what patients are talking about, as well as encourage engagement through comments and retweets. When a new user mentions or follows your account, simply add them to your List.
Another useful practice is to create a List of competitors. This List can be public or private — either way, it will likely be an important resource to determine which strategies are most effective. By observing what your competitors do, you can refine your own plan for social engagement.
Finally, Lists can help medical practices find the right content to share. This can come in the form of a curated group of industry news sources or a List of the healthcare providers in your own practice. By keeping up with the accounts of your nurses and physicians, you can help them build their unique brands, as well as retweet any interesting resources they might find. Such a relationship will be mutually beneficial, as it will enable both parties to drive increased engagement with their profiles.
Lists are a simple and effective way for medical practices to organize content on Twitter and stay connected to their followers. As more and more people become active on social media, the healthcare professionals that take full advantage of Twitter and other platforms are more likely to see a boost in website traffic — and an increase in new patients.