Here are some ideas and tips about making the information you share on Twitter more easily identified, consumed and shared with others.
1. “Understand what you share because you can’t pull it back”
It’s ok to call out the value of what you share, add an opinion and/or point out possible contradictions – don’t be shy! Just remember that what you post on Twitter does not go away - even if you delete it.
2. Integrate hashtags into your tweet – if it makes sense
By integrating hashtag(s) into your tweet sentence on a contextualized basis, it may read better and you will also save space; therefore you can include more info.
Ex "2016 HIMSS Value of Health IT Survey: 6 Trends to Know" http://ow.ly/WXAXe
"2016 HIMSS Value of #HealthIT Survey: 6 #Trends to Know" http://ow.ly/WXAXe
Tidy Up Your Tweet Before You Share It
3. Cover your tracks!
You may want to remove tracking tags and keys from the URL’s you share – especially if any personal information like your email address is embedded in the URL.
For instance, instead of this:
4. Leave room for others to RT and share your information
Keep your tweets to about 110-120 characters so it can be RT’d by others without them having to edit your tweet. Be concise. Remove unnecessary words like “the” “a” “is” “are” – and use a link shortener; which is typically built in to most tools nowadays
5. Validate links before posting them
At a bare minimum, click on links you intend to share and make sure they lead to something – even if it’s not the content you think it is! There’s nothing worse than a “404 – Page Not Found” error! :)
Point People in the Right Direction
6. If a link leads to a site that controls access to the content, inform user of the need to login to access the content.
Add “[Login Reqd]” to the Tweet.
7. Identify special digital media formats at the end of the tweet
– Is it video? A huge document? A Podcast? Consider calling it out by adding [Video] or [Large File] etc.
8. When sharing a large media source, point to specific locations within the document, video, or podcast that you want to call out.
Ex. “See pg 18-22” or “See 3rd paragraph” or “Starts at 1:35”
9. Use hashtag(s) to help categorize your content and make it easy to find.
Hashtags are also used by certain web services to summarize and index tweets – making your content more likely to be read. But don’t use too many hashtags!
Example: "#Free #today #icd10 #testing #tips for #payers and #providers”
10. Don’t use punctuation or special characters within a hashtag.
Using “#ICD-10” results in a hashtag of “#ICD”
11. You can use a question mark or exclamation point as the last character in a Tweet as it will be ignored. The following are all acceptable:
“#ICD10?” results in a hashtag of “#ICD10”
“#healthit’s a great space to work in” results in a hashtag of “#healthit”
“I love #HIMSS16!” results in a hashtag of “#HIMSS16”
By incorporating some or all of the above tips and approaches into your Twitter shares, you’ll make it easy on your readers and improve the value of the information shared. For more information on healthcare technology and conferences, consider following @HITConfGuy. You may also want to follow @ShimCode for information on healthcare data, technology and services.