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Social Media 101: Twitter, Part Three

February 6, 2009
by Gwen Darling
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Attracting healthcare IT talent

Well here we are at the end of Twitter Road. In case you’ve become Twitterpated and don’t recall where we’ve been, let’s recap our journey. In Part One, you learned the definition of Social Media, and were introduced to the concept of Twitter, a micro-blogging platform that allows you to share thoughts, ideas – whatever you want – 140 characters at a time. You learned how to set up a personal Twitter account, and, if you did your homework, found at least 25 people to follow. With great anticipation and excitement you then embraced Part Two, where you were given some personal trade secrets about how to find the most desirable fellow Twitterers to follow. Continuing through Part Two on the edge of your seat, you were handsomely rewarded, as you were given a prize list of esteemed Healthcare IT industry colleagues and instructed to observe their Tweets. So here we are at Part Three of our Twitter series, finally ready to remove the training wheels and take the corporate recruiting Twitter account for a spin.

As I’ve suggested before, it’s best if your personal Twitter account stays separate from your professional hospital CIO account. Therefore your first step is to set up a new Twitter account. Because you are able to display your real name in addition to your Twitter name, and in this case you are Twittering in an official capacity, I recommend incorporating the hospital name and your title, if at all possible. For example, “StJohnsCIO” for your Twitter name, and “Bob White” for your profile. This approach helps to extend the reach of your hospital’s brand, makes it easier for others to identify your occupation, and allows your successor to assume the Twitter account should you desire to seek greener pastures.

OK. You’ve got your corporate Twitter account set up – now you’ve got to pinpoint who you want follow, in the hopes that they will return the interest, and help you to build a strong Twitter recruiting network. BT (before Twitter), what type of person did you contact to assist in your recruiting efforts? Healthcare IT recruiters? Other CIOs? Vendors? Healthcare IT Job Board Managers? Yes? It’s no different on Twitter – follow your industry colleagues, and they will follow you.

Finding this group takes a little detective work. You can use the “Search” feature, or the “Find People” function to get started. However, I’ve find the best way to populate my network is by raiding the “Followed” and “Following” lists of other influential and respected Twitterers in our industry. Mr. HIStalk, for instance, has 131 followers. Not a huge number, but a quick scan proves his followers contain primarily Healthcare IT professionals, with some who are most certainly looking for a new opportunity. Follow them! The HealthcareITJobs Twitter followers are definitely either Healthcare IT professionals who are in the market for a career change, or recruiters who may help you find the perfect candidate. Follow them! And so it begins…

Now that you’re growing your network with targeted, relevant, valuable industry colleagues, what, specifically, should you be Tweeting in order to recruit Healthcare IT talent? And since you’re just beginning to build your network, how are you going to get the word out past your small group of followers? So glad you asked! Take a look - here’s a recent Tweet from HISRecruiter, a recruiter from Noesis Health:
Since I follow HISRecruiter’s Tweets, I saw her message. This particular recruiter happens to post jobs on HealthcareITJobs, so we’ve become acquainted. She’s relatively new to Twitter, and at this point has only 32 followers, BUT, I have more. So as a courtesy to HISRecruiter, and to my followers who are looking for new opportunities, I “reTweet” her message like this:

Now her message has gone beyond the boundaries of her personal network, and expanded into mine. Chances are quite good that others will follow my lead, and reTweet as well, which means that a new Twitterer with 32 followers has the power to broadcast her specific recruiting needs to untold numbers of highly targeted, receptive potential candidates. For free.

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Thank you gentlemen! Next up, LinkedIn - one of the VERY BEST professional recruiting tools available (if you know to use it).

G.

Interesting

Hospital Uses Twitter To Provide Real-Time Updates on Surgery
Yesterday, surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit used the micro-blogging service Twitter to provide real-time updates on a robot-assisted surgery. Hospital officials hope the Twitter updates increase exposure to the hospital's new surgical procedures and technology. Detroit News.
http://lyris.ihealthbeat.org/t/4643/344574/6092/0/

Gwen. I couldn't agree with Tim more. I think this series is going to be very useful for those that want to better understand the social networking phenomena we are all hearing so much about.

Gwen:

Great post and good solid material for all readers. Question: Does this blog qualify for CME credits:-:- ? Super series!

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Gwen Darling

CEO, HealthcareITCentral.com

Gwen Darling

@HealthcareITJob

www.HealthcareITCentral.com

Gwen Darling serves as an online HIT matchmaker, bringing together qualified Healthcare IT...