10 Steps for Making Twitter a Powerful PR Tool

Twitter can be one of the best ways to engage with patients and the media.

As Twitter has evolved into a real-time news tool, it’s time to stop wondering about its value and start developing a real strategy.

I recently read a post from Sally Falkow, a seasoned PR professional who blogs at the Proactive Report. She gave 10 tips to use in making Twitter a legitimate PR tool:

1. Find your Tweeple. (Your target audience/community)
2. Follow people who are talking about you, your brand and your industry
3. Set goals for your Twitter activity
4. Provide valuable content
5. Don’t treat Twitter like another broadcast medium
6. Tweet every day
7. Use Hashtags
8. Take note of the latest trends and buzz on Twitter
9. Be helpful
10. Expand from Twitter

It seems to me that some of the common threads in this advice are consistent with principles we’ve always used for successful healthcare marketing or clinical research news ::

* Engage with people in a genuine, human way.
* Deliver messages that are important to them; talk about what they want to talk about vs. what we want to say.
* Communicate regularly. Patients are not looking for old news or outdated information.
* Listen. You’re trying to build a community.
* Use Twitter as a hook to deepen your relationship. Just as we’ve always done with direct marketing, Twitter gives people a chance to “raise their hands,” to indicate their interest in your brand. Don’t waste precious leads. Drive people to your website and your Facebook page. Add them to as many of your other marketing initiatives as possible.

One final thought. There are many tools that make working with Twitter easier and more effective. Falkow mentions Filtrbox, Trackur to help monitor conversations. I would add Tweet Adder and Social Oomph, two great tools that can help manage your Twitter activity.

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