Twitter: Should therapists tweet?
Every industry is buzzing about online social networking. Once used primarily as a way for friends to interact online, the newest social networking sites, like Twitter, allow users to actively engage with people they may never meet outside of cyberspace. As a therapist, you could be hesitant to engage in this public forum, but Twitter can be a useful tool for therapists, allowing them to seek advice and interact with thousands of other healthcare professionals.
How does it work?
Twitter is a self described "real-time short messaging system that works over multiple networks and devices." It's been called a micro-blogging platform – micro in that each "tweet" (message) can be no more than 140 characters (including spaces). The prompt question for tweets is "What are you doing?" but the content of tweets goes beyond a mere status update. A tweet might include a link to an interesting website or article, it could ask a question to solicit feedback, or it might announce breaking news to your followers.
Twitter encourages members to reach out to anyone they find interesting, be they politicians, journalists, celebrities, or even representatives from companies they want to hear from such as Ford, Comcast, or JetBlue. But Twitter isn't just connecting members of the public with high-profile individuals and brands; it also provides a way for everyday people with common interests to interact. And because it's not unusual to follow someone you don't know personally, Twitter provides the perfect forum to expand your professional network.
Who will you follow?
As a therapist, you'll want to follow other healthcare professionals to stay informed of industry news and trends. Reading tweets allows you to gauge the industry's response to breaking news, or you might "tweet" a little news of your own. You can ask questions of other Twitter therapists and offer your opinions too. Additionally, you may want to follow healthcare recruiters or job sites like TherapyJobs.com so you know what employment opportunities are available – no matter where you are in your career.
Ready; set; tweet!
Twitter is essentially an instant message service that allows millions of users to send messages to individuals or groups of followers. Using the popular service to connect with other Twitter therapists is a surefire way to expand your professional network and ultimately advance your therapy career.
Click here for a list of the Twitter Top 100 Health and Medicine.