Twitter has become the social media ‘tool’ of choice for the business world and this is understandable considering its worldwide appeal. In Australia alone as at June 2013 there were 2,167,849 active Australian Twitter users according to Socialmedianews.com.au.
The platform has become a huge resource and knowledge-sharing hub for all types of businesses and professionals with potential benefits for marketing and customer service.
At this year’s Princeton Digital Pharma Seminar in Sydney, leading academics and healthcare professionals discussed these benefits and some guidelines for using social media, particularly in the pharmaceutical and medical environment.
Prominent media law and ethics researcher and author from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, Professor Mark Pearson, spoke of the necessity for healthcare professionals to become involved in social media platforms such as Twitter.
“You cannot afford not to be part of the conversation,” he advised the audience.
The VIVA! Communication team – all avid Twitter users – has come up with its own guide to ‘good tweeting’ for business and professionals:
Separation of personal and professional
Be conscious of who you follow. If you are a business or a professional you don’t want to be following the wrong types of sites or people; Keep personal and professional profiles strictly separate. Remember people can see who you are following and that could impact how they view your business/profile.
Tweet with conviction
Don’t tweet for the sake of tweeting. You should be adding value to the public space and think before you re-tweet. Does your audience need to know this? Will followers be interested in this and/or benefit from what you’re re-tweeting?
Judicious use of #hashtags
Don’t hijack a trending hashtag just to promote your own business. I.e. if a word is ‘trending’ on Twitter and many ‘tweeps’ are following that hashtag topic, some businesses that have no relation to the topic will sometimes use it for their own business gain or promotion. This is especially inappropriate if the topic is a controversial or sensitive one.
Now go forth and Tweet!