Working the Room: 5 Twitter Tips for Physician Recruiters

Contrary to popular belief, Twitter isn’t just a forum for thoughts on Kim Kardashian’s love life or debating the coolest character on Mad Men (it’s a tie between Peggy Olson and Don Draper, obviously). Beyond pop culture talk, there are a lot of interesting things being said in the Twitterverse. Think of it as a big party: sure, there’s some mindless chitchat, but there are also some pockets of quality conversation going on—especially on the topic of medicine.

According to an article by Greg Matthews, “physicians’ use of Twitter and other social media has been exploding over the last couple of years.” He goes on to say that a high percentage of physicians’ social media activity takes place during working hours. In other words, MDs are using social media as part of their practice. They’re sharing ideas and information.

So what does this mean for you as a physician recruiter? An opportunity to join the conversation! Don’t worry about being a wallflower—just dive right in. But remember: whereas at big parties, you can chat away and say whatever comes to your mind, on Twitter, you have to distil what you want to say to a 140-character limit. It’s a fun challenge, actually. And we have some suggestions to get you started.

Talk Up Your Community

“So, what do you do?” is often one of the first things people ask you at a party, right? It’s kind of like that on Twitter too. If people are going to interact with you, they want to know who you are and what you’re all about. As an in-house physician recruiter, you’re all about your hospital and your community.

By now you’ve created a brilliant community profile, so you can dedicate a bunch of tweets to the blog post and/or PDF that you have posted on your site (be sure to link to it, of course). Your hospital or clinic’s website likely has some informative “About Us” pages and promotional or informative videos. Tweet about those, too, so prospective candidates can quickly get a sense of who you are by viewing your profile. You can also explore the websites of your local chamber or commerce and board of tourism for videos and pages that highlight your community’s charm. If you share these videos, give props to the organization’s Twitter handle—just as you would praise your party host’s awesome artichoke-parmesan dip.

Be a Newsmaker

OK, now everyone knows who you are—or, they will if your content has attracted them or been retweeted by others. Here’s where you can start bringing something new to the table. Are there any exciting studies being conducted at your hospital? Did one of your physicians get featured in a magazine article or win an award? If so, let the Twitterverse know. Cutting-edge medical news is always of interest on Twitter. Moreover, it further establishes your facility as a newsmaker and a place for physicians to build a solid career.

You don’t just want to share your news, however. Have you ever done that at a party and seen eyes glass over? You want to contribute, but you also want to listen and comment on other people’s news. As a newsmaker on Twitter, be sure to scour the top stories every day (look for hashtags like #medicine #health #healthnews etc.) and comment, retweet, and favorite the ones that interest you. Then, chances are, the next time you share your own scoop, your tweeps will repay the favor.

Post Your Jobs

Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion on Twitter. You pass out business cards at parties when people express interest in your services, or just want to get to know you better, right? In the same way, you can feel free to post your job opportunities along with your more informative content.

Word to the wise: hashtags are your friend! Just like no one will notice you at the party if you hide in the kitchen texting your mom all night, your job postings might not be seen by the right people if you don’t use hashtags. As you probably know, hashtags are keywords that will target your posts to people who are searching Twitter for that very thing.

As an example, if you have an ENT job in Ashville, you could use the following hashtags to ensure it is seen: #physicianjobs (general), #ENTjobs (specific) #ENTjobs #Ashville (even more specific).

Get Creative

You may have business motives for being on Twitter, but you can still be playful and have fun. Infographics—clever, graphic representations of information—are a great way to get talking points across at a glance. Moreover, if they’re done right, they can go viral and bring your organization lots of publicity. Consider working with your team’s designer and copywriter to come up with some compelling infographics to link to on your company blog. (You do have a blog, right? They’re a great way to boost your site’s organic search rank and generate interest in your organization.)

Is your hospital having a special fundraising drive? Is the pediatric ward dressing up and doing fun things for Halloween? Are any celebrities visiting? Have you considered interviewing your top admin or long-term physicians to post as inspiring profiles? There’s no end of ideas you could come up with, both easy or in-depth, depending on your resources. If you’re fun and engaging, you’ll get a lot more attention—at your neighbor’s annual mint julep soiree and on Twitter.

Engage & Have Conversations

We’ve given you some suggestions above on the kinds of things you can post to attract physician candidates—but don’t just post about yourself! After all, the Twittersphere is a big party, right? It’s about conversations, not soliloquys. Follow people and organizations who have interesting things to say, from medical students and residents to physicians, hospitals, medical organizations, news sources, and even other recruiters you respect and admire. Each day, make a point of reading your newsfeed and commenting, praising, retweeting, and favoriting other people’s tweets.

“I’m busy enough already!” you might say. And fair enough. But, the more tweeps you make on Twitter, the broader your network becomes. A broader network leads to great exposure, influence, and opportunities. Think of it as a long-term investment you build a few short minutes each day.

One last point: when you’re looking for tweeps to follow, remember to utilize Twitter’s search function. It will allow you to seek out medical professionals by region or specialty—an invaluable asset when recruiting specialized MDs.

With that, go forth and tweet! And remember: it’s a party, so have fun.

P.S. We’ll be your tweeps! Follow @PhysEmp and @PhysRecruiterRx. For more tips on digital media, you can also follow @markhcohen, who will be hosting a fantastic webinar on Recruiting in a Digital World on May 13.

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