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Journal of ASPR - Summer 2012 - You Are What You Tweet!
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You Are What You Tweet!

Part of a series on social media use for physician recruitment

By Miranda Grace, AASPR, Physician Recruiter, Lewistown Hospital, Lewistown, PA, and Gina Truhe, AASPR, New Provider Onboarding, Health Quest, LaGrangeville, NY

Some Twitter tips and facts:
  • 500 Million users
  • Quickly & effectively disseminate information in real time
  • Great conversation starter — can engage followers
  • Use to monitor feedback
  • Promote new practices/physicians — can include links to your website
  • Handle: Your Twitter name (i.e. ASPR1990)
  • Tweet: 140 character message sent via Twitter
  • RT: Return Tweet or forwarding another user’s Tweet to your followers
  • DM: Direct Message. A private message between two Twitter users
  • #: Hashtag. A means of tracking keywords. Used to help users follow specific topics (i.e. #physicianjobs)
  • Mention: Referring to another user specifically by placing “@” before their username (i.e. @ASPR1990)
  • Follow: To subscribe to a user and their tweets

The Girl Scouts of America are forward thinkers. Not because of the confidence they instill or even the sales experience they provide, but their position on friendship… “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold…” While this position is a good life lesson for young scouts, it also shares a common theme with social networking: making friends! Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts of America, did not develop the first social platform online, but she most certainly inspired some people, and made some great cookies, too!

Making friends and networking is, and always has been, a part of business. In recruiting, it’s our bread and butter. However, now we have capabilities beyond anything that Juliette Gordon Low could ever have dreamed. Social media has provided us the means to share a message with its millions of users instantaneously. But what exactly is social media? What’s the difference between social media and social networking?

Social media can simply be defined1 as a communication channel like television, radio, or newspaper that is used to deliver a message. Social media is not a location that is visited, but basically a system or format that broadcasts information to others. So if we aren’t already, why not use this channel to share industry information as well as specifics about our organization, its goals and achievements, and available opportunities...we say, sell it like hotcakes!

Steven Jacobs, FASPR, Physician Recruiter for Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia, CA, says, “You have to be willing to keep throwing data out there and build a following…trying to get your page out there.” The statistics are everywhere. With as many as 800 million Facebook users alone, half of which are visiting the site daily, having your finger in the pie might not be a bad idea. Jenna Mucha, Social Media Specialist for North Shore Health System says, “Physicians are definitely on LinkedIn and that’s where they’re finding their jobs…they’re seeking out recruiters.”

Most likely, you don’t need to be convinced that social media is where it’s at, but understanding it fully is another matter. Many of us get confused when comparing social media with social networking. Some ask, “Is there even a difference?” Most definitely! According to socialmediatoday.com, by definition alone, social media and social networking are as different as apples and oranges. “Social media is a way to transmit or share information with a broad audience. Everyone has the opportunity to create and distribute… On the other hand, social networking is an act of engagement. Groups of people with common interests, or like minds, associate together on social networking sites and build relationships through community.” Engaging and networking, that’s our cup of tea! Engaging in conversations with others who share similar interests with us, i.e. physicians, recruiters, and the like, is what needs to take place.

Social networking is a two-way street. It’s a piece of cake, really. If you receive a message, reply to it. If you can contribute to a discussion, let it flow. Unlike many automated responses we’ve developed when candidates submit applications online, it’s really not a good idea to automate responses on social sites. Personalized connections and conversations are key, and the more personalized the more powerful. There is huge potential to gather a following; if some of those followers are physicians, that’s just icing on the cake.

1. Definition accessed at http://www.easyprofitblog.com/social-networking-vs-social-media/

Journal of ASPR - Summer 2012

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