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Last December, some of the SITU team attended the ‘How to win at Twitter’ webinar presented by Zoe Trinder-Widdess on behalf of the UKTMN

Twitter is an increasingly important platform for building your reputation, finding collaborators and discovering what other people are doing; it’s seen as a great place to create a professional network. We wanted to pick up tips to help with the communication flow, recruitment and engagement of our surgical trials.

Principles

  1. Curate your profile -  Make sure you have an eye-catching profile picture, a concise description and add your location. The more details, the better. TOP TIP... Match your name and handle!

  2. Tweet regularly - Determine how often you think it necessary for your business to tweet. i.e. once a week. 

  3. You get out, what you put in - The more you tweet and interact with others, the more Twitter rewards you.

  4. Build networks - Connect with like-minded people and organisations.

  5. Be nice! - Do not say anything you wouldn’t be prepared to say in person. Be enthusiastic, responsive and prepared to get into a conversation with your network - allow yourself to have fun! It’s important to remember to “be real and use your judgement.”

Key take home messages

  • Images

Tweets with images get 313% more engagement! You can tag up to 10 people without using your character count. Include an alt tag for accessibility – this explains the content of the image for anyone using a screen reader. 

Source an image: Unsplash.com & Pixabay.com

  • Mentions

Whilst you can tag up to 10 people in your images that you share, it is also important to mention anyone who may be related to your business or the tweet. This draws their attention and encourages retweets.

  • Hashtags

A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic. 

Use hashtags to help people to find your tweets. #SurgicalTrials #Orthopaedics are common ones, but if you are attending an event such as the Trials Methodology Research Partnership, use their established hashtag: #TMRPTwitter

You can gain ideas for other popular hashtags linked to the one you’re thinking of by looking at similar profiles using hashtags or keywords or using the website: http://hashtagify.me/

TOP TIP: Use relevant and SPECIFIC hashtags linked to your purpose, message and Twitter profile.

  • GIFs & Emoji's

People often view GIFs and Emojis as unprofessional and informal, but it’s important to remember that Twitter is a more informal social platform and encourages you to build a connection with your network.GIFs and Emojis are a good way of creating a conversational stream.

  • Lists

A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list. 

This can be handy to group surgical trials, for example the SITU Twitter account can curate a Twitter list for their surgical trials - so they can only view their tweets. The list can also be used as a sharing platform to share each other's tweets regularly. 

You can subscribe to work related topics, or lists based on your likes and interests e.g. focus away from work-based topics when you’re not working. Lists are also a good way to switch off from a topic. 

  • Moments

Twitter Moments enable users to stitch together multiple tweets into slideshow-like stories. When they originally launched, Moments were intended to help Twitter users keep up with what the world is talking about at any given time without having to follow loads of new people or watch trending topics closely.

Clinical trials can use them to show media coverage of a main publication - this will feature all mentions, tweets and comments associated with this publication and can be used for digital dissemination. 

TOP TIP: These can go towards NIHR outputs.

 

Book Zoe for a group session by dropping her a message on twitter.