Each day, millions log on to Twitter to share personal information and news, or simply to write about things that interest them. However, sending out a tweet that reads negatively about someone else can also end up damaging your personal or professional reputation.
Recently, actress and singer Courtney Love made national headlines when she won a Twitter defamation suit, filed against her by a former lawyer. Love’s former lawyer claimed that her reputation had been damaged by a negative tweet Love had composed. The case is unique, not only because Love is a public figure, but because negative tweets have never before been at the center of a court case.
At some point, any company or medical practice will experience some kind of negative feedback through social media. Twitter users only have a certain amount of characters to say what they want, making the website a powerful communication platform. So, what are some ways you can manage your Twitter reputation?
- Do not talk more than you listen. Allow patients to post freely to your Twitter or Facebook accounts. This will allow you to maintain a more open relationship with patients. Furthermore, patients will be able to communicate what they like (or don’t like) about your practice. While no one likes to hear what they are doing wrong, patients will appreciate that you are truly listening to them about what you can do to improve.
- Be responsive and proactive. If you do receive a negative comment through Twitter or Facebook, don’t make excuses. Instead, be responsive and try to correct the situation. Make sure that you ask the poster questions and leave the door open for them to make any further comments. Responding to tweets (even negative ones) can help keep your practice’s image intact.
- Send out regular tweets. In order to communicate a steady message from your practice, try to establish a regular “tweeting” schedule. This will help keep you at the forefront of your audience. If you do not have the time to send out tweets, consider investing in a tool that will allow you to schedule your tweets in advance!
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