Discussions

Drop in followers on Twitter?

Posted by jcattel @jcattel, Mon, Jun 22 10:06am

Hi! I oversee social media for Connecticut Children's. We've seen a drop in our followers on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ctchildrens) for the past several weeks. We usually don't see major increases or decreases on Twitter. Has your organization seen drops in your follower count on Twitter?

At first, I was inclined to think the drop could be Twitter removing bot accounts, but with the consistent weekly drops (somewhere between 10-20 lost followers per week), I'm thinking it may be something we're doing (or not doing). Twitter hasn't been a high priority social platform for us for a while. We've had mediocre or poor engagement for years, but we're only seeing the drops in followers now.

I took a look at your twitter account, and compared it to @seattlechildren, thinking through how you both fit into the physical and social media ecosystem within your regions.

Some things you both have in common are you both are exceptionally good hospitals, and both teaching hospitals associated with medical schools, and both with principal locations within a large city, but with satellite locations. I also suspect that you both medically have something else in common – you are the go-to place for complex pediatric care within the state (although you are only <2 hours away from Harvard, which may change the dynamic a bit for some disease management.)

But here I think is the key difference, which might be reflected in your Twitter account and partially explain you flat/dropping numbers: I don't think you see yourself as the leading pediatric "Social Media voice" in the state. By this I mean the "go-to" Twitter account for all things pediatric/healthcare in Connecticut. (this is a shame, because I suspect you are, in fact, the leading "pediatric healthcare voice" in the state).

(One other difference—not insignificant— is the Seattle Children's Social Media was for years run by Wendy Sue Swanson MD who is herself a leading voice in pediatric social media.)

One example of this? I am not seeing a lot of content on your stream about, say MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19, or lots of social media engagement with the state health department, or the state pediatric societies.

Anyway, I think if you decide to, I think you can be the leading pediatric social media voice in your state—a Twitter "must follow" by every newspaper and every medical society and public health entity in the state, but I think this needs to be a very conscious decision, probably at the CEO or Medical Director level. I doubt it will take much in the way of additional resources (remember you have the most important thing –
the top pediatric expertise in the state) but you may need to rethink your content type (more timely, more short video, more retweeting trusted content with short commentary such as CDC Covid tweets, with your Peds docs RT with comments).

I am curious, do you have a Pediatrician who acts as a part-time medical director for your social media system (like a dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, or, at Mayo, a Dr. Farris Timimi?

Liked by Ann Feeney

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@matthewrehrl

I took a look at your twitter account, and compared it to @seattlechildren, thinking through how you both fit into the physical and social media ecosystem within your regions.

Some things you both have in common are you both are exceptionally good hospitals, and both teaching hospitals associated with medical schools, and both with principal locations within a large city, but with satellite locations. I also suspect that you both medically have something else in common – you are the go-to place for complex pediatric care within the state (although you are only <2 hours away from Harvard, which may change the dynamic a bit for some disease management.)

But here I think is the key difference, which might be reflected in your Twitter account and partially explain you flat/dropping numbers: I don't think you see yourself as the leading pediatric "Social Media voice" in the state. By this I mean the "go-to" Twitter account for all things pediatric/healthcare in Connecticut. (this is a shame, because I suspect you are, in fact, the leading "pediatric healthcare voice" in the state).

(One other difference—not insignificant— is the Seattle Children's Social Media was for years run by Wendy Sue Swanson MD who is herself a leading voice in pediatric social media.)

One example of this? I am not seeing a lot of content on your stream about, say MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19, or lots of social media engagement with the state health department, or the state pediatric societies.

Anyway, I think if you decide to, I think you can be the leading pediatric social media voice in your state—a Twitter "must follow" by every newspaper and every medical society and public health entity in the state, but I think this needs to be a very conscious decision, probably at the CEO or Medical Director level. I doubt it will take much in the way of additional resources (remember you have the most important thing –
the top pediatric expertise in the state) but you may need to rethink your content type (more timely, more short video, more retweeting trusted content with short commentary such as CDC Covid tweets, with your Peds docs RT with comments).

I am curious, do you have a Pediatrician who acts as a part-time medical director for your social media system (like a dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, or, at Mayo, a Dr. Farris Timimi?

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Thanks for taking the time to review our Twitter account and for providing such detailed feedback! I really appreciate it! Our Twitter used to be run by Dr. Chris Carroll, medical director for pediatric critical care. We definitely could do more to collaborate with providers and amplify our team members who are active on Twitter.

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Shameless plug here, but I thought this might be useful. What might be helpful is to break down your followers by their healthcare stakeholder status. In this way you might be tracking what type of followers you are gaining/losing (doctors, researchers, patient advocates etc). This is possible with Symplur Signals. Take a look at the follower widget, https://www.symplur.com/product/symplur-signals/ and pricing point is fairly low ($29/month for an org.)

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@audunutengen

Shameless plug here, but I thought this might be useful. What might be helpful is to break down your followers by their healthcare stakeholder status. In this way you might be tracking what type of followers you are gaining/losing (doctors, researchers, patient advocates etc). This is possible with Symplur Signals. Take a look at the follower widget, https://www.symplur.com/product/symplur-signals/ and pricing point is fairly low ($29/month for an org.)

Jump to this post

Agree. I think Symplur is underutilized; I always learn something when I play with it.

Another excellent point You bring up is to focus on the Follower Mix quality (in regards to your orgs mission) of the followers, along with the number, and perhaps integrated this with your lists. I am working on creating a regional/state hashtag (SMASHWa) “Social Media Action for StateWide Health -Washington” which would allow for the top state orgs to coordinate and leverage certain public, trusted health content better.

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