We would love to have you join us
Are you curious about hosting a #HITsm chat? Have you been intimidated because you’ve never hosted a Twitter Chat?
#HITsm is an inviting community that can open new doors for you, and introduce you to new people in healthcare and healthcare IT.
#HITsm chat, Fridays on Twitter, 11 am CT
Even if you have never participated in #HITsm, or any Twitter Chat before, these tips can help you get started. The beauty of Twitter chats is that they are an exchange of ideas, and everyone has ideas worthy to share! You don’t need to be a social media expert, but you do need to prepare, know the basics about Twitter, and understand the rules of community.
1: Rule Number One is Authenticity
At #HITsm, we hope you want to participate or host a chat because you are genuinely interested in the exchange of ideas. #HITsm is a “community” about healthcare, health IT, and health innovation. Don’t come just to promote – yourself or your company. Join in or host to engage the community on a genuine topic of mutual interest.
Good ideas organically promote themselves!
The community is a big open forum for crowdsourcing ideas. That is why we typically ask guest hosts to lead the chat from a personal Twitter account, and not a company account. The @healthstandards account will tweet the questions throughout the chat. You will provide your answers and engage with the community.
Your company account can retweet the questions, but people want to talk to people, so engage from your personal twitter account!
2: “Listen in” on the #HITsm Community, Participate Before You Host
If you’ve never participated in a chat, plan to “listen in” on a #HITsm chat first to see how the exchange works. Next, join in as a participant of the community. These two steps will help you be a better chat host.
3: Learn How to Use a Chat Tool
There are lots of tools, but for the purpose of simplicity, let’s look at one easy tool for participating – tchat.io, and a more feature-rich tool for successful hosting – Twitter’s tool, tweetdeck.com.
Tchat.io. lets you easily see the entire #HITsm chat stream and community of participants. On tchatio.io’s home page, just enter the #HITsm hashtag as directed, and click the blue button to “Start Chatting.” Now you will see all the people talking about #HITsm.
If you want to tweet directly from the tool, you will need to also sign in with your Twitter account and authorize the app. Then, you can tweet, retweet, like, and reply right from the tool. It will also automatically add the #HITsm hashtag to your tweets. You can add links to your tweets, but you cannot attach pictures like you can do directly from Twitter. (Another simple tool is Twubs.)
Twitter now owns tweetdeck.com, which has many more features as a chat tool. You can use Tweetdeck to manage multiple accounts. It’s great for managing your personal and company account from the same interface, and even for scheduling tweets. However, there is a little bit of a learning curve, so plan to play around with the program before you jump in. Don’t think you can “figure it out as you go” – especially on the day you are a guest host for a chat. (Another option is Hootsuite.)
4: Be prepared for the #HITsm Chat Tweetstorm!
#HITsm is popular, and the tweets come at you rapid-fire! The #HITsm chat community has been on Twitter for more than six years, and we typically have 75 to 100+ participants, and 400 to 500+ tweets in an hour!
5. Pick a Chat Topic to Host
Every chat has a theme or chat topic. Current themes center on health IT, interoperability, FHIR, patient engagement, healthcare technology, healthcare innovation, and trends.
Prepare five questions related to the chat topic you’ve selected. The best questions start with: What …? How ….? Should …? But you are not limited to those.
As a host, make sure you have thought about and prepared your answers to the topic questions in advance. Tweets cannot be more than 140 characters, and all your responses should include: “#HITsm T1″ for the first question response”, “#HITsm T2” for the second question response, and so on.
Then, you can concentrate mainly on replying and engaging with the #HITsm community during the chat.
Remember that the hash tag #HITsm must be included with each tweet during the chat if you want it to be visible to other participants.
Promote the chat blog post in advance via Twitter, and ask people to engage with you during #HITsm.
A sample #HITsm chat post blog post is here:
Be on Twitter at least a half hour before the chat to engage your community, and to make sure you are ready on time.
7. Contact Us to Host a Chat!
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