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Must-follow healthcare marketing folks on Twitter

September 17th, 2013

by Nancy Cawley Jean

I've been on Twitter for almost five years now. It has become my go-to source for everything: research, breaking news, trends, healthcare marketing information and meeting wonderful people.

Over the years, I've used the list function in Twitter to easily organize the people I follow so I can quickly browse through categories like news outlets, journalists or healthcare marketing folks.

This post highlights some of those on my list because if you are in healthcare social media you should be following them too. Now believe me when I say this list is not all-inclusive. I know there are many folks who deserve to be included, but there's just not enough space in a blog post to single out all the amazing minds sharing healthcare marketing information.

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@leeaase Lee Aase is probably one of the best known folks in healthcare social media. If you look him up on Wikipedia you'll find: "Lee Aase is an American pioneer in using social media tools in the hospital environment, and is an advocate for social media adoption in healthcare." I've had the opportunity to talk to him a few times by phone, and even called him once to get his opinion on a course of action when we were going through a crisis situation. Of course his advice was amazing, but beyond that, he's a genuinely nice person who has really figured out what it takes for a healthcare organization (or any organization for that matter) to be successful in social media. Be sure to check out his blog too.

@edbennett Ed Bennett is someone I came to admire admired several years ago when I first I stumbled upon him and his blog, Found in Cache. I was so grateful to make that connection. He's got a soothing voice, a witty sense of humor and also loves dogs, which in my opinion makes him a great guy! I think of him as one of the pioneers in this field, and we have much to thank him for--including the big list of hospitals in social media (now moved over to the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media). While we haven't met in real life yet, I'm hoping (fingers crossed!) it will happen one of these days.

@nickdawson Nick is a guy with some wonderful, original thoughts about healthcare and the social media world but also is willing to talk about many subjects. I love his LinkedIn profile: "Former hospital leader now using design-thinking to inspire better staff and patient experiences." He seems to travel a lot more than I ever could imagine and speaks at many of the big conferences. I'm hoping to hear him one of these days, but until then, I'll have to follow him on Twitter and I hope you will, too. And don't forget to check out his blog.

@hivedan Dan Hinmon is the head of Hive Strategies, and works in hospital social media. He shares a wealth of information and is such an enjoyable person to chat with. He's also got a blog that should be on your reading list, the Social Media Strategy Blog. Be sure to check out his seven core values at the heart of social media.

@danamlewis Dana Lewis is one of those people who I consider simply amazing. She manages the social media efforts of Swedish Health Services and is the founder of Healthcare Communications and Social Media, #hcsm, a weekly Twitter chat. I can't tell you how many times I've asked her a question on Twitter and always receive a quick, helpful response.

@riggrl When I met Jen Riggle on Twitter, she was working for a firm on the East Coast. She's got a wonderful take on the industry and also is a fellow Hospital Impact blogger, so you may be familiar with her work. She is kind, thoughtful, smart and witty, and shares fantastic healthcare marketing information you won't want to miss.

@ReedSmith Reed is a smart, thoughtful guys who always is on my go-to list with questions about the industry. He founded the Social Health Institute and also works as a consultant for healthcare organizations and practices that are using social media. Be sure to follow his blog for new insights into healthcare and social media.

@Ahaval I've followed Ahava Leibtag for quite a while, and recently had the honor of being interviewed for her blog. She is one of those people who never seem to stop. She's smart, funny and so hard working that her passion for this industry comes through loud and clear. She's a thought leader on digital strategy and a talented writer who always shares valuable information. You can check out some of her publications and her blog.

@chrisboyer Chris directs digital marketing for Inova Health System and is simply amazing. His blog says "Chris Boyer is an active participant in the rapidly evolving field of healthcare new-media marketing. He's a speaker and educator and someone who puts talk into action by creating and testing new digital strategies." He is, in a word, brilliant, in my humble opinion, and I've learned so much from him. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his blog.

@dandunlop Dan Dunlop is the president of Jennings, a healthcare marketing agency. Dan is one of those folks who you feel as if you've known for a long time, even if you've never met him in real life. I chat with him often on Twitter and also love to read his blog, The Healthcare Marketer, where you'll find plenty of tips and tricks of the trade, as well as some through-provoking questions on why we do what we do.

If you're using social media for your hospital or medical practice, or if you're in the field and tweet personally, tweet these folks and introduce yourself. And like so many people in the Twitterverse, they are all kind and willing to help you with questions you might have, or point you in the right direction.

You also can find a group of healthcare influencers found here who can provide an overview of the healthcare industry and trends. Also, be sure to follow the hashtags #hcmktg and #hcsm to keep up with all the latest in the health care marketing field.

Now I know there are so many others I could and should have mentioned here, but I limited myself to 10. So let's add to this list and share some of the "tweeps" on your healthcare social media list.

Nancy Cawley Jean is a senior media relations officer for the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island, managing social media for five hospitals and a women's medicine practice.

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