JUL 15, 2013

For physicians who are already short on time, managing multiple social media platforms can sometimes feel more burdensome than beneficial. But how should they decide which site to devote the most time to?

A WCG study of nearly 1,400 doctors on Twitter showed that not only are physicians actively tweeting, they are engaging with other doctors. More than one third of those surveyed were followed by at least 20 other doctors. In a recent blog post, Iltifat Husain, MD, makes a compelling argument that Twitter is by far superior to Facebook for medical conversations.

So for physicians looking to prioritize their social media time, here are five reasons why Twitter beats Facebook:

1.  Clear privacy settings –Facebook’s privacy settings are difficult to understand, and the site’s privacy policy is updated so frequently, it can be a struggle for some users to stay abreast of changes, Husain points out. Conversely, Twitter’s settings are much more straightforward, and because fewer profiles are set to private, it’s easier to engage with users you don’t know.

2.  Higher level of peer review – For physicians looking to engage in medical conversations, Husain says Twitter offers a much higher level of peer review than Facebook ever could – and he’s right. Twitter allows users to see content from others they are not following; so more physicians may have the opportunity to review content that’s tweeted.

3.  Greater search capability – Although Facebook is in the process of rolling out hashtags for users to organize their content and it recently introduced Graph Search, its searchability still doesn’t come close to rivaling Twitter. On Twitter, physicians can search hashtags with trending topics and find a multitude of posts from other users, without needing to follow those users.

4.  Concise and simple posts – While Facebook fans may balk at the notion of limiting themselves to 140 characters, Twitter users see the beauty behind concise posting. Rather than sifting through lengthily and often irrelevant status updates, physicians can quickly scroll through short Tweets to find the news and other information that matches their interests.

5.  Unfiltered posting – As Pam Dyer, marketing manager at SolutionsIQ, explains in an article on Social Media Today, Facebook uses a complex algorithm, called EdgeRank, to determine where a post shows up on a user’s newsfeed. Posts on Twitter will appear to all of a physician’s followers, regardless of the content.

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