Twitter – A DE tool for good not evil!

I need to declare from the outset – like many of my colleagues in the BTE (that’s Before Twitter Experience!) period I did not see a place for technological platforms in my diabetes education. Now ATE (After Twitter Experience!) there’s no stopping me!

Previous blogs have looked at my introduction to Twitter at the ADS/ADEA conference (Social Media – Another tool in the diabetes educators’ toolkit) and why DEs need to engage with social media (DEs – Don’t run the other way you need social media!) but this time the focus is on using social media for diabetes education good … not evil!

Lurking is not always evil!

Have you been lurking in the shadows reading the thoughts of others lately? Before you get too upset, remember lurking on Twitter means you stay in the background looking at the twitter feeds of other people without them knowing you are there. It’s a great way to find out how it all works but also you can gather information and insights without an audience.

Before long you will find you want to either share a tweet or respond to someone else’s and before you know it you will be tweeting away to your heart’s content. A word of advice though –  always check what you have written before sending as you can’t ‘unsay’ something once you have clicked the send button.

If you haven’t already, feel free to follow me @JayneEdHealth  to get the feel of twitter. Always happy to share tips with new users!

Twitter Tip:

Why not create more than one Twitter account to separate professional and personal tweets? Safer than getting caught saying something in a personal capacity that isn’t appropriate for your professional audience!

Growing your diabetes education audience

Since writing and sharing these blogs on Twitter my followers have grown from 39 before the ADS/ADEA in Melbourne near the end of August this year to over 218 followers and rising.  I can interact with them but also THEIR followers. Then their followers start to look at the re-tweeted posts and some will start to follow you, which considering some people have over 1000 people following their tweets – that’s some multiplication factor in audience reach! On top of that if someone re-tweets something they are essentially saying to their followers they think it is worth reading – much like giving someone a personal endorsement. If you look at the tweet clip below you will see 3 people re-tweeted from Iowa AADE.


share something you think will be interesting to your followers? They are likely to have a look at more than the actual link while they are there.

Increased client contacts = increased use of your service


The blogs I write are posted on my website and I send out a tweet via Twitter and Linkedin to tell my followers they can click on the link to read the blog.  If they like the blog then they are likely to re-tweet it, sending it out to their followers and so on and so on. To illustrate the impact of the multiplifier effect, a tweet I sent out to about 60 followers had 580 views one week (identified from the weekly statistics report Twitter sends you for an evidence based approach to social media!).  People also favourite tweets when they really like something. This provides some really good feedback on the things of interest to your followers. The tweet clip above right was re-tweeted by 2 people and favourite by 5 increasing the likelihood of more people looking at the tweet (… and yes the fact he had a bare chest did probably help with the number of favourites but he was in costume!)

Accessing and sharing resources

If you read the entries below you will see that @Ashiekitty posted a blog on a day in her life with T1 diabetes. It was beautifully crafted and powerful. I was able to congratulate Ashley and ask if I could use the piece as a verbal role play in education sessions I do with health professionals.


Permission was granted …


and I shared the resource with my DE followers so they could read and also use the resource. All completed in 1-2 minutes and now available on Twitter by searching #diabetesedoz.

Crunching the numbers

More Australian and international visitors are:

  • visiting my website (
  • spending longer on the site and exploring more of the pages
  • reading previous blogs not just the one linked to the tweet.

If you are taking people to the site to read a blog then you hope they will stay longer to find out about you and your service. Adding interesting information encourages people to also come back for the next blog.

Increasingly I hear from my patients that they checked out my website before coming to their first visit. They will put my name into a search engine after their GP refers them seeking information about my service and expertise in diabetes care and education. If they don’t like what they see they are unlikely to make or keep the appointment. That’s pretty important for those of us in private practice but also for services with long waiting lists – no-one wants to waste appointments with DNAs (did not arrives).

I am a lot more motivated to keep my website up-to-date now!


Internet Tip:

From time-to-time put your own name into a search engine – hit the search button – and checkout what other people read when they search your name because you can bet they do! It’s amazing what comes up and it may not be what you want your clients and colleagues to see!


Stay tuned for part 2 of Twitter – A DE tool for good not evil in the coming weeks!

In between stay in touch via @JayneEdHealth and why not tweet your reaction, thoughts and ideas using the #diabetesedoz to easily identify information of interest to diabetes educators in Australia!

Feel free to print the blog for a diabetes educator BTE and make comments below!
©Jayne Lehmann EdHealth Australia 2016

Author: Edhealth

I have written and produced the Diabetes Care in the Community Course for Support Workers. I am also the administrator of the course.

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