Published: Oct. 1, 2009
Updated: Mar. 21, 2011
The Office of Marketing and Creative Services has prepared these guidelines to help you quickly establish an official presence for your Duke Medicine entity/department on Twitter.
This document does not address how to conduct yourself online. Please refer to Duke's privacy policies at http://hipaa.duke.edu/.
Twitter is a free “microblogging” or short message platform. It is an easy and convenient way to broadcast messages. The messages are limited to 140 characters. Any tweet (Twitter message) that you send is publicly available to those who search Twitter, visit your Twitter page, or follow you. People who follow you receive your messages directly in their feed every time you send one.
We have found Twitter to be useful for alerting people to news, events, and timely information. Our tweets usually point back to a Web page for more information.
By creating a Duke Medicine Twitter account, you are committing to its upkeep. This includes monitoring the account regularly for @ messages (messages from Twitter users directed at your account).
If you receive negative or threatening comments, please alert Risk Management at 919-684-3277.
No Duke Medicine Twitter account should have a single person responsible for its upkeep. This makes sure that you have coverage when someone is on PTO or has left the organization. In cases where you don't have an additional admin, please contact us and we will offer suggestions.
You should receive your supervisor's approval before creating a Duke Medicine Twitter account.
When you create an account you will be asked to enter information about yourself. Here are some tips:
Full Name: Use the official name of your entity, department, division, etc.
Username: There is a 15-character limit for usernames and each must be unique. Pick one that includes as much useful information as possible with words like “duke”.
E-mail: Each unique e-mail address can only been associated with one Twitter account.
Update your settings to include more information about your organization, including your Web site URL and location. This information helps add credibility to your Twitter account.
Please select a profile image that meets brand standards. Here are some that you can use if you aren't sure what to pick:
If you have question about whether your image meets Duke Medicine brand standards, contact us or explore the brand guidelines.
Twitter is not the appropriate place to engage in clinical discussions. If anyone asks for medical advice on Twitter, please direct them to official and secure channels for advice and appointments, such as 888-ASK-DUKE (888-275-3853).
You should not post patient stories or photos if you have not received the appropriate HIPAA authorization signed by the patient and received approval from the DUHS Privacy Office. See the policies Photographing/Videotaping/Audiotaping of Patients and Authorizations for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information for information on appropriate authorizations.
You must keep the HIPAA authorizations filed and available for review for any patient for which you are disclosing PHI. Read DUHS's Social Networking Privacy Guidelines.
Before you post an image or other content, make sure you have the rights to do so. Many images used in official Duke Medicine publications and Web sites have restrictions on them. If you are unsure if you have the rights to use an image, contact us.
You have 140 characters for each tweet you send, but try to use fewer than that. This allows people to retweet your message and give your account credit for the original message. Retweets are an excellent way to expand your followers.
It can be useful to create an account with a link shortening service such as bit.ly for adding links to tweets. Link shorteners save characters in tweets. They also allow you to track how many people click the links.
Please keep in mind that you are representing Duke when you tweet from an official Duke account. Your writing style should reflect your organization. In other words: unless you have a very informal brand, keep your tweets professional. In general, we advise using proper grammar and adhering to our online style guide.
Once your account is up, let us know so we can follow you. We often retweet messages from other Duke accounts.