Twitter for Dentists and Doctors
Dental and Medical Social Marketing
April 18, 2012
Unlike Facebook, which is meant for browsing, Twitter was designed for immediacy. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, which is just enough for a complete thought or question. Most Twitter users tweet using their mobile devices, rather than by logging onto the Twitter website. This model encourages conversation between users and makes it easier to follow friends, family, co-workers, celebrities, politicians, governments, businesses, and even personal healthcare providers on a day-to-day basis.
According to Twitter, there are more than 175 million accounts that are responsible for sending out hundreds of millions of public tweets every day. Tweets can quickly go viral as followers begin to “retweet” the comments of other Twitter users. As a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, optometrist or other healthcare provider, Twitter is social media marketing gold.
Using Twitter in Your Medical or Dental Practice
Tweet Often, and Tweet Well. An active Twitter account is essential to building your brand online and gaining a following. Your followers are likely to be your own patients who may “retweet” your comments to other Twitter users who do not currently follow you. Retweets are the Twitter equivalent of an endorsement, especially when your followers retweet your comments their own personal comments of approval.
However, your followers will not retweet your tweets if what you have to say is of no value. Do not be afraid to use humor, questions, fun facts and riddles to start a conversation. You can further engage your audience by asking for constructive criticism and suggestions about various services or attributes about your office. As a rule of thumb, 9 out of 10 of your tweets should be of use to the patient, and 1 in 10 should serve to benefit your practice.
Gain a Strong Following. Over time, your Twitter following will grow as more and more patients and future patients begin to follow you. To help your account gain momentum, encourage your patients to follow you on Twitter by placing your handle on cards in the waiting room. Also, your website should have a link to your Twitter account that is prominently displayed on your home page. Remember, if your patients do not know that you have a Twitter account, they cannot follow you.
Social Media Marketing: Converting Tweets into Traffic
Although Twitter is an excellent way to stay in contact with your patients, one of your primary goals as a healthcare provider is to convert your tweets into office traffic. One of the easiest ways to do this is by offering an incentive for existing and new patients who visit your office. Examples include discounts on new products, free consultations for new patients or discounts on specialty services, such as tooth whitening.
It is equally important that you learn to manage your medical or dental Twitter account and other social media accounts well. That means maintaining an active presence on those networks and also offering quick responses to your patients and followers who mention you in a tweet.
If you are a doctor, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, or other healthcare provider who is ready to promote your practice with social media marketing, let Solution21 help you get started. We provide social marketing packages designed specifically for medical providers. Our packages include set-up and management for Twitter, Facebook and Blogger pages, and we are happy to help you keep your social networking pages active at your request. For more information about social media marketing or other Internet marketing services, contact Solution21 today at (888) 423-9235.