Why consider using Twitter for your practice?


To Tweet or not to Tweet? What is Twitter anyways? Twitter (microblogging) is a form of blogging that limits the size of each post to 140 characters. Twitter is a great platform to announce offers or events, promote new blog posts, or to keep your readers up to date on what is happening. Your patients or potential patients may or may not be on twitter, but you have to look at the bigger picture. You have begun developing a Social Marketing campaign in hopes of influencing the mind sets of as many people as you can. in order to do so, you must expose these people to information, tips, tricks, and strategies from your field which are relevant to them.
While simply using twitter may not always reach the exact target audience you are after, interacting with local media outlets and community members who are also on twitter may get you just the right amount of exposure. the following are some tips and tricks that will help you make the most out of twitter.

  • If you haven’t already registered for twitter, now is the time to do so. Simply go to www.twitter.com and register!
  • Twitter profiles can be customized. i suggest customizing yours to represent either yourself or your clinic. a professional looking twitter page definitely draws in more followers as it shows people that you are serious about tweeting. twitter has free templates or you can get your graphic designer to customize one for you.
  • Make sure that you upload a picture of you (avatar). i know i personally don’t want to be friends with a pet alligator or a faceless person. using a picture of yourself provides a more personal touch to your online relationships and your followers will feel that they “know” you before ever even meeting you.
  • Create your Bio – you only have room for 160 characters so be brief and to the point, but you can make it funny and light too!

Important Notes

When choosing a user name try to stay as close to your professional name (or business name) as possible. using a name like “HocKeYfaN210” makes it difficult for patients or friends to find you. My user name is @drnathalie.  After you have registered, visit http://twitaholic.com/. twitaholic provides you with a list of the 100 most followed tweeters as well as lists of other top tweeters in your industry, region, country, etc. another great tool for finding people relevant to you and your industry is www.search.twitter.com. follow these people- they are likely to post regular and insightful messages and re-tweeting their message is as easy as 1,2,3. Because twitter only allows you 140 characters and urLs tend to be fairly long and take up a lot of space, twitter tools like tweetDeck and HootSuite will allow you to use URL shortening services like tinyurL (www.tinyurL.com).

Now let’s talk “language”!

  • ‘’followers” are people that are following you and “following” are people you are following. You want to keep your number of followers higher by at least 100 to the number of people you are following in order to gain “respect” with your followers and to gain “traction” with twitter.
  • the @ symbol always goes in front of the user name of the person you want to send the tweet to. By doing this, everyone that is following you will see that message as will the person to whom you are directing the tweet.
  • D means direct message. You use it if you want to only talk to the person you are sending the tweet to and no one other than that person will see it.
  • RT means re-tweet. this is a great way to pass along valuable information to your followers. always thank people who rt your information.
  • Hashtags “#” are used to connect ideas, conversation and events into a cohesive stream in twitter. You can use them to search for and follow a specific topic such as #wellness.

Important Note about Twitter Lists


Start creating twitter Lists for more effective tweeting. Separate lists under headings such as: Patients, Local Business owners, Local Media outlets, Local chiropractors, Health and Wellness industry forefronts, etc. Doing this makes it easier to sift through twitter updates.

Other tips for successful “tweeting”

  • Use a third party free software tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite to manage your tweets (or re-tweets). they both allow you (once set up accordingly) to update your status simultaneously on your various Social Media platforms (i.e. – Facebook, twitter or Linked in). Very time efficient!
  • TweetDeck and HootSuite also have the great feature of tweeting later so you can program your tweets ahead of time. Scheduled tweets allow you to sit down maybe once per week and plug in all of the daily informative tweets that you wish to share. You can decide at what time, on which date, and to whom you want the tweet to go to—all in advance! By doing this, you will have more time to manage your twitter relationships—thanking followers, re-tweeting messages, and creating interaction with your followers and the people you follow.
  • What should you tweet about? tweeting that you just ate a bagel with cream cheese isn’t very interesting. Share useful, inspiring comments that will engage your audience. Share inspirational quotes, post events, and ask questions. try to engage your audience. if you only “push” your information or try to “sell”, you will not be well received and people will not follow you.
    • remember, interaction is vital in becoming a successful twitter user! interact with the people who are following you and build relationships.
  • Twitter “etiquette” is very important. Make sure to thank those who re-tweet your messages, or decide to follow you. Make sure you follow the people that are following you. Learning the little nuances doesn’t take long and it will allow you to be more efficient when connecting with your network.
  • Don’t forget to advertise that you are on twitter! include a URL link, or button, on your website, blog, newsletter, etc. Patients or friends may have a difficult time finding you so give them a hand and lead them directly to your page!
  • Find a group of like minded business people in your city or industry and leverage each other! What does leveraging entail? tweet congratulations to a friend, or advertise a colleague’s event. By doing so, you are exposing that person to a larger audience and they will do the same for you.
  • Un-follow the people that haven’t tweeted in more than 1 month – they are not serious about tweeting. this will make more room for the people that you really want to engage with. a great tool you can use to clean up the people who are following you but are not active is www.manageflitter.com.
  •  Do not use an automatic auto responder! Most people can tell when you are not ‘behind’ the tweet (so to speak). i find it very impersonal and a “pain” when you are on the receiving end.

I hope these tips, tools and strategies were helpful to get you either started or more engage with Twitter.  Don’t forget that all your social media strategies have to focus on creating and building relationships with people…interact…be interesting but most importantly be INTERESTED!

@drnathalie

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