Twitter is currently one of the best social media tools available. Millions of users tweet everyday and stay connected with just 140 characters. Regular people, celebrities, organizations and businesses all log on to Twitter to express themselves. Dentists can use Twitter to stay in touch with clients and attract new ones, if done properly.
First, let’s start with the basics of Twitter. Twitter is a micro blogging website where the short blogs are known as tweets. To build your network, you need followers. Twitter has exploded over the years and has become one of the top social media sites. In 2007, there was an average of 5,000 tweets per day. As of June of 2011, there was an average of 200 million tweets per day.
Setting it up
It’s extremely easy to set up your Twitter account. You create a profile with some basic information about your company. The next step is to find people to follow. The people you follow will hopefully follow you back, thus creating your network. Research has shown that approximately 70% of the people you follow will follow back, thus expanding your network. For dentists, the bigger the network is, the more likely it is that you will acquire new clients.
Then comes the fun part: tweeting. Once you’ve tweeted, your followers can reply to your tweet or retweet (if they retweet then all of their followers will see your original tweet). But what should dentists tweet? And is it an effective way to advertise to clients and gain new ones?
Dentists can utilize Twitter in a variety of ways. Some pretty basic uses of Twitter would be to post openings in your schedule, or to let clients know if your office is going to be closed for a holiday. But Twitter can be used more creatively to gain clients. Video testimonials of current clients can lead to new ones. Links to interesting articles concerning dental health can be beneficial. Tips on how to get a beautiful smile could lead to more followers.
Tweets can be as simple as a daily fun fact. The website www.dental-facts.co/uk has fun facts to use, such as, “In Vermont, it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without written permission from their husband.” Twitter users welcome these kinds of fun tweets as opposed to cold, hard scientific facts that might be useful, but not as memorable.
Giveaways are huge with Twitter users. Dentists can participate in giveaways by possibly offering a free “goodie bag.” Not the same kind of goodie bag that most get after a check-up. You know, the miniature tube of toothpaste, a small container of floss and possibly even a toothbrush. These giveaway goodie bags could contain full-sized products that are recommended specifically by their dentist. Perhaps another giveaway could be a free cleaning. These giveaways can lead to followers re-tweeting your tweet about the offer, which could lead to new followers and clients.
Just because someone follows you, though, doesn’t mean they’re going to become a client right away. This will take time, quality tweets and a little finesse. Following these simple rules, though, will help turn those followers into clients:
1) Make sure to have more educational tweets than self-promoting tweets.
2) Tweet, but don’t over tweet. Over tweeting could lead users to unfollow you.
3) Try to be interesting, funny, or helpful when possible.
4) Engage your followers. If a follower asks a question on Twitter, make sure to answer in a timely fashion. Your followers want to feel special and unique and talking to them one-on-one on Twitter is a way to accomplish that goal.
These simple rules can account for new clients/followers and keep your current clients/followers interested in your dental practice. Almost half of Twitter’s 50 million daily users follow brands and businesses for discounts and offers and 67% of users recommend brands to other users. Nearly 66% of the 1.6 billion search queries every day are of commercial nature. Twitter isn’t just a place to socialize; it’s a place to do business.
So the question isn’t, “Should your dental practice use Twitter?” It should be, “Why wouldn’t your practice use Twitter?”
At Engage Dental, we work closely with doctors and their staff to create a custom, personalized website and overall web strategy that will bring your practice to top Internet visibility. Contact us today.