Social Media 101: Tweet Your Way to New Patients

Naomi Cooper February 19, 2013

Social Media 101: Tweet Your Way to New PatientsTwitter is a product of today’s fast-paced society, where much of our information is absorbed in small bits while we’re on the go. We live in an era where many people no longer have the time to sit down and read a full news article. In 2012, according to The Huffington Post, there were 175 million tweets sent every day.

Twitter enables information to be distributed, read, and absorbed within a matter of seconds, from a computer, laptop, smartphone, or even a standard cellphone via text messaging. Setting up a profile takes only a few minutes. The bigger challenge with Twitter is finding followers.

Unlike becoming “Friends” on Facebook, following someone on Twitter doesn’t mean that they also automatically follow you. Instead, here are a few ideas to gain followers:

  • Tweet and retweet (reposting other people’s tweets) regularly.
  • Mix up the informative with the fun.
  • Tweet links to interesting oral health articles or post brief tips of the day.
  • Make sure all of your patients know that you’re on Twitter and encourage them to follow you.
  • Consider running informal contests with prizes for all of your Twitter followers, such as giving away an electric toothbrush to one of your patients who retweets a particular message about your practice.

What’s unique about Twitter is that every single word you’ve ever tweeted is public and searchable unless it was specifically marked private. That means anyone who happens to be searching for any of the keywords you’re tweeting about will find your tweets. This is an incredible way to build a loyal base of followers, regardless of whether they actually know you or not. And because about half of Americans don’t have a dentist, if your Twitter followers are in your local area, they certainly have the potential to become your patients when they’re ready.

Even if you never plan to consistently tweet yourself, it’s still worth having a profile on Twitter. You can use Twitter to follow industry leaders and stay up to the minute on breaking news, or just to keep tabs on your friends, patients, and personal heroes.

Do you use Twitter for professional purposes? What do you like most about this social media platform?

Be sure to check in here next week for information on one of the fastest growing social media sites – Pinterest.

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