Twitter is a great way to offer quick snippets of information about your practice, your clinic and as another avenue to present yourself as an authority in your field. Among other things, your Tweets can be used to keep current patients informed about anything new going on with your practice, promote recent blog posts or additions to your web site, create conversation about your field of practice and cultivate potential new clients.
Local marketing is a buzz word in inbound internet marketing and no one is a better candidate for using local searching effectively that medical professionals. Though often overlooked, Twitter is an effective local marketing tool. Using the Twitter search engine, you can search for a particular locale and then begin to follow targeted people in your area.
Another plus for Twitter is that it is designed for mobility. Anyone with a smart phone, iPad, other tablet or a variety of other mobile devices can send and manage Tweets on the fly wherever they are. One word of warning – tweets can also chew up a lot of time unless you learn how to manage Twitter to fit your needs and goals for marketing your practice. In a later article we will look at some tools that make Twitter work for you rather than against you.
The key is to be master of it rather than let it be your master! With that in mind here’s how to get starter with Twitter.
To get your Twitter account visit twitter.com and click “Join the conversation!” The first thing you need to do is create a Twitter Handle. Some suggestions for a good handle include:
- Your full name (DrJamesSmith)
- A variation of your name (DrJSMITH)
- Your Clinic name (NewEdenClinic)
- A combination of your name and your industry (DrSmithKnowsPlasticSurgery)
Create Your Account
Once you choose your handle click on “Create my account.” At this point you will be able to check to see which of your email contacts are already on Twitter. If you have a Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo account you can let all of those contact know you are now on Twitter in one quick step.
Personalize Your Profile
The profile is where you define and describe your practice, your clinic, your web site and blog and tell something about yourself. It is important that you personalize your account before beginning a conversation and following people. This will ensure you are recognized and not mistaken for a spammer.
The “One Line Bio” section is very important so be as descriptive as possible. In other businesses this might be called your elevator pitch – a place to quickly convince people of a reason to follow you. Consider this a snapshot of:
- Your company
- Your specializations
- Your interest
Don’t forget to identify your location. People often follow others located in their geographic area to expand their local area network. Use the standard City, State, Zip Code format so you will be picked up by Twitter searches keying on that format.
Twitter does not have the same return as blogs or Facebook but both will greatly benefit from an active Twitter network of followers. On a practical note, it is also an excellent tool to use with value patients that reminds them they are important to you and your practice.