Whether you’re an avid tweeter or are just getting started on the social platform, acquiring followers always seems to be a huge concern for most users. When a practice obtains more followers, they increase their credibility, extend their marketing reach, and have the potential to acquire more new patients. Once you start tweeting, keep the following tips in mind to build your audience:
1. Interact with your neighbors.
As a local business, your practice should be interacting with other neighboring businesses. By connecting with and following nearby businesses (not competitors of course), you can comment on each other’s involvement in the community, and increase your exposure among their followers and patrons. This sort of interaction can help both their business and yours reach new prospects.
2. Get to know your target audience.
Understanding your patient base will allow you to tailor your tweets to appeal to your audience. When trying to determine your target audience, consider questions such as: why would “X” type of patient interact with me on Twitter (what is the incentive); how do these patients communicate with others on Twitter; what times are they most active on Twitter? Each of these considerations can help you formulate your strategy, such as the tone you should take, the time you should post, and the type of content your audience will find interesting.
3. Focus on interacting.
Social networking is really meant to be an online conversation. Your current and prospective patients don’t want to talk about how great you are at placing cosmetic veneers, they want to be engaged and entertained. The occasional sales pitch is okay, but try to keep your tweets educational, interesting, and valuable.
4. Join in the conversation.
Twitter users aren’t sitting around wondering what you’re going to post next. To get noticed, you have to interact with other people’s tweets! For example, comment on popular posts and ask questions to spark conversation. Interaction makes others want to socialize with (and follow) you.
5. Don’t be afraid to retweet.
Sometimes users feel that a retweet is “taking the easy way out,” but this couldn’t be more untrue. Tweeting is all about sharing valuable or entertaining information with others. If you find someone else’s tweet of value, retweet it. Your followers may also enjoy the tweet, and the user who composed the original tweet may acknowledge your retweet, giving you added exposure among their followers.
6. Be interesting.
People like interacting with people, not just businesses. Don’t forget to share the people behind your practice – dental assistants, hygienists, office staff. Post pictures of your staff dressed up for Halloween. Share “Happy Birthday” announcements. Let your followers know there are real people working for you.
7. Observe Twitter Search.
Twitter users will often pose questions and hashtag them with related keywords. For example, we used Twitter Search to look up the term “dentist” and found a user who tweeted “This may be a really dumb question but can a cavity go away on its own or do I need to go to the dentist? #dentist #inpain”. That certainly isn’t a “dumb” question, and it needs a credible user to answer it, which is where you come in. Search for industry-related terms and help other users by answering their questions or concerns. Responding to comments like these can help you grow your network of followers.
8. Use promoted tweets.
Promoted tweets are tweets you pay to have strategically placed in front of your prospects. You can target users by their location, and Twitter will feature your tweet in these users’ newsfeeds, regardless of whether they currently follow you or not. Promoting a special or new service could definitely get you noticed among your local prospects.
9. Be flexible.
When you’re tweeting, don’t feel obligated to stick to a set plan. Trending topics, like local news and events, tend to get more attention than other tweets. If something happens in your vicinity, tweet about it and get active in others’ conversations, regardless of whether it fits into “the plan”.
10. Add your Twitter @handle to everything.
And we mean everything. Stick it on your business cards, practice signage, your email signature line, blog posts, etc. If you don’t spread the word that you’re present on Twitter, your patients will never know.
Don’t forget to be patient in the process of marketing your practice on social networks; acquiring a solid group of followers takes time but is worth the investment. Studies show that small businesses who have 51 or more followers have at least 106% more traffic to their website than those with less followers. Start implementing these strategies to begin acquiring new followers today!
To learn more about marketing your practice on today’s most popular social networks, contact us at (888) 932-3644.