by The Marketing Professor at MyDentistCalls
As of 2013, Twitter has over 550 million users and has quickly become one of the most popular forms of interaction on the Internet. But how can you use Twitter to grow your practice?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Twitter is NOT going to directly acquire new patients for you. Twitter is more of indirect source of new patients due to the fact it will primarily serve to increase the loyalty of your existing patients which will ultimately lead to more patient-to-patient referrals.
Here are the 5 ways to use Twitter that will be discussed in this article:
Let’s discuss each in a little more detail…
Twitter is a great way for you to handle common questions that your patients may have. Although some questions may be more private and need to be handled via email, general inquiries can be answered via Twitter so that all of your followers can read the answers. This will save you time; and more importantly will continue to build your credibility with your patients. Not to mention, this is a great way to spark conversation on your Twitter page between patients. Chances are a lot of them know each other since they are most likely from the same neighborhood or town. The more your patients are on your Twitter page, the more they are exposed to your services – which in turn will influence them to visit your practice more frequently. In addition, if you are able to provide great advice for FREE over your Twitter page, it will compel your patients to remain loyal to your practice. Free advice is just an added benefit of being a patient of yours, and your patients will appreciate your generosity in providing valuable tips and advice even when they don’t ask for it.
While using Twitter is great in theory, no one is really going to want to follow your Twitter account if you do not provide them with a valuable incentive to do so. It’s just the nature of today’s society that unless there’s an added bonus to something, people aren’t that inspired to take action. That is why providing FREE daily or weekly tips via your Twitter stream is a great way to entice patients to follow your account. Also, a key component of gaining followers is letting them know the Twitter Tip Service is available. To announce your Twitter page, put a sign up at your front desk stating the fact you will be giving FREE tips via your Twitter page. Make sure to include your full Twitter page URL so that patients can write it down and find you later without having to look too hard. Also let your patients know when you are treating them that you have some great tips for them if they follow you on Twitter. You can even link to your articles or other favorite articles in your posts. This is a great way to gain loyal followers and give them something to discuss when communicating with you.
Like any business, dentists have certain days of the week or times of the year that are slower than others. What better way to increase your current patient’s visits than to have a really great deal for them? You can Tweet an unbelievable discount on a service you provide and only offer that discount on a specific day of the week or during a specific month of the year. While you may make less on that particular treatment because of the discount, having more appointments during a slow day or month is better than having nothing.
Here’s a nice little trick with Twitter: every once and awhile, ask a question to your Twitter followers. It can be something as simple as, “what is the one thing you wish our office did better?” Or “what do you like most about our services?” These kinds of questions will spark conversation and will give you insight into ways you can improve your practice.
Social media outlets such as Twitter have become valuable sources that can help your own website improve its rank in the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Once a week, post a link back to your website from you Twitter account. The search engines will actually crawl through your Twitter account and the hyperlink leading back to your website will help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings.
That concludes the Top 5 ways to Use Twitter to Grow Your Practice. Hopefully you can utilize these tips to grow a deeper and more valuable relationship with your patients. By having a connection with your patients in more ways than just their office visits, your practice will ultimately have higher patient retention and better patient-to-patient referral success.
Good Luck and Happy Advertising,
The Marketing Professor at MyDentistCalls