Should you be using Twitter to promote your dental practice?
The short answer is “maybe.”
To be honest, Twitter is never going to be suggested as your best choice for marketing your dental practice. But considering it’s free to use and does give you access to a significant number of people, it can still be worth a look.
In terms of popularity, you have to go deeper on the list than you might think to find Twitter (it ranks 13th, right behind Snapchat). But is it still worth adding to your marketing toolbox? There are probably three factors you should consider.
Twitter falls quite a bit behind other social media platforms when it comes to audience size. Compared to the 69% of American adults who use Facebook, a Twitter percentage of only 22% probably doesn’t look like much. Taking a closer look at demographics, most of Twitter’s adult users (44%) fall in the 18-24 year old age bracket. That may not represent your core patient base, but if you’re looking to attract young adults starting new careers and families, there may be some opportunity for you to explore.
Twitter is a rapid-fire, short-form blogging platform with posts, or Tweets, limited to 280 characters. Tweets appear in real time, and have a short lifespan that is measured in minutes, not days. That means you have to get people’s attention, and get it fast.
Twitter users are primarily interested in keeping up with current events. 71% of Twitter users are reading it for news, and 42% are discussing politics. Neither of those topics may be very relevant to your dental practice, so competing for the attention of readers may be a challenge.
The rule for how often to Tweet is that there is no rule. You’ll literally see suggestions ranging from one to one hundred times per day. Realistically, expect to post at least five times daily to maintain a visible presence near the top of newsfeeds.
If you’ve decided to go ahead and try Twitter to market to new patients, but want to limit the amount of time and effort you put into it, here are some ways to get started.
Those of you who are posting content to your blog on a regular basis are already off to a great start. Tweet out short intros to your articles or videos that spark curiosity and get people to click through. Don’t limit yourself to sharing your newest posts. Go back into your archives to look for evergreen content that is still relevant to patients.
What’s going on in your office today? Maybe it’s someone’s birthday, a team member earned recognition for an accomplishment, or it’s just donut day. Whatever the occasion, share photos or videos to make a fun announcement.
You’re probably not getting raving patient testimonial videos every day, but rotate through the ones you have collected and share them on a regular basis. To encourage patients to share comments about your office through their own Twitter accounts, establish a hashtag they can use.
If you have a steady flow of content on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, you can share it on Twitter as well. Just keep in mind that your audience is a little different from other platforms, so tailor your Tweets accordingly. Don’t settle for copying and pasting.
Find interesting topics and hashtags that are trending (focus on positive and avoid controversial) and retweet them with your own personal comments. Following local businesses and organizations that are active on Twitter and share their content (they, in turn, will be more likely to share yours).
If you’re looking for a complete guide to using social media effectively, then you’ll want to download Social Media Marketing Ideas for Dentists. It’s informative. It’s helpful. And, best of all, it’s FREE! Get your copy today.