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If your practice is beginning its first social media foray, consider starting with Facebook. Once you learn the ropes, then you can join the Twitter-verse.
Do you tweet?
Twitter is a fun and hip social media platform, often referred to as a micro-blog, where you send out messages in 140 characters (called tweets) or less to your followers.
But is it something that your medical practice should embrace? Should tweeting about your practice become an integral part of your marketing plan?
I would answer yes and no.
Twitter may meet your target demographic, but unless you already have a flourishing Facebook page I wouldn't quite step out into the Twitter-sphere. It can be useful certainly, especially if you are a physician who is looking to gain national media attention, or has some other endeavor to promote that is more business-to-business in focus.
If practice-to-patient is your focus then Twitter should be second or third on your list of social media platforms to utilize. Here are some statistics:
• Twitter has about 750 million users (less than half of Facebook)
• Seventy percent of small businesses are on Twitter
• Twitter is more popular in larger metro areas than rural areas or small towns
• Twitter users skew more toward the younger crowd
• Sixty-seven percent of followers are more likely to use a product or service they follow on Twitter
Once you have your Facebook page up and running like a well-oiled machine, step out to Twitter, being mindful of these tips:
• Create a great Twitter profile for your practice. Make sure you create a custom header image and a good profile picture of yourself, if you're a solo practitioner or your practice logo if there are multiple providers.
• Find out and follow influential people in your community. This can be your local community, as well as the medical community nationally; be sure and interact with them as much as possible.
• Retweet helpful tips, articles and resources.
• Be sure what you Tweet is helpful and useful. Follow the 80/20 rule in your tweets - 80 percent fun, inspirational, motivational, and informational, and 20 percent promotional. Be sure to include hyperlinks. Statistically these are Retweeted (shared) 86 percent more than Tweets without links.
• Tweet on a regular basis. I suggest at least two to three times per day. Some studies show that depending on your number of active followers, you can actually tweet about every 30 minutes.
Now it's your turn, do you Tweet? Leave a response below or Tweet your response to me @audrey_c_mcl and @physicianspract.