4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Twitter for Your Medical Practice

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you know that I’m a big advocate of social media for doctors. Social networks are some of the most powerful and most cost effective tools available to any business, and they’re especially useful for medical practice marketing because they help your patients get to know you, your practice, and what sets you apart.

Of course, when most people think of “social media”, they immediately think of Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with that line of thinking for personal social networking, but if you restrict your practice’s social media marketing to nothing but Facebook, you’re really missing a lot of opportunities. Chief among the “other” social networks you should be taking advantage of is Twitter.

The original microblogging site, Twitter is the fastest-moving social media site on the Internet. Unlike Facebook, you can tweet all day long if you want to without anyone calling you a spammer (as long as you’re not actually sending out spam). Twitter moves at such a fast pace, in fact, that most social media marketing experts will recommend that you tweet several times a day to ensure more of your audience sees your tweets.

But you’re going to need to do more than send out six to eight tweets per day to get the most out of Twitter for your medical practice marketing. Here are a few tips to help you gain more exposure with your audience, get potential patients’ attention, and drive more traffic to your sites and more appointments to your practice.

Fill Out Your Profile and Add a Great Picture

First, you want to make it easy for people to find out more about you. When they read one of your tweets and find it interesting or informative, they’re going to click on it to get to your profile. They’ll not only want to read more of your tweets, but they’ll also want to know more about you and your practice. That’s why it’s incredibly important to fill out your profile completely, including a short brief about your practice, your location, and your website.

In addition to a complete profile, you’ll want to carefully select a good profile picture. You can make this your practice’s logo and/or name, but – depending on your practice – you may want to make it a little bit more personal and set your profile picture as a professional picture of you. This way, Twitter users will feel more connected as they have a face to put to the doctor who is giving them tons of great advice and linking to a lot of great articles.

Connect With Others in Your Field

Next, find other physicians and researchers that you respect in your field. Start following them. Retweet their best tweets, and when you have something to add to the conversation, don’t be afraid to reply to them, as well. Remember, Twitter isn’t just about posting your own tweets; it’s about connecting with others and getting into conversations, 140 characters at a time.

Pay Attention to Your Engagement

Check your analytics tools to see which of your tweets are getting the most engagement. Are the tweets you post on Wednesday mornings always popular, while the ones you post on Friday nights hardly getting any engagement at all? Adjust your posting schedule to get the most activity on your tweets, and you’ll see more replies, retweets, and favorites.

Do you notice that your tweets with pictures and video links do better than your text-only tweets? (Hint: yes, you’ll definitely notice this.) Include more media in your tweets and get more people reading and sharing them.

Invite Your Patients to Follow You

Once you have your Twitter account up and running, don’t forget to let your loyal patients know about it. Of course, you’ll want to add a link to your Twitter page on your website, but you can get even more of your patients to follow you by posting a sign in your reception area. Invite your patients to keep up with practice news, special services, and more. These people already know you and are already likely to retweet and get involved with your posts. They can be huge assets to your Twitter marketing efforts.

Social media for doctors is hugely valuable, and an active, effective Twitter account can be a great aid with your medical practice marketing and attracting new patients.