The use of Twitter as a medical marketing tool is becoming increasingly common. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to post updates of 140 characters. Twitter can be a very useful tool for physicians to market their practice because it enables them to expand your web presence, connect with patients, network with other physicians, and much more. However, according to a study conducted by the Nielson Co., only 40% of Twitter users remain active after one month of creating an account. The doctors who stick around on Twitter must recognize the incredible value that Twitter has in medical marketing.
How to Get Started
If you want to get started using Twitter for medical marketing but don’t know how to go about it, make a personal account first. By doing so, you can observe the community and learn how Twitter works. You won’t have to worry about making mistakes and tarnishing your brand if you create an anonymous account in the beginning. Once you get the drift, you can create an account to market your practice. You may choose to use your full name or the name of your practice as your Twitter name. If you choose to use a name besides your full name, consider registering a Twitter account with your full name any way to protect your personal brand identity. You can redirect users to the Twitter account you actually use in case they come upon the account you made with your full name.
As you accumulate followers on Twitter, keep in mind that it is usually looked down upon if you follow many people but have few followers in comparison. You can also be considered a Twitter snob if you have many followers and do not reciprocate. If you’re ultimately trying to promote your business on Twitter, you can’t really afford to not reciprocate when someone follows you.
Unlike other marketing tools, Twitter is not a one-way conversation. Twitter allows you to build relationships and facilitate dialogue. Authenticity is valued on Twitter so make sure to let your personality shine through your Tweets. Although your Twitter account may have been created to represent your business, forging personal connections and building relationships is an important aspect of succeeding in social media marketing.
Avoid Being Sales
Avoid blatant self-promotion. It is an unwritten rule on Twitter that it is taboo to promote yourself and market your goods unless you have already established a place in the community. You must provide value without expecting anything in return.
Protect Your Brand Image
Keep in mind that Google indexes Tweets. So never tweet anything that you wouldn’t want to reveal to the general public. Upon searching for your brand on Google, people may come across your individual Tweets, even years after they were posted.
Use Hash tags
There are an increasing number of healthcare-related communities popping up on Twitter. These communities are formed around hashtags. When using Twitter, you can add a hashtag such as #healthcare or #medical to your Tweets and they will be visible anytime someone searches for those particular hashtags. Searching for hashtags is also a good way to find influential people in the healthcare community to follow on Twitter. Furthermore, you can use hashtags to monitor what is being said about your practice or field.
Extend the Reach of Your Marketing Messages
The real power of Twitter lies in the fact that you can reach thousands of people in one place. Many people will choose a physician simply because they have noticed their presence on Twitter. Some physicians have even used Twitter to post a play-by-play of surgery live. Doing so is an inexpensive way to attract media attention as well as connect with patients and prospects. After tweeting about surgeries, medical practices may find that they can double or even triple their following on Twitter. Furthermore, they are likely to attract new patients who found out about their services via Twitter.
Using Twitter is also an effective way for doctors to communicate with their patients and prospects. However, most doctors probably have few patients who are actually using Twitter so at this point Twitter is more useful when it comes to connecting with anyone in the general population who is seeking health care information. Twitter is an excellent tool for physicians to use to educate the masses and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.
Twitter has also proven to be an effective tool for disseminating information during public health scares, such as the one that took place with H1N1 flu. There was lots of hysteria and misinformation floating around on Twitter. The CDC and other health organizations used Twitter to educate people about the H1N1 flu and spread information.
Physicians can also use Twitter to connect with other physicians. It is hard to facilitate much dialogue in tweets of 140 characters, but you can share links to articles of interest and valuable resources. Rather than treating their Twitter presence as an authoritative presence, many doctors use Twitter to connect with other doctors on a personal level.
If you decide to create an account on Twitter, keep in mind that you will need to dedicate time and resources to maintain your account. Building a Twitter presence for medical marketing purposes requires an ongoing investment so you must be sure that you can indeed keep up with the commitment before diving in.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3016278