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If you haven’t joined in yet, then it’s high time you did. Twitter is one of the most visited social network sites and it’s becoming more and more popular everyday.
According to a report on Statistic Brain, in May 2013 Twitter had over 554,750,000 registered users. 135,000 new users sign up every day. There are 9,100 Tweets made every second of every day.
Why should those statistics impress you? Because they make Twitter prime real estate for you and your practice, and best of all it’s free.
If you use Twitter for your private practice properly, it can be the king of social media. Companies both large and small are realizing Twitter’s true potential.[note_box]You can use Twitter to:
- Introduce new treatments or services
- Communicate with existing patients
- Find and add new patients
- Promote and describe your most popular treatments
- Build your practice’s brand
- Develop and improve products and services
- Find out what your competitors are up to
The Advantages Of Twitter For Your Practice
Not everybody “gets” Twitter, and because they don’t understand, it they are missing out in a big way. Here are some of the main reasons why your practice should be active on Twitter:
- Little or no capital
The only cost when starting on Twitter is your time and effort. Twitter is 100% free for anyone who wants to sign up, whether you are an individual or a business. So, as a small business owner, opening up a Twitter account is a huge opportunity that you don’t want to miss.
- Real-time updates
One of the main advantages of using any social media site is that it gives you real time information, and Twitter is no different. With up-to-date data, your followers will be able to see information about new developments, events and other relevant information as soon as you post it.The real-time updates are also excellent for customer service updates. That means your practice can easily address patient problems and questions as soon as they are posted, which they will be sure to value and appreciate.
- Strengthen existing connections with patients
Twitter lets you get up close and personal with your existing patients. This personalization makes it much easier for your practice to cultivate trust with patients, which will help you establish loyalty and eventually increase revenue.
- Paving the way for new patients
As well as strengthening the bond with your existing patients, Twitter is equally as good at attracting brand new ones. (You can read more about how to do this further on in the article.)
- Link to multiple sites
When marketing online, it is important never to use just one avenue to try and gain additional sales. That is why many companies are choosing to use Twitter since they can use it to send their followers to their official websites, blogs and Facebook profiles. By doing this, it drives traffic to sites that will enable them to close the sale and boost their profits.
- Keep an eye on your competitors
Your competitors will no doubt be using Twitter too, and if you let them, they can start poaching your existing and potential patients. This is why an active Twitter account is vital; it helps you to keep an eye on your competition.You can also use Twitter to gather important information about any new developments on their end or if they seem to be using an effective marketing strategy. It will put your practice in a much stronger position. If you know exactly what is happening at any given time, you can position yourself swiftly and alter your marketing to make an effective counter attack.
- Target your Tweets
When using Twitter, one of the biggest mistakes many independent businesses make is to try and market to everyone. They realize how huge and popular Twitter is and try to market to every person on it. Don’t fall into this trap.
Your marketing strategy should be focused on a very specific market and not at every Twitter user. Your efforts should be aimed directly towards current patients and people who are actively searching for physical therapy in your area.
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to know how to structure your Tweets so you can not only locate your target audience but engage with them also.
Twitter marketing strategies to help you get more sales
There are a number of marketing strategies you can use. The main goal is get visitors off Twitter and straight on to your website. Here are some of the most effective marketing strategies that will help you to do that:
Hashtags (#) are a very simple but effective way to organize popular topics. Hashtags are very useful to your practice because they make it much easier for you to be found by people interested in the things you promote. They contain the main keywords that will help people find your practice or know what you’re promoting.
Build up a following
As soon as you set up your account, the first thing you need to do is get as many followers as you can. Remember the advice given earlier: Only try to get followers that matter. If they are unlikely to be associated with your practice in any way, then adding them to your list will be useless and waste of time. Your aim is to build up a following of responsive buyers. If you need advice on how to do this, please get in touch and we can help you.
Build on existing followers
If you already have an established list of followers from other social networks like Facebook, Pinterest or your own mailing list, then invite them to become one of your Twitter followers. By announcing the creation of your Twitter account and sending them a direct invitation, you will soon be able to attract a decent amount of followers interested in what you have to offer.
Ask for a re-tweet
Don’t be shy. This is a great way to spread the word quickly. Some businesses feel embarrassed asking their followers to re-tweet one of their messages, but it’s perfectly acceptable and is part of the Twitter culture. Don’t do it too often though, and make sure the message you are asking your followers to re-tweet is worth doing to justify the action.
Twitter can be used as both a direct and indirect tool for marketing your practice. For example, you could use it to try and close the sale directly to your clients and followers. Alternatively you can post links to external sales pages, such as one of your Facebook pages or your website, which could increase the possibility of more sales.
Have a schedule
Just as in any other online platform, spamming is frowned upon. Think very carefully about what you are going to post on Twitter as part of your marketing campaign. Your Tweets should be planned out and you should stick to the schedule.
Look at how big brands look after their Twitter marketing accounts and emulate them. Yes, it takes extra time but the rewards will be worth it. You will be able to stay visible to prospective clients for branding but without flooding their Twitter feed with pointless messages that either don’t engage or are of no interest to them.
Providing quality: what you should Tweet
People will only pay attention to what you have to say if you give them something that they are interested in. If your posts are random and nonsensical, or if you post too often, the chances are you will be “unfollowed,” and that will mean losing a potential patient.
Twitter is perfect for collecting valuable feedback. Twitter followers like to be asked for their opinion so why not ask them to write about how they feel about the treatment they’re receiving from your practice? Include a hashtag so that their Tweets will lead back to you. The question will encourage followers to reply back to you, effectively providing you with valuable feedback about your new product or service.
Another Tweet worth posting would be a contest for your practice that will engage your followers. Again, the use of hashtags will be incredibly useful.
Photo contests work especially well because a picture is worth much more than the 140 characters allowed on Twitter. Again follow successful big companies and see what kinds of things they post for inspiration.
Twitter is extremely powerful. The strategies and techniques mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.
We hope that this has inspired you to take your practice on Twitter. It is worth repeating again that even if you never go on Twitter, your competition will. You need to be on so you don’t lose any patients to them.[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]We have lots of advice and tips to share with you, so if you are going to take the plunge on Twitter please talk to us first. You could go ahead and set up your own campaign right now but that could involve a lot of trial and error and you could spend many weeks or even months trying to figure out a successful marketing strategy.
Or, you could save yourself a lot of time and significantly increase your profits by letting us show you how to use this incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to drive a flock of new patients to your practice.[/colored_box]