Twitter Marketing for Doctors
5 Awesome Tips to Easily Get More Followers for Your Medical Practice Twitter Account
With over 310 million monthly active users and over 500 million tweets sent per day, Twitter plays an integral part in daily life and in most businesses’ marketing strategies. Twitter allows users to stay up-to-date with breaking news stories—from global occurrences to developments within their close social circles— and to follow trending topics, public figures and organizations that matter to them.
Now, consider the use of Twitter marketing for doctors. Twitter can help your medical practice stay in touch with your current patients, attract new patients and build your online reputation. Although building a loyal Twitter following takes time, energy and plenty of relevant posting, these followers in turn become brand advocates for your medical office and staff.
Here are 5 simples guidelines to use Twitter marketing for healthcare effectively, in order to organically gain more Twitter followers and patients through your office doors!
1. Create a Robust Following Strategy
Since Twitter’s inception, many marketing experts have tried to analyze what generates certain Twitter pages thousands of followers while other Twitter pages scrape by with minuscule followings. While there are many factors that contribute to these numbers, a concept consistently validated in research is that your page’s followers increase as you begin to follow more people. Twitter users are more likely to follow you if you follow them. With that concept in mind, here are some tips to build your practice’s following strategy.
- Follow patients and local community members that follow you.
- Follow people and organizations that are relevant to your practice including:
- Health organizations like the American Medical Association or Cleveland Clinic
- Popular news sources like CNN or the Washington Post
- Frequently visited health information sources like Healthline or Prevention
- Local community partners like lab testing facilities or pharmacies
- Physicians that you refer business to or physicians that refer business to you
- Brands you recommend to patients like dietary supplements or pharmaceuticals
- Upload your email contacts to Twitter and follow your professional social circle as well as your patient population.
Despite temptation to jumpstart your Twitter following, you should never buy Twitter followers (or followers on any social media platform for that matter). In fact, Twitter can penalize you, if they suspect you have purchased followers, by suspending your account. What’s more, fake followers only cultivate fake or superficial loyalty, and these purchased followers will not interact with your practice and are unlikely to schedule an appointment or explore your services.
2. Develop a Consistent Posting Schedule with Shareable Posts
If you create a Twitter business page and then spend a large percentage of the time ignoring it, you can expect the rest of the Twittersphere to ignore you in return. Ensuring your Twitter updates are consistent, relevant, sharable and useful are what will take your page to the next level. Here are some preliminary tips to begin crafting tweetable posts!
- Post often: Post at least 3 times per week in the beginning and more frequently—1-3 times per day—as your brand awareness on Twitter increases.
- Seek relevancy: Write posts related to health and wellness which would be seen as helpful or informative in the eyes of your patients.
- Link out: Find news articles or other forms of content you can link to, either from a popular news source or your own website.
- Use images: Posts with images receive more likes and retweets than posts without.
- Use popular or trending hashtags: Many Twitter users seek posts related to a specific topic and adding these popular hashtags makes your posts more findable from a broader audience.
- Motivate the masses: Formulate posts likely to get your practice retweets like motivational health messages or easily implementable health tips.
- Refrain from self-promotion: Strike a healthy balance between posts that promote your services and practice, and generic health material.
By incorporating a mix of the above-mentioned posts, your followers will not only get a sense of the dynamics of your practice but also will find value in the health information you disseminate. Be sure to test different posting times to see when your followers are most engaged. Several sources theorize that the weekend is best for tweeting, while other sources recommend weekday afternoons. From your testing, you will be able to create a schedule that has the greatest impact on your own followers, although adjustments may need to be made over time as your following grows.
3. Craft a Thoughtful & Tactical Twitter Bio
Twitter marketing for doctors is about connecting with patients outside of the exam room and connecting your practice to your community at-large. Your medical practice’s Twitter bio should aim to not only provide basic contact information for your office, but also spark interest in your medical services and encourage action such as following your page or visiting your practice’s website. A carefully composed Twitter bio can convert just as many visitors into patients as the posts themselves. When developing your Twitter bio, remember:
- Twitter followers cannot convert into patients if they do not know where to go; be sure to include your website’s URL as part of your Twitter bio.
- Including your city or most relevant geographical area, such as a neighborhood or county, helps potential patients decide if your office location is within reach prior to scheduling an appointment.
- Making your practice appear more human by adding a clear, bright, high-resolution image of the practitioner(s) of your medical practice attracts more followers; people connect with faces far more than they do with logos.
- Your practice can appear in Twitter search results for the things you specialize in if you include relevant hashtags like #weightloss or #hormonetherapy into your bio.
- Above all else, your Twitter bio gives you 160 characters to express your uniqueness; optimize this space by establishing your expertise, showcasing your personality and encouraging users to convert into patients.
Here is an amazing example of a Twitter bio from one of our clients that successfully showcases her practice’s mission while including all the relevant office information:
Dr. Akoury made sure to include a sharp profile picture, her website URL, the practice location, relevant hashtags and her goal in patient health. All of these will help Twitter users get a sense of who she is and how she can help them.
4. Promote Your Twitter Page On & Offline
Your practice likely already has access to a long list of patient email addresses and physically comes into contact with potential Twitter followers each time a patient walks through your office doors. Take advantage of these encounters and market your Twitter profile digitally, on printed material and in-person. Here are just a few places you can begin marketing your social media presence:
- Digital: On your email signature, website and email blasts, add a link to your Twitter account and prompt people to follow you
- Print: Add your Twitter handle to office brochures, receipts, signage and posters
- Other social media platforms: If you have a loyal Facebook following, encourage them to follow you on Twitter too through a series of Facebook posts that include the link to your Twitter page
- Local partners: Utilize the community partners you have like a local pharmacy or health food store by asking them to promote your practice on their social media pages
- Promotion: Consider incentivizing new Twitter followers or veteran followers who retweet a post with a special discount off a service or product in your office
Encourage your office staff to participate in this initiative and consider incentivizing them when they get a person to follow your Twitter account or when you reach various milestones (100 followers, 1,000 followers, etc.). When your practice can join together with this common goal you can make the greatest impact on your follower number.
5. Become an Influencer in the Health Community
Sometimes, your goals may stretch beyond your current community and you’ll begin to think of social media, and Twitter in particular, as a means to reach a broader audience. Whether you are promoting a new book or health concept or begin speaking engagements at medical conferences, the needs for your Twitter account may change over time. To reach a larger audience on your Twitter page, consider:
- Participating in relevant Twitter chats
- Manually retweeting posts from other influencers in the medical community or from popular companies by copying and pasting the tweet (this ensures your profile picture is included in the retweet)
- Tweeting to 5-10 people each day, asking them questions or commenting on their posts
- Searching for questions people have on Twitter and answering them publically
- Carefully watching trending news topic and providing your take on the subject while utilizing relevant and popular hashtags
- Pinning tweets you deem important to your Twitter timeline to increase their visibility and likelihood of earning more retweets
Becoming an influencer takes time, energy, consistency and advocates that are willing to promote you to their own Twitter followers. There may be activities you can do outside of your Twitter activity to extend your reach including blogging, paid advertising and search engine optimization.
Twitter has the potential to transform your online presence and to help you connect with your patients on a new level. While seemingly overwhelming to begin, these effective strategies when used consistently can help you and your medical practice to gain more Twitter followers:
- Follow other Twitter users to encourage them to follow you back
- Post often to increase your reach
- Brand your practice and expertise in a carefully constructed Twitter bio
- Actively promote your Twitter page to your practice audience, digitally, in print and through word-of-mouth
- Think broadly if seeking to become an influencer in the medical community