Cosmetic dentists often ask me how Twitter can specifically help them market their clinic.
As I start to respond, they immediately like to point out that they have no inclination to post status updates on what they had for breakfast and whether their dog is feeling happy or sad today!
That’s a natural response, if you don’t use Twitter it can be easy to form an opinion based on hearsay of pointless messaging and not appreciate the power of this tool we all have at our fingertips.
I like to respond with the most important benefit to using Twitter and that is that it’s a great way to find out what your patients are thinking. I also go on to ask the cosmetic dentist whether they believe it’s important for every clinic to be tuned into what is currently happening with their community.
With a nods of agreement I then suggest that the ideal tool for this is Search Twitter and it would be beneficial for them to visit :
For example, start by searching for your town. Alternatively, broaden your search by entering the type of healthcare you provide and the county you live in.
I point out this is the very place conversations are happening about their world every second of the day.
Copywriter Robert Collier famously said in 1937:
“One of the keys to selling is you have to enter the conversation that is already going on in the prospect’s mind”.
Never has a truer word been said about marketing and it’s fantastic to now have the resources to do exactly that.
You don’t even need a Twitter account to do this, there are no barriers to you spending time online listening to what your prospects and patients are currently saying about your services, profession and the town where you are based.
Do You Really Know What Your Patients Are Thinking?
Search Twitter is an excellent tool for specifically finding out what your prospects and patients are thinking. It should become part of your clinic marketing routine.
How To Start Using Twitter
Try searching for a few key keywords relating to your healthcare profession and location and start to see what everyone is talking about. By listening you can get a sense of how you should engage on Twitter.
By listening you have the opportunity to mine the data at your fingertips and interact with your community on a daily basis. Associated free Twitter tools now allow you to measure opinion, reaction and sentiment to your products and business. Having this kind of information will definitely give you an edge over your competitors.
Increasingly your patients and clients are voicing their opinions publicly on Twitter. It’s no longer a new channel, Twitter is mainstream and one of the accepted ways of communicating with businesses.
Things have come a long way since the first tweet made by a guy called Jack Dorsey in March 2006.
It’s important to appreciate your patients use Twitter as a newsfeed. We are now just as likely to receive news from our followers as we are through official media channels. Like millions of others, I personally find out what’s happening in the world by browsing my Twitter account.
There are many thousands of examples but it’s a fact that many top news stories break first on Twitter. For example, during the 2008 Mumbai attacks eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 tweets every 5 seconds.
On June 12th, Iran held its presidential elections. The landslide result led to violent riots with charges of voting fraud and protests worldwide. Almost immediately communities were forged on Twitter to protest the situation in Iran.
We now have a situation where earthquakes are reported before the United States Geological Survey.
Twitter simply asks the question ”what’s happening?”, or I tend to think of it as does social media guru Chris Brogan – “what’s got your attention?”
In answering this question you are making a tweet. Each tweet can be up to a maximum of 140 characters.
If you compare to an email list, you opt-in to receive these messages (these tweets) by following. Tweets are public by default though if someone is following your tweets you can send them a direct private message.
Exposing The Twitter Myth
Certainly, Twitter is making a huge difference in our lives. Unfortunately, some mainstream media outlets still believe it is just about the numbers, for example, how many followers you have. There is so much hype about this, so my word of warning amongst all the hype is don’t get hung up on the numbers, that’s not what matters. It’s about the quality of the conversations you are having and not how many people follow you.
It isn’t about the number of followers, but rather the number of “active” followers.
I remember so many people and the media getting caught up in the race between Ashton Kutcher and CNN to be the first to reach 1,000,000 followers on Twitter. This was excellent publicity for Twitter but ultimately this isn’t what Twitter is about.
You now have the opportunity to listen on many different social media platforms like Twitter and improve your own clinic based on what you hear.
Let’s chat more, you can find me on Twitter at andybrowntyc