There’s a lot of talk about this social networking phenomenon Twitter and how it can be used to promote and build a business. It’s a valuable tool that can be a key part in building patient networks and giving strength to your website content.
What is it? Twitter is a social media platform that allows people to send short micro-blogs of up to 140 characters from almost anywhere. You can send and receive these short messages (called “tweets”) from the Twitter Web site (www.Twitter.com) and other Twitter programs that can be downloaded to your computer and/or smart phone. According to Neilson Online, the number of unique visitors to Twitter rose from 475,000 to 7 million between February 2008 and February 2009. That’s a 1,382% increase in a year!
Think of Twitter as a way that you can get public messages out to your audience instantly. Your audience can be made up of existing patients, potential patients, and patient’s friend and family. Twitter is gaining momentum and quickly becoming an important stage for online conversation and communication. With over 6 million users and millions of messages being posted every day, you can quickly see why you want to get on the Twitter bandwagon.
While it’s a great way to build and keep in touch with your network, it’s also a powerful way to promote and sell informational products like ebooks, audio, and video products. As a medical practice trying to promote your services you must have two things: market and reputation. Twitter can help you communicate relevant information about your products as well as help you build a reputation as an expert in your local market.
Building Your Patient Networks with Twitter
You can use Twitter to post updates on your blog (educational content), services, company news that needs to be shared. Twitter can be used to support your brand personality and build a base of followers who see you as a trusted authority figure. One of the biggest benefits of Twitter is having the ability to stay in constant contact with the people on your list. Don’t over do it. If you’re twittering several times a day about useless information then your followers will probably get sick of you and stop following you. However, sending a pertinent and useful information and links keeps you on their minds and will help to promote both your brand and the services you offer.
In order to do this you need to make certain that each Tweet offers a valuable resource or a solution to the burning problems of your target market. You can also let your followers know about a blog or website where you go into greater depth and offer more valuable information on the topic. To that end, twittering can be a powerful way to build internet traffic. Just don’t focus your tweets on selling, focus on offering value. That is the key to create a brand as a trusted expert in your field, and Twitter is a great tool to do so.
Remember, Twitter is an excellent way to quickly interact and chat with patients in your market. It’s real time and provides a tool that allows you to reach out to your audience, as well as influence subscribers. It’s a great way to build relationships.
Is Twitter for everyone? No. But it is an excellent tool for marketers who want a strong component in building their patient networks and increasing their inbound marketing efforts.