Do You Dare Doubt the Power of Twitter?
Doubting the appeal of Twitter? Uncertain about whether the micro-blogging site can have any significant impact on your aesthetic healthcare practice and website performance? If there were ever a time to consider joining the Twitter revolution, a new study from social media monitoring company Sysomos shows there’s no time like the present.
Twitter 101: Make Sense of Micro-blogging with Macro Needs
With a population of more than 150 million users, 44% of which joined between January 2010 and August 2010, the potential reach and impact of Twitter is tough to ignore. But does it make sense for cosmetic dentists, plastic surgeons, and the rest of the aesthetic healthcare market?
Following Followers and Fads Forevermore, ad infinitum
Twitter makes sense if you’re willing to maintain the conversation because it provides a platform for real-time interaction between you and your patients. Similar to the effects Facebook and patient reviews can have on your website’s performance, Twitter provides 140 characters of insight into your level of online patient care and interaction.
To begin, the three most important macro-needs for a successful Twitter campaign are as follows:
- Follow: the people and brands you follow have a lot to say. Even if you aren’t sending out tweets every hour on the hour, they are. Whether you follow brands that you use, organizations you belong to, or people that interest you, be mindful of the people you choose to follow. And above all else, interact!
- Develop a following: by interacting with and engaging in the conversation occurring between your favorites, people will take notice. Best to limit self-promotion; instead, contribute useful information that’s sure to help your audience. Think altruistically.
- Consistency: as stated above, it doesn’t have to be every hour, but maintain a consistent schedule and pay attention to when your audience is most active to get the most out of each conversation.
Twitter 201: Micro-needs for the Micro-Blogger
In its most basic form of existence, Twitter is simply another chapter of your practice designed to enhance your online presence. As the following statistics from the Sysomos Twitter study show, adding some very basic elements to your Twitter profile is not only the latest trend developing in social media, it helps provide a more complete picture of your practice as a whole.
- 31% of Twitter users in 2009 provided a bio; in 2010, that number rose to 69%
- In 2009, 44% provided a location; in 2010, 82% now provide a location
- 22% of users provided a URL in 2009, with 45% providing one in 2010
Conversation is King
Don’t get overwhelmed by this outrageous growth either: 80% of users have fewer than 500 tweets, while 22.5% of users account for 90% of all activity. Just as we mentioned in a recent Rosemont Review post regarding medical and dental Facebook optimization, the main concern is consistent participation.
Start slow with several practice updates a week until you generate some speed and get the hang of the micro-blogging process. And remember this isn’t the end-all-be-all. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are simply chapters in your online existence. While you can use them to enhance your online presence, they aren’t necessarily, depending on your goals, essential components of a successful healthcare search engine marketing campaign (yet).
Executing poorly can do more damage than good, and dedicating that time elsewhere could prove more valuable if spent writing and optimizing fresh content and website updates.