Many businesses are using Twitter to connect with followers, create brand awareness, and drive traffic to their websites, and you can do the same for your independent practice. Twitter is a powerful social media channel that lets you share small bites of content that can keep both potential and existing patients interested in your practice while allowing you to re-purpose content from your blog and other social media outlets like Facebook.
Setting up a business Twitter account is a simple process, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you can begin “tweeting” and building a following for your practice.
Follow these easy steps to get your Twitter account up and running:
Step # 1 – Account Basics
The first step is to go to the Twitter homepage at www.twitter.com and click “Sign Up” in the upper right corner. You will need to enter your business name and email address. You will also be required to verify your phone number before moving on. Choosing a username for your account is easy since it should reflect the name of your practice. Just remember, your username is limited to 15 characters.
Step # 2 – Follows and Interests
At this point, Twitter will prompt you to complete a couple of steps designed to make your Twitter account more active. It will ask you to select people or businesses to “Follow” and to choose your “Interests”. Following other healthcare providers in your area as well as companies that offer healthy tips and patient-oriented content can be a good idea to help you learn what is successful on Twitter. Choose “Interests” that reflect your practice and what you feel your ideal patients are looking for to get the most from your Twitter experience.
Step # 3 – Your Profile Picture
Now that the first steps are complete, it is time to upload a profile picture. You want to choose a photo that best represents your practice. It can be a picture of your office, a staff picture, or a picture of yourself if you are a solo practitioner. Your profile picture will be part of your Twitter feed so make sure it reflects the tone of your practice.
Step # 4 – Company Bio
The next step is adding your company bio. Twitter limits the bio to 160 characters, so while it should describe your practice, it has to be short. Using keywords that patients would be searching for is helpful, and don’t forget to add a link to your website address.
Step # 5 – Mobile Settings
To make it easier to tweet even when you are not in the office, go to “Mobile Settings”. This section lets you add a mobile number to access Twitter on-the-go.
Step # 6 – Email Notifications
Go to the “Email Notifications” section to manage when and how often Twitter notifications are sent to you. Here, you can choose to be emailed when a patient likes your tweet or re-tweets you. This is a great way to keep track of how your tweets are being received and to be able to thank patients who are sharing your content.
Step # 7 – Links to Other Social Media Accounts
To make the most of your Twitter business account, you want to make sure it is linked to your other social media channels. Luckily, Twitter makes this easy. Just go to the “Apps Settings” tab to add links to other social media tools like Facebook.
Step # 8 – Time to Tweet
Once all of these steps have been completed, your independent practice is ready to start tweeting. To tweet, you can click on your home page where it says “Compose New Tweet” or on the blue button with a pencil. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters. You can add links to your tweets, such as ones to blog posts you have written, and photos to catch the interest of your patients.
Now that your practice has joined the Twitter community, the most important thing to remember is to stay active. Twitter followers generally expect multiple tweets each day and are looking for content that is engaging, helpful, and shareable. When done right, Twitter can help your independent practice reach more patients, drive traffic to your website, increase patient visits, and build loyalty.
For more tips on managing your online reputation, download this helpful guide.