TWITTER IS NOT TRADITIONAL MARKETING/ADVERTISING. As you know, with traditional marketing you write a check to the direct mail company or billboard company (for example) and then forget about it. Twitter (and all social media marketing) is participatory. It doesn’t need to take a lot of your time—but it does take a little bit of your time. And if you invest that little bit of time, it will absolutely come back to you. Just exercise a little patience and be consistent.
“What Should I Tweet?” The 70-20-10 Rule
I’m not 100% sure who the first person was to suggest a 70-20-10 Rule for Twitter. Some attribute it to Angela Maiers. Regardless of its original source, it’s a pretty good guideline—not a hard and fast rule, but a good guideline for using Twitter for dentists.
Roughly 70% of your tweets should revolve around sharing meaningful info and resources. About 20% should involve efforts to connect with people and create relationships. Finally, about 10% can be personal stuff, a little chit/chat, your own version of “interesting” things (see “Share A Few ‘Interesting’ Things In Moderation” below), and some self promotion (including dental services).
Remember, it’s OK to be you on Twitter.
Be human. Be likeable. People like doing business with people they know and like.
While I am a proponent of the 70-20-10 Rule, when you first start using Twitter I think you should beef up the 20% relationship building to 30 or 40%, keep the 10% self promotion and reduce the 70% information/resources. Then, as you build your followers move back toward the 70-20-10 model.
“How Often Should I Tweet?”
As you can imagine, there’s not one, single, correct answer to this question. On one extreme, I follow a few fairly interesting people who tweet 20 times a day! On the other extreme, once a week is too little… You’ll never gain any momentum.
On my own personal/business account, in the 1,077 days I have been using Twitter I have posted 1,909 tweets. That’s an average of 1.77 tweets per day over about three years.
How about trying to tweet once or twice on most days? You can do that with just a tiny bit of effort. Skipping a day is fine too. Don’t make this stressful. But even if you don’t tweet that day, be sure to check your account to see if anybody has mentioned you or has direct messaged you. The immediacy of social media tools has created a public that’s not used to waiting for anything. Respond in timely ways. Maybe set an alarm on your phone that goes off each day to remind you to check.
Here’s Just One Example Of Good Twitter For Dentists Strategy
Click on the image below to read through the tweets coming from Innovative Orthodontic Centers (Dr. Manal Ibrahim). Dr. Ibrahim and her team are really starting to get a nice content mix:
Here’s One More Example
We don’t claim to be the smartest guys on the planet when it comes to Twitter… However, we do have a little bit of experience and have had many successes using Twitter. Here’s a screen capture of our recent My Social Practice tweets. Just take a few minutes and read down through it. Try to get a feel for the flow. Although it is different than the content your practice will tweet, I hope it gives you a little sense of the content mix:
Remember, Tweets Have A Short Lifespan
Twitter is very fluid. Your tweets can disappear from a viewer’s stream as quickly as they appeared, depending on the number of people that person is following. So don’t assume that everybody who follows you saw each one of your tweets just because you posted it.
This is where a little experience over time will help you. You’ll begin to intuitively know how often to repeat (or rephrase) something and tweet it again. Do it too much and your followers will tire of you. Too little, and they’ll rarely see you at all and never get to know you. Patience, grasshopper. You’ll get the hang of it.
Share A Few “Interesting” Things In Moderation
This is one place where a Twitter strategy becomes a little tricky. “Interesting” means different things to different people. Are links to funny YouTube videos interesting? Are quotes from famous people interesting? Is the latest gossip about a movie star interesting? When it comes to deciding on the “interesting” things to share on Twitter you must develop your own strategy—your own comfort level. Here are a few rules of thumb… 1) When in doubt, don’t. 2) Be thoughtful and professional. 3) It’s OK to be human.
It doesn’t matter if those you engage with don’t engage back. Get over it, quick. Twitter is not the place to be proud about who acknowledges you and who doesn’t. Make the decision now to always be benevolent. Over time, it absolutely will come back.
How Some CEOs Are Using Twitter
A recent Businessweek article talks about the ways corporate CEOs are using Twitter. Since you’re the CEO of your practice, you may find it interesting. See if you can adopt some of their thinking into your Twitter understanding and strategy.
Here are a few excerpts from that article:
- “I tweet about industry insights that others are receptive to.”
- “Twitter builds company culture, and gives our customers insight into it.”
- “I release new ideas and features and get immediate feedback.”
- “I tweet to demonstrate the human side of leadership.”
- “I engage the industry using any technology that gives me reach.”
Here are the titles and links to the other 4 related posts:
Post 2 of 5 – Twitter Objectives In Dental Practices (the “why”)
Post 4 of 5 – Twitter Basics For Your Dental Practice (the “how”)
Post 5 of 5 – Using Twitter To Engage With Local People (the “who”)
As our valued clients and friends…
We strongly encourage you to carefully read each of the posts in this series. Then, start using Twitter. Give it some time and be consistent. You’ll look back one day and be glad you did.
And finally, if you’re really consumed by Twitter right now, and you just can’t get too much information, you may want to look around Mashable’s online Twitter Guidebook.