By Michael Dorausch, DC
I was shown a reminder this past weekend that a great majority of people visiting Planet Chiropractic have likely never heard of the micro blogging service known as Twitter. For some that may seem hard to believe, but it’s a reality, as real as people not knowing about subluxation and principles of healing. Like learning chiropractic principles, understanding Twitter takes time, but in my opinion it’s worth the effort.
(photo: Chicks Dig Bright Yellow @chiropractic Twitter T-Shirts)
Wearing a bright yellow t-shirt that reads @chiropractic tends to get people asking questions. Those not savvy to Twitter typically ask “are you a chiropractor” which is usually followed by a discussion of chiropractic care. Give yourselves a round of applause Chiropractors, since the most common thing people want to share w/me is their success stories. Those that use Twitter usually recognize the “@” symbol and say something cool about the shirt, chiropractic, twitter, or all 3. The “are you a chiropractor” conversation ensues later.
In the past year I’ve witnessed hundreds of chiropractors sign-on for Twitter accounts. The great majority of them fail to update, which goes against the whole purpose of having an account in the first place, imo. Others have been using the service in various ways, with varying degrees of success.
Is Twitter right for you? I don’t know, but here are some of my thoughts for chiropractors considering entering the Twitterverse.
Something that comes to mind for me is whether you’d want to use your name or the name of your chiropractic clinic. Personally, I’d suggest setting up accounts for both, that way you’re covered should you decide to tweet from a different account.
In my opinion, using your name is more transparent, but you may be interested in promoting your chiropractic brand using the name of your office, or even the location of your practice (for example, New York Chiropractor).
How to best use a Twitter account? That’s going to depend much on what your goals are. Are you looking to market and promote your practice? Are you seeking to connect with existing patients? Are you planning on holding conversations online with friends? What kind of image (if any) do you want to put forward?
For me, Twitter is primarily the way I communicate with friends, most of whom work in search and social media. That may throw people off following me in hopes of gaining knowledge centered specifically on chiropractic (I prefer to do that here). I may be in the minority, but for me it’s not just one more way to push my ideas onto others.
If you’re going to be getting social on Twitter, you may want to consider a personal account, separate from the one you may be using for promoting your chiropractic practice. I’m of the belief that it’s more important who you are following verses who is following you. Interacting with others using Twitter has added significant value to work I do online each and every day. It’s also been a major time suck, and it’s easy to put off actual work for tweeting back and forth with friends.
Once you have an account setup, one of the first things I would do is select an avatar. It’s the first step in showing others you are not a spammer. Upload a photograph of yourself or an image from your chiropractic office, that should be enough to get you started.
I’m purposefully not getting into many of the basics related to Twitter, perhaps I’ll do that at another time. Besides, there’s tons of resources on the web. But, the service has been of great help in the creation of several articles posted to Planet Chiropractic, and I expect that trend to continue.
Topics like Twitter Ice Advice for Ankle Sprains are great because we get real interaction from real people. We may assume everyone knows ice vs. heat, but why not poll a group and find out.
What about getting thoughts regarding flu shots and flu vaccines? In December of 2008 folks responded to a simple flu-shot-survey which resulted in news reporting: Many Saying No to Flu Shot for 2008 2009 Flu Season.
As a writer that values input from people from various walks of life, Twitter has been very handy when article ideas arise. Even topics like the weather and Potential Keyphrase Ranking with Twitter local search topics can be crowd sourced, which is something I’ve really enjoyed.
planetc1.com-news @ 10:37 am | Article ID: 1237311488