How to use Twitter to gather information for dental marketing
How Twitter can be used to fuel your content marketing.
One of the questions I’m regularly asked when training dental teams is about how to keep momentum in their social media campaigns. It’s relatively easy to convey the benefits of social media and also easy enough to set up the appropriate channels for dentists to use; however the hard part starts next i.e. actually getting sufficient content out there to attract an audience and encourage them to engage with you.
Panic usually sets in when the dental team or the nominated “social champion” start to wonder how they will be able to think about suitable topics and worse, how do they get sufficient time to write about them. We’ve probably all seen the social media accounts of dentists where they started out with good intentions and then within a few weeks the tweets and posts disappear to nearly nothing? Indeed I would suggest that there are more examples of this than where accounts are actively being managed and delivering results.
Well it doesn’t have to be such an uphill struggle and with a little bit of guidance and an understanding of how to make the process a whole lot easier, you can be successful with social media without killing your time schedule.
Here’s one quick way to help you gather the content you need to keep your social media rolling……
Using Twitter to gather information as well as for broadcasting it
Many people understand how to use Twitter for broadcasting information but fewer appreciate just how useful it is for gathering information too and particularly how that information can then be used to help fuel your own social media campaign.
Before we progress, it’s useful to point out that what you see in most people’s social tweets and posts is actually re-purposed from elsewhere; typically a ratio of 80 : 20 in favour of the re-purposed content versus that uniquely generated by the poster. This whole process is called “content curation” and I’ve written about it in more detail here.
So now we understand that it is perfectly OK and indeed beneficial to gather and re-broadcast useful information from elsewhere, let’s take a closer look to see how Twitter can play a part in this.
Content curation using Twitter
Here’s how it’s done. First you need to determine what type of information will be useful to your potential followers – so for a dental practice there are lots of topics, for example oral health, dental news etc which may be interesting to the public. You then need to determine who may be publishing such information and follow them – here I’m considering suppliers, dental publications etc. There are even guys out there who are already collating this type of information for you; you just need to track them down.
Hopefully they will follow you back, but in this circumstance it’s not actually that important as it’s their information which you are looking for. Once you’ve followed them, you should see a steady stream of useful information appear in your feed. When you spot something that could be useful for your own audience, you have a couple of options – re-tweet it or stash it away somewhere to be re-worked and then broadcast at a later date. Whilst the odd re-tweet is fine, for this exercise you are probably best using the second technique which is to stash the information for re-purposing later. I normally just share it to my email and archive it there, ready for use at a convenient time.
So now you have a source of useful information to complement your own unique content. Simply compile a suitably compelling tweet or post about the information, drop in the link and away you go. If you are using a tool such as Hootsuite, it really is possible to streamline the process and make it very time-effective.
Social media often seems like a daunting prospect and many small businesses, including dentists do fall at the first hurdle. However, it’s nowhere near as onerous as it might seem and can be made very efficient and effective if you follow as few simple tips and tricks such as content curation and re-broadcasting. Hopefully this article has proved useful to show you just one of the ways to make your social media ventures easier and more fulfilling.
If you would like more information about this and other ways to ramp up your “social” please call the Dental Media team on 01332 672548 and we’ll be pleased to discuss with you.Google+