The Private Practice Blueprint to Twitter Marketing in 2019
Want to know a secret? Here it is – your clients are already on Twitter.
Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, with 134 million users logging in daily. That’s 134 million chances for you to reach new clients every single day. That’s also 134 million opportunities you’re missing out on every day if you’re not yet using Twitter for your private practice.
Are you willing to miss out on 134 million daily opportunities to grow your practice?
We didn’t think so 🙂
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With those numbers as proof of its prowess, the question isn’t if mental health professionals should use Twitter but rather how they should be using Twitter to get the most out of this social platform.
This article will walk you through:
- How to optimize your Twitter profile
- What, when, and how often to Tweet
- How to save time and money by automating your Twitter marketing
You can click on any of the items listed above to jump straight to that section. Otherwise, let’s get started!
Tweak Your Profile
Because your overall goal on Twitter is to increase your brand awareness, gain more followers, and get even more new clients for your practice, you need to do a little extra work to make your social media self even more appealing. Your bio, profile photo, and header photo are prime online real estate so let’s talk about how to get the most out of every one of these areas.
Name Your Account
Your username, sometimes also referred to as your handle, is the unique identifier that starts with an @ symbol and it’s found right below your profile photo:
Your username is what people will use to find, follow and communicate with you on Twitter, so it’s okay for you to be picky when choosing one. You want to pick something that you will be able to use for the lifetime of the account.
In a perfect world, you would be able to use the same username across all of your social media profiles for consistency and branding purposes:
If your first choice is already taken – which happens a lot – try adding a relevant keyword to the end or beginning. For example, our username BrighterVision wasn’t available when we signed up for Instagram so we went with BrighterVisionWebsites instead.
If your group practice’s first choice username is already taken, try adding the words “we are” at the beginning to end up with the username WeAreBrighterVision. You can also use your location at the end of a username as a unique modifier, like BrighterVisionDenver.
Write a Captivating Bio
Your bio is the short description of your practice that is displayed beneath your profile photo. It will also appear in Twitter search results and may even show up in Google search results, as well.
In the bio area, you have limited characters (160 characters, including spaces and punctuation) to explain your practice and capture the attention of potential new followers. So be creative and say a lot by saying a little!
Your Twitter bio should include the main keyword (or search phrase) you’ve optimized your private practice’s website for and a link to your site. You can also add a #hashtag or two to help your bio stand out from the rest, but more on hashtags in a minute.
Choose the Right Images
Your profile picture is the circular image that appears on your Twitter page and alongside all of your Tweets throughout Twitter:
Even more so than a username, your profile picture is the quickest way to identify an account, so it’s best to use your business logo (for group practices) or a professional headshot (for solo therapists) here.
The recommended size for this image is 400 pixels wide x 400 pixels tall. Also keep in mind that it will be automatically cropped into a circle, so make sure there isn’t anything important in the corners that will be cut off when this happens.
Your header photo, on the other hand, is the large graphic at the top of your page. Its recommended dimensions are 1500 pixels wide x 500 pixels tall and this is a great space to promote your practice and really showcase your specialty.
Not everyone will see everything you tweet, but new followers will almost always go to view your profile before they decide if you’re worth following. That’s what makes extra touches like this so critical.
If you already have a color scheme and/or specific fonts you use in your branding, carry those same styles over into this image as well. The Rose Relationship Learning Center’s header (shown above) is an excellent example of someone who has done this very well. Not only does it accurately represent the practice’s overall brand, it also includes the same banner image, phrase, and fonts they’ve incorporated into their website.
To build a strong brand online, be consistent with your images. Use the same profile picture and header photo across all of your social media profiles.To build a strong brand online, be consistent with your images. Use the same profile picture and header photo across all of your social media profiles. Click To Tweet
What, When and How Often to Tweet
The Anatomy of a Tweet
Tweets are Twitter’s equivalent of a post on other social media platforms. The main difference between a post and a tweet lies in the number of characters that are allowed. Unlike posting on most other social platforms, a tweet is limited to 280 characters or less and that IS counting any spaces, punctuation, and links you use.
Let’s take a look at the main components of a tweet:
You’ll notice that your profile picture is always displayed on the left side of your Tweet, your account name and username are always displayed at the top above your message, your message itself is then in the middle and finally, a menu of engagement options are always displayed at the bottom of the Tweet below your message.
Within your Tweet, you should always try to include 3 key things:
- A relevant image, video clip or gif – People are 3x more likely to engage with Tweets that contain a photo or video. If you don’t have a high-quality image of your own to use, there are plenty of free stock photo/video sites out there. Unsplash is an excellent online resource for high-res images, Pixabay and Pexels will supply you with both photos and video clips, and GIPHY is a great place to find the perfect gif.
- A call-to-action (CTA) – A call-to-action is the message used in your Tweet to persuade or entice your audience to take a specific action, such as “Click Now” or “Contact Today”.
- A hashtag – A hashtag is any word (or combination of words, devoid of spaces between those words) preceded by the pound sign. Some of the most notable hashtags from the past decade include #MondayMotivation and #TBT (or #ThrowbackThursday). We’ll dive deeper into hashtags in just a moment.
You should also try to include, whenever its applicable to your message, the following:
- A link – Links should be included whenever you’re sharing an article you want people to read on your blog, introducing a new employee that they can read more about on an “About” page, or promoting one of your services that they can learn more about on one of your private practice site’s “Specialty Service” pages.
- A mention – If you want to “tag” another Twitter user in your message and still post it publicly for all your followers to see, use a mention. To do this, simply include @username for the person you want to mention in your Tweet. All mentions are also clickable and hyperlinked to that user’s Twitter profile.
How to Use Hashtags (the Right Way)
Hashtags make it easier for users to keep track of certain types of content and weed through the 500,000 Tweets that are being pumped out every minute so that they can find topics more relevant to their own interests.
Clicking on a hashtag takes you to the Twitter search results for that term, so using hashtags sensibly in your Tweets can get you more exposure with the right people by making your Tweets more visible to a much wider audience.
The secret to getting the most out of your hashtags is to remember that they’re not magic pixie dust – sprinkling them over everything in your Tweets will definitely not always make them better.
Twitter Hashtag Tips:
- Hashtags should be simple and direct – keep them under 18 characters to see the best user engagement
- Turn your keywords into hashtags – i.e. #DenverCouplesCounselor
- Camouflage hashtags within your Tweet – don’t just list them all out at the end of every post
- Don’t hashtag too many words – limit yourself to between 1 and 3 hashtags per Tweet
When to Post
The best time to post will obviously be when the majority of your followers are online. There are actually quite a few different ways to find this out, but we recommendation using one of the following two methods:
Method #1 – Spend A LOT of time figuring this out for your self
You can start out by using a third party Twitter tool Tweriod to get a free basic analysis of your Tweets and your followers’ Tweets. This will give you a good starting point to use for testing different Tweet days and times from your Twitter account, rather than starting from ground zero. Then, once you’ve tested various Tweet days and times from your account for a few weeks…
Next, you’ll want to spend some time reviewing your Twitter Analytics. Much like Facebook provides you with valuable information about your audience and engagement on their platform, Twitter does the same. You can find this by clicking on the “More” tab in your sidebar and selecting “Analytics” from the popup list of options, as shown here:
You will automatically be taken to your Analytics home screen first where you’ll see a summary of your Twitter audience engagement over the last 28 days. However, if you switch over to the “Tweets” tab at the top of your screen, you’ll then see more detailed data on all of your Tweets from that date range.
Based on that data, you’ll be able to determine which days and times your posts have the highest level of engagement.
Method #2 – Follow our Twitter posting guidelines and save your self A LOT of time
Or, if you don’t like the idea of spending hours upon hours over the next month figuring this out for yourself, you can follow the suggestions we’ve made after doing hours of mental health market research for you!
Do you know the best times to post on social media?
Download our free guide:
No matter how you do it, once you’ve discovered when your followers are on Twitter, you can then use a tool like Social Genie to schedule your Tweets to be sent at optimal times. This will ensure that your posts are being published at exactly the right time for maximum user engagement, without causing you to miss out on what’s truly important – seeing clients.
How Often to Post
Just like anything else, the ideal number of Tweets you should be putting out per day can vary quite a bit depending on your specific market. Some experts claim that 3-5 Tweets a day is the sweet spot, while others swear that anything less than 7 Tweets a day isn’t nearly enough.
However, especially when you’re first getting started using Twitter for your private practice, a good rule to follow is this: To grow an active following of your ideal clients, Tweet once a day at a bare minimum.To grow an active following of your ideal clients, Tweet once a day at a bare minimum. Click To Tweet
Save Time by Automating Your Twitter Marketing
Now that you have a pretty good idea about the best practices for marketing your private practice on Twitter, it’s time to put that data to work!
Social media automation tools, like Brighter Vision’s Social Genie, allow you to schedule content to post exactly when you want on the days you want.
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