A couple weeks ago, I attended a webinar presented by our communication support company, Demandforce. They are the ones that send the text and email reminders to leave your golf game to get to your dental cleaning on time.
Demandforce has various webinars daily, but this was a special one because there was an opportunity to win an iPad Mini! Well, being the person that loves to get our office new stuff for free (MP4 player, tool kit, etc.), I joined in. I was also trying to figure out how we would incorporate Twitter into our dental practice. The only thing that I knew about Twitter is 1. It existed, 2. Celebrities seem LOVE it, and 3. It started the annoying #hashtag phenomenon. Other than that, I often asked Dr. Jones...how do businesses actually use it? Surely, it is not meant for a dental practice. Neither of us could come up with an answer.
How wrong I was. After listening for a while, I started nodding my head...yes, yes...we can do this! That makes so much sense!
After the webinar (and returning patient messages), I logged into Twitter, and made an account for Dr. Jones' practice. I also needed to do this to try to win the iPad Mini. After selecting several people and businesses to follow, I wrote our first tweet. Then our second. Then our third the next day! By the fourth day, I forced Dr. Jones (still doubtful) to send a tweetpic of the new pillow her daughter Natalie pointed out at the store and is now at our office. Since then, she has tweeted a few more times!
Sadly, I did not wind the iPad. However, I believe that we have stumbled upon a great new way to update our patients and potential new patients about our promotions, tips, and other information. The Kansas Dental Association has a twitter account, and some other well known dental related entities that we respect and follow. It is a great way for us to link to articles that we like and want to share with our patients. We have a binder in our waiting area, but sometimes you don't have enough time to read them. Shame on us to get you back in the chair at your appointed time :)
Do I still find hashtags annoying? Not really. Now that I understand how they work, I do not mind them. We've even used them in some of our tweets. Just don't use them when we are actually having a conversation and you end your thought with #hashtag blah blah blah.