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Top 5 Twitter Mistakes Dentists Make & How to Fix Them

As a progressive dental professional, you need to take advantage of the communication and networking powers of Twitter. If you’re reading this post, chances are you know this already. What you might not know, however, is that there are a number of mistakes you may be making right now that are preventing your practice from realizing the benefits of Twitter .

The following are 5 mistakes dentists should avoid on Twitter:

1. Doing Nothing

Sounds obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. In fact, an estimated 20% of Twitter accounts held by dentists or other dental professionals are empty. This is clearly the most damaging mistake you can make if you want to use Twitter successfully. Beyond that, consider how this looks to your patients or potential patients. An empty Twitter account says to them, we’re lazy, uncommitted and unfocused. In short, if you’re not going to use Twitter, don’t sign up. Similarly, if you signed up already, and don’t tweet on a regular basis, you’re better off calling it quits and deleting your account.

2. Too Much Self-Promotion

A little self-promotion can go a long way. In fact, nothing will get you un-followed faster than constant self-promotion. Frankly, I don’t want to hear about your low pricing in every one of your tweets. I get it, you have good pricing. Now, tell me something I don’t know.

That’s the secret. If you truly want build a steady stream of new followers, focus on providing value. Engage with your followers by connecting with them on a personal level and providing them with information that can impact their lives in a positive way. Do this consistently, and you’re followers will return the favor many times over.

3. Failing to Connect with People

Many dentists perform a monologue instead of engaging in a dialogue with their followers. Get to know your followers. Show that you’re interested in what they have to say. Asking questions and utilizing the retweet function are great ways to do this.

4. Using One Twitter Account for Both Personal & Business Use

Do you want your friends and family to know when you’re brushing your teeth or bathing the dog? If so, then who am I to tell you to stop? But, do your patients or potential patients want to know about this? Probably not – wait, definitely not. I recommend creating separate Twitter accounts – one for personal use and one for business use.

5. Tweeting Too Much

Most dentists don’t have this problem, but enough do that it warrants mention. Tweeting too much, even if you’re following the above recommendations is not a good thing. Not only does too much tweeting dilute your message, but it’s downright annoying for your followers to see your avatar every time they sign into Twitter. Like most things in life, moderation is key.

Your Thoughts

Do you agree with these tips? What would you add to the list?

Reader Comments

  1. Emily @DenTek October 8th

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    I agree with all but #4. I love reading the tweets that tell me about who the dentist or hygienist is and what they do outside the office. There are boundaries, obviously, but tweeting about your personal interests might be a great way to connect with a patient.


  2. Cory Kemp October 9th

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    Emily, thanks for your thoughts! I probably didn’t articulate #4 as well as I should have. I don’t find anything wrong with a dentist writing about personal interests on Twitter. I think this can be a great way to relate to patients or potential patients. In tip #4, I was suggesting that dentists avoid tweeting about the mundane moments in their lives – at least under their practice’s umbrella. You may disagree, but I don’t think you’re benefiting your patients in any way by telling them that you’re in the shower, for example. But, ultimately, you’re right, there’s a gray area here.


  3. The Visible Dentist April 16th

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    Interesting points to consider. I put together my own thoughts on Twitter (and Facebook) for dentists. When you have a moment, check it out.
    http://www.thevisibledentist.com/blog/can-twitter-facebook-help-dentists-get-patients/

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX


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    Why would a dental practice create a twitter account to keep it empty? It seems counterproductive as well as a waste of time and cyberspace.


  5. Practice Cafe September 7th

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    I totally agree, when starting out on twitter it is all about WHO you follow and not who is following YOU. Too many companies think that it is all about how many followers you can get. However if you have 10 followers but they each have 10k followers and 5 of them RETWEET one thing you say then your tweet instantly reaches 50,000 people.

    So the goal should be to share information that will benefit and help the community. The goal is to get people to talk about you in GOOD ways, and provide quality customer service to the ones who are talking poorly about you.


  6. MikeSchinkel November 26th

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    I agree with Emily too. All are great except #4. I was looking for an article to send to my dentist. Unfortunately I just gave him the advice not to think about Twitter accounts as a “work vs. personal” but instead let people get to know him and like him as a person as well as as a dentist (he is very likeable) because, after all, people buy from people and people looking for a dentist are definitely looking for someone they trust.

    Now it is appropriate to have a Twitter account for his practice separate from his individual account, but the practice account should have a corporate voice and doesn’t need to be used very often other than to say things like “Mary Jones just joined out staff as a dental hygienist” and “For the month of December all teeth whitening is 50% off with a dental cleaning.”


  7. Dr Patty McGarry January 10th

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    Cory I am glad you are on our side!  It is really hard to get some of the  dental jargon out of our vocabulary Thank you Dr Patty McGarry


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