Make Twitter work for your practice

Article

How to attract clients in 140 characters or less.

Twitter.com allows people to project an image of themselves to the world by posting 140-character updates about their lives and their thoughts. I figured the public might be interested to know what a veterinarian does in his daily work life, much as I'd be intrigued to know what other professionals do during their daily schedule. I also realized that Twitter could help me build a network of animal enthusiasts around the world, and I could then market myself and my blog to that network.

I started by posting brief synopses of cases I saw, but I soon realized these were of limited interest to my "followers." I then started taking photos of the animals and posting them with a brief description of the case. This visual depiction of my cases gained much more interest from my Twitter followers. I've discovered that it's easy to summarize my working day by writing up a few of the more interesting cases that come in. I ask clients if they're comfortable with the images of their pets being used in this way, and so far everyone has agreed.

Opening up my practice to public scrutiny creates the potential for the public to misinterpret what happens behind the scenes. But so far all comments have been positive and enthusiastic. I think Twitter streams could become a standard part of veterinary practices' Web sites, letting potential clients know more about whether a practice is a good fit for them and their pets.

@petethevet, Dr. Pete Wedderburn, partner, Brayvet; Bray, Ireland. Dr. Wedderburn also blogs for the UK's Daily Telegraph and at his personal site, petethevet.com.

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