Twitter is fast and easy, but just like Facebook it can quickly become overwhelming. Just like Facebook, it can be difficult to manage a Twitter account that blends family and business. I’m just starting with Twitter, but I do see some potential for its use in your birth business.
The big difference with Twitter is that others choose to follow you, and you choose to follow others. The selection does not have to be mutual. This means people can see what you’ve posted, and you never have to see what they post. But that would really go against the whole point of social networking, which is to interact with people. Again, I recommend keeping two Twitter accounts, one for business and one for pleasure. This lets you interact with the networks you have built seperately.
Twitter isn’t really going to be a way for new clients to find you, but if you offer access to follow you from your website and other marketing materials, you can build relationship with people over Twitter that encourage them to choose you as their birth professional. Welcome new followers and be sure to interact with them when appropriate.
One of the great things about Twitter is the fast way you can get communication to a large group, like reminding all your clients about a La Leche League meeting tomorrow. And those who are part of that conversation can communicate back, perhaps to ask if anyone wants to go out for lunch afterwards. Taking this to the next step, you can use Twitter as a way to start your clients and potential clients thinking about questions or direct them to interesting articles.
Don’t forget to follow interesting organizations on your birth account. For example, I use the Birthing Naturally Twitter account to post links to pregnancy and birth related research. Other organizations post links to new content or interesting articles.
Twitter can also be used as a way to build your skills. Twitter parties are groups of people who communicate about a pre-determined topic at a scheduled time. This gives you the ability to ask questions and get answers while you help answer other people’s questions.