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Reporter's notebook: Drive Twitter traffic up, not away

Reporter's notebook: Drive Twitter traffic up, not away Do's and don'ts to tweet by

The HME industry has picked up on Twitter and Dave Bargmann, senior consultant at A/R Allegiance Group, likes what he sees.

When used correctly, Twitter allows providers to communicate with consumers and increase brand awareness in 140 characters or less. However, gaining followers isn't as easy as losing them.

Here are some tricks and tips from Bargmann and others to get the most out of


Increasing traffic—the good kind

For providers looking to build followers, Lalaina Rabary suggests fielding questions from the Twittersphere and posting a “question of the week.”

“Even if no one submits a question, the provider could think of a frequently asked question they get and answer it on Twitter,” said Rabary, a communications and marketing specialist for People for Quality Care (PFQC), the advocacy division of The VGM Group.

Another option is moderated Twitter chats—real-time chat rooms focused on a general topic and promoted through a specific hashtag.

“Follow that hashtag and you're interacting with not just other people in the industry but nurses and social workers,” said Rabary. “Those are groups I really believe providers should be infiltrating.”

Don't overdo it

While Twitter is a great way to promote your business, constantly tweeting about what products you offer can drive followers away.

“It isn't interesting at all,” said Rabary. “People are not going to come back to your Twitter page.”

Another major mistake providers make is tweeting personal information from their professional page.

“I think the quickest way to lose followers on Twitter is tweeting about what you're eating, or tweeting about your dog or cat or goat,” said


Bargmann's biggest pet peeve? Using the default egg as an avatar.

“If you really wanted to have anyone—a company, a person—to take you seriously on social media, take the time to develop a profile,” he said. “Take the time to develop a decent picture that's representative of the culture that you want to embody.”


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