Not where you’d like to be with your social media presence? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – social media is a challenge (and perhaps even a mystery) for many physical therapy practices!
The good news is that the pace of change in today’s private practice marketing world means that it’s never too late to jump in and compete, no matter where you’re starting from.
Here are seven things you can do right now to improve your social media presence and get better results from your social media efforts:
1. Understand Your Audience
This is perhaps the most important part of your social media strategy. While many get lost in the content development, planning, and technical use of social networks, physical therapy marketing is all about reaching your target market. The fundamental question that you need to ask is, “Do patients seeking out physical therapy or past patients seeking out my physical therapy services, use social media?” In our opinion here at E-rehab, past patients do use social networks to continue the relationship with a clinician/clinic they’ve had treatment at. Therefore, it does make sense to use them. In doing so, it is always important to focus on three things – educating past patients, entertaining them to maintain engagement (continued interaction on your the social network you’ve connect with them on), and making occasional offers.
NOTE: Years ago, at a WebPT conference, I was speaking with the director of marketing, he made an interesting comment that has stuck with me to this day. He said, “If you want to try to measure ROI with social media, don’t. It’s the wrong question to ask.” While I can appreciate this from his context, I was speaking with a dedicated marketing expert that had a team of people and a health budget. Why am I bringing this up? You need to make peace with the inability to measure ROI, and you need to make sure that other marketing strategies, that do provide a measurable ROI are a higher priority.
2. Sharpen Your Physical Therapy Social Media Strategy
Simply posting content on social media isn’t enough. Before you can expect to generate a tribe of fans, followers, or community on a social network, you need to take a sharp look at your current strategy, and be realistic about what’s working and what’s not.
Start, consider the following questions:
- Which social media platforms are you active on?
- Which social media platforms are relevant to your business goals?
- Which social media platforms are providing the most traffic and conversions?
- Which social media platforms are underperforming?
- What kind of content are you most effective at creating?
- What kind of content will most effectively accomplish our social media goals?
Take a step back and really consider these questions. When it comes to the business of physical therapy, and I can’t overstate this enough, you may find that you’re wasting your efforts on platforms that don’t get results, you’re not using the platform’s features to the fullest, or you’re spreading yourself too thin. Don’t be afraid to change directions in your pursuit of your goals.
Important Concept: Physical Therapy isn’t very social. No one wants to go to physical therapy and you can’t make people have pain or induce demand for it. Yes, people “need” physical therapy and it’s important for your brand name and expertise to be present in your prospects’ minds when they do have a problem. It’s super important to understand this.
3. Optimize Current Accounts
Once you’ve decided on your social media platforms and strategy, you should consider how you can strengthen your presence by optimizing your accounts.
To start, ensure your profile and header images are current and clear, and reflect your brand wherever possible.
Next, make sure you are making full use of any opportunities to add copy, a call to action, and hashtags. Also, check all links to be sure that they’re working properly.
Finally, remember that your profile shouldn’t be static, but rather a living asset that changes to reflect current seasons, campaigns and promotional themes.
4. Identify Clear Goals
What gets measured, gets managed…and improved. It’s time to identify clear goals that you will commit to monitoring and measuring moving forward.
You’ve likely checked your analytics in the process of evaluating your current social media accounts, so you already have the information you need to set your goals for the following year.
Remember, your goals don’t need to be elaborate or involved. A goal can be as simple as increasing your content posting or mixture. In any case, create goals that inspire you and share them with your team or peers and mentors that will hold you accountable.
5. Create a Schedule – Consistency is the Key
We’ve found that in almost 100% of cases, the most effective social media pros have a thoughtful posting schedule that they adhere to.
As a result, a big part of the execution of your social media strategy should be finding out the ideal timing for your content to maximize reach and engagement, and then creating a schedule around those times.
A schedule is more than just an alarm clock to time your posts by though – it also forces you to think ahead about your content plan. This keeps you from having gaps in your content, and ensures that you are giving yourself enough time to thoughtfully create your social content to tie into your greater marketing plans.
6. Use Video
In March of 2019, we attended Social Media Marketing World conference. If there was one underlying theme that crossed many discussions, it was this…use video! Video on Facebook, live video, YouTube video, Instagram video…video is where it’s at.
Many practices shy away from video marketing, but it’s effectiveness in unquestionable. Videos are easy and fun to consume, more engaging, and more likely to hold the attention of your audience for longer periods of time. In other words, you can’t afford to skip it!
Keep in mind that videos don’t need to be professionally done to work. In fact, in most cases, an informal and more relatable video will beat a Hollywood production any day!
A great way to capitalize on video that anyone can do is to go live. Many social media platforms offer live video options now, and it’s as simple as turning on your phone or webcam and hitting ‘broadcast’.
Don’t overthink it…just do it!
7. Don’t Wait – Get Started Now
Developing a strong social media presence is incredibly important for physical therapy private practices, today and for the future. Given that most people with musculoskeletal problems never see a physical therapist, social networks are a great way to reach many.
Hopefully, these tips will help you enhance your social media strategy and smash your goals!