5 Crucial Physical Therapy Online Marketing Tactics

online-marketing-for-physical-therapists

Do you get upset and frustrated with the constant changes that take place in the world of online marketing. Are you confused about how to create a complete online physical therapy marketing strategy?

You Don’t Have to Be…

While marketing online can seem overwhelming, with just a little knowledge, patience, and perseverance, some simple physical therapy online marketing tactics should be part of your overall practice marketing strategy.

It’s 2014. You can’t expect to make it as a small physical therapy practice unless you use the Net to grow your new patient baseand maintain a competitive advantage over the big-box clinics. With over 80% of all Americans seeking out health information online, you need to embrace online marketing opportunities.

I get calls almost every day from practice owners asking me how to get found online? Who should they trust? Is it worth the money? They want to know what systems and processes they should put into place to attract website traffic and convert them into patients.

In the offline world, brick and mortar practices need to be found first when people are searching for the practice by name. Think about it. You are a referral-based business. It’s crucial for your practice to survive and even when patients are referred to your clinic, they will first look you up online to make sure you are a credible practitioner.

Once prospective patients arrive at your website, you need to have the right copy and content to make sure they are performing your call to action, which is (not to sign up for a newsletter) to pick up the phone and make an appointment.

As such we’ve put together five essential marketing tactics, that will give your practice’s online presence an edge over the competition.

Some are easy and free and others require some money and expertise.

1. Get Your Physical Therapy Online Brand In Order
First of all, make sure you have a beautiful website that makes a great first impression and reflects the 5 star service you provide. Read through each page, correct spelling errors and grammar problems, make sure links work and everything is up-to-date. For example, check the copyright year at the bottom. Does it say “2010?” If so, it makes you look dated and out of touch with technology.

Is your address and phone number at the top of your home page? There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find a simple phone number to contact a practice and make an appointment. Make the user experience a fast and easy one. In other words, don’t make your viewers think.

Is your website mobile-optimized? If not, then you are simply disrespecting and making it difficult for 30-40% of your viewers. At E-rehab.com, you can’t buy a desktop website from us anymore. We feel it is important to lead our clients and there’s no better way to do it then with a mobile-optimized website.

2. Claim your Important Online Business Listings
After your website and an email newsletter, the most valuable online marketing tool for your practice is Google. Use Google My Business to set up your G+ page, map listings and more.

It’s a fact. The search engines, like Google, have replaced the yellowbooks in referring patients to practices, and Google My Business is critical tool for making this is happen. Listing your practice with help you gain credibility, generate more traffic, and help you build your online reputation.

3. Reviews – The 21st Century Version of Testimonials
Reviews on sites like Google+, Facebook, YP.com and Yelp are extremely influential. Have you ever read the reviews on Amazon before making a purchase? Of course you have. Your patients are doing the same thing.

If you don’t have any reviews (i.e. no online reputation), start encouraging your patients to review you online. However, don’t just blindly e-mail all employees and their spouses. It’s all about “review velocity”. If you get 20 reviews in one week when you had none the previous week, that looks suspicious, and worst case scenario, you could get your Google account suspended. Getting ratings and reviews is not as hard as you may think and most patients are happy to do it if you just provide them with simple instructions. Make it part of your company culture. Kindly ask your patients to “provide you with a review if they think you have earned it.” A few will, most won’t, but over time you can build quite a reputation online.

Don’t be fearful of negative reviews either. No one can please everyone. We all have a bad day (especially when dealing with insurance companies and documentation as well as treating patients). If you are lacking good reviews, those negative reviews stick out like a sore thumb. So be proactive and start collecting good reviews from your patients. That way, when a bad review comes, and it most certainly will, it will actually give you some credibility (what I mean here is if you have 20 positive reviews and 1 negative review, it mirrors your customer service reality; because, no one can please everyone all of the time).

Also, when you get a bad review it’s critical that your response be swift, professional and polite. Let the person know that you want to make their bad things right: offer them something to give you another chance (but don’t waive copays or refund money – this could get you in trouble). Acting immediately goes a long way in diffusing a bad review. Not doing so will cost you more in the long run and you may sacrifice new business and not even know about it.

4. Build Your Social Networks
There are hundreds of social networks but don’t fret, you don’t have to use all of them. At the very least set up a Facebook and Google+. Later you can experiment with Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

The old saying is that no one buys through social media. Instead, use social networks to stay in touch with your followers. Provide them with interesting and valuable information about your company culture, your profession, something cool that’s going on in the community, or something a strategic partner (massage personal training, physician) is offering.

There is a familiar saying: “People buy into you before they buy from you.” That is especially true on social media. If your social media is current, provides valuable information, videos, articles, and photos, people will engage. If you haven’t posted for 3 months, no one will care anymore about your brand on social media.

5. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to Attract New Patients
Google, Bing and Yahoo want your practice to be found by patients searching for physical therapy services in your community. If they don’t deliver the search results people expect, users won’t continue to use them. In other words, the search engines want to deliver relevant search results about you and your practice but you need to help.
To ensure that viewer get the information that they are looking for, search engines index (or catalog the words on your website) what a website is all about and how important that website is regarding certain keywords. This is where we get into Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Being a physical therapy practice owner, your website is going to be all about the physical therapy services you provide, the area you serve and most important, your business name. These keywords should be found in text content on your website, your meta data and blog posts. It’s likely that the search engines therefore will recognize that your website is genuinely dedicated to physical therapy.

The challenge is that there are often many other physical therapy websites competing for viewers on the search engines. Some have deep pockets too.

Another challenge is that you, the practice owner, are going to get almost daily calls from so-called experts wanting to market your practice online. Who can you trust, which services work in the physical therapy market? These are E-rehab.com’s strengths and we encourage you to call us and find out more.

It’s a Volume Game Now

Payment is declining; therefore you have to see more patients to make a profit. By implementing these 5 steps, your online presence for your private practice is very likely to improve.

We realize that many private practice owners feel discouraged…left behind.

[fancy_box]Just pick up the phone and give us a call, toll-free at 800-468-5161 x 1101 for a free consultation. I promise you won’t be sorry.[/fancy_box]

Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing: The Big 3 You Need to Know About

physical therapy social media marketing

Marketing yourself and your services online isn’t just about setting up the right website and an occasional blog post. The internet is huge, and you have to know how to utilize it to get the most effective results for your physical therapy private practice.

Currently, a very effective way to stay in touch with current and past patients to is by taking part in social media. Social media is everywhere. People from all ages and backgrounds use it, including the majority of your patients.

There are a number of social medial platforms that you could be part of, but here are the big 3 that you need to know about for physical therapy social media marketing. These three essential social media platforms are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

LinkedIn for Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best social networking groups to become involved in if you own a small private physical therapy practice. LinkedIn is like having your little black book of business associates, and their little black book of business associates, all rolled into one neat little package.

LinkedIn allows you to not only tell the world about yourself and your practice but also learn how other PTs like yourself are solving the challenges of the current health care system. It’s quite different than the other less formal social media platforms.

Think of it as a type of résumé that anyone can follow. You give details about yourself in reference to jobs you’ve had, your current endeavors and a short bio and business portfolio for others to see. Then you ‘link’ your peers and partners to your bio.

You can then see your associates’ ‘linked’ business associates and create a
larger business-based social network based on these assets.

You might be wondering what this does for you and your practice? After all, why would you need to have your business résumé online for the world to see?

Let’s look at this from a different standpoint. If you are trying to get your name out there as a successful business person, you will want to have as many people on your side as possible, because the business world is all about the networking.

The larger your portfolio of people, the more networking options you have available to you. Let’s say, for example, you want to expand your business into a cash-based service. For the sake of the scenario, we’re going to suggest you want to expand into sports performance.

In order to make this expansion, you can reach out to other successful PTPP owners that have not only had success but often times, they will share the secret sauce too. More often you will find like-minded PTs that also want to start cash-based practice, some that have failed, some that are struggling and have found solutions too. LinkedIn in is a fantastic way for professional people to come together.

[warning_box]NOTE: buyer beware. Many of the groups out there are simply setting up groups to capture your contact info and sell their services to you. Hang around in enough groups and these people quickly reveal themselves.[/warning_box]

facebook-for-pt-marketing

Facebook

Facebook is more familiar and less formal than LinkedIn.

We tend to think of Facebook as a way of hanging out with your friends, without actually meeting any of them.

As a practice owner, it’s important to know that Facebook is also a very easy and effective way to market your practice culture and stay in touch with select patients that enjoy this social channel. Using this method of social media in a similar way to how you would use a blog is the key to getting yourself out there.

The key to creating a good Facebook page for marketing is not only to make sure your page is up-to-date and accurate, but to keep posting engaging content on your Facebook page. Engaging means content that will motivate the fans of your page to Comment, Like and Share. Take a look at several Facebook pages created by PTs. Without question, photos of your practice culture and involvement in the community get the most engagement.

What’s the point of all this if you already have a blog on your website? Facebook is different than a blog because some people check their Facebook pages constantly throughout the day.

Have you ever watched a teenager play with their phone? These kids are constantly social networking. Not only do they look for cool memes to show off to their friends, but they’re telling their friends what they are doing, what they like, what they don’t like and who they are with. To this point, one often overlooked opportunity is to have your patients review your practice on your Facebook business page. The fact is that Facebook is now the number 2 online review website, passing Yelp a couple months ago.

What exactly does this mean for you as the owner of a private practice? This means that you have to communicate through channels that your patients use. The quickest way to market yourself is to make sure you have a Facebook business page.

There are two things you need for your page. The first is an actual Facebook page for your practice and the second is a profile page for yourself.

Your Facebook profile is the place people are going to start when they’re looking for you, because almost everyone uses Facebook. Not to worry though if you don’t want to personally participate on Facebook. Your Facebook “profile” is simply the account through which you manage your Facebook business “page”.
twitter-icon

Twitter

In addition to Facebook, Twitter is another social media platform you need to take advantage of in order to tell the world about your practice.

Twitter is different from Facebook in two main ways:

• Your message is limited to only 140 characters
• Hashtags are essential

The first way that Twitter differs from Facebook is that there are a limited number of characters you can use to create a Tweet. In other words, this is the perfect place to speak when you don’t have much to say or you can get your message across in a short, pithy way.

Twitter allows you to send people little messages about what’s going on in your life or at your practice. You can’t get into a long description, so it’s an ideal place to drop quick, informative messages to patients and other followers.

Facebook users have higher expectations than a two or three sentence post. Twitter users know you won’t go into those kinds of details. They will expect to see very basic information.

How does that help you and your practice? For one thing, it’s easy to Tweet. Instead of having to come up with long, informative and interesting posts or blogs, all you have to do is write a sentence or two.

While you won’t generate a bunch of new patients on Twitter, like LinkedIn, it’s a great place to find physical therapy thought leaders…and those thought leaders often share great bite-sized pieces of information; moreover, they share links to valuable information that can better help you manage your practice.

Another reason Tweeting is good for you is, much like Facebook, people can follow you on Twitter. Twitter allows you to follow an unlimited amount of people, read quickly what everyone is up to, respond when you want to, and then move on to other things. It’s all done very quickly, too.

One thing that really stands out from the Facebook social network is that Twitter users use ‘hashtags’ in order to find things that they are interested in.

Hashtags are a way of grouping conversations into more organized methods of communication. Let’s say, for example, someone posted a great tweet with a link to an article about physical therapy business and you need to keep the ball rolling, so to speak, and make sure your Twitter followers are aware of the link to this article. Putting a hashtag (#) in front of the tweet (e.g. #bizpt) will keep the Twitter conversation about this article organized.

Twitter hashtags are also a great way of keeping up to date on the latest Twitter trends. Hashtags are a means of tracking what’s popular. For some businesses trying to market their goods or services, hastags can be very important to know what people are looking for, and a very easy method of tracking those markets.

While at first the concept of hashtags may be confusing to some people, it does get easier. In fact, most television programs now use hashtags frequently, so fans of the show can follow the conversations about the program in real time while they are watching it.

The one thing to remember when creating a hashtag is to make sure your it’s relevant to your conversation or to ensure that people understand the hashtag you’re trying to create, and don’t confuse your followers by using too many hashtags in one post.

If you hashtag your practice, do so in a sentence. Simply put the # symbols before your company name or a keyword that represents the theme of your tweet and a hashtag is automatically generated for you.

The fact is that so few Tweet about their physical therapy problems that in most cases, there’s no way to consistently drive new patient business from Twitter at this time. Nevertheless, Twitter is an excellent place to share ideas and learn from the collective intelligence of this social network.

[info_box]Take home message: while social media marketing can be a time sink, there is value in building your PT private practice’s social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.[/info_box]

Help is at hand to show you how to run a successful social media campaign

We can show you how to optimize your social media channels for maximum practice exposure. We can show you how to plan your time and, crucially, how to monitor and measure the results of your campaign, or we can even run the whole campaign for you.

We will help you select the right tools, walk you through the rules and etiquette of social media to ensure maximum visibility, set targets, decide what metrics to measure and help you calculate your Return on Investment (ROI).

We can advise and guide you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or YouTube campaigns.

Give us a call at E-Rehab and let’s talk about how we can help you. We look forward to hearing from you.

10 Observations About PT Promotion from My Travels

PT Promotion Online

I just returned home from 3 consecutive weekends of travel to different areas of the United States.  The topic I spoke on was PT promotion in today’s online marketplace.  It’s always nice to get out and meet with my colleagues…those on the front line.  I wanted to share some of my observations:

1. Physical therapists seem so concerned about payment and things that they can’t control.

2. There was some negative conversation about online marketing services, a few that start with a “Y”, that didn’t work for anyone that tried them.

3. Even though there was a strong desire to have patients directly access physical therapists, some of the PTs I spoke to clearly couldn’t articulate their value.  In other words, they didn’t have an “elevator speech” that was top-of-mind.

4. There were plenty of practice owners that were doing quite well and were happy so share with others about their success.

5. Clearly, physical therapy is still a vastly underutilized health care profession and service.

6. When it comes to online marketing and consumer perceptions and behaviors, PTs still have a lot to learn.

7. PTs still don’t understand how consumers digitally interact with their practice and the opportunities these interactions present.

8. One of my pet peeves reared is ugly head.  More than once PTs referenced, in my opinion, an incorrect comparison about consumers and their willingness to pay for “personal trainers” but not pay their copay.  Which leads to my next point…value.

9. Almost every presentation at WebPT’s Ascend event or one of the others made mention of “value”.  PTs being able to communicate their value.  The value of PT before drugs, imaging and surgery.  The value of marketing to patients, the public, and our referral sources.

10. When it comes to marketing…there’s lots of confusion.

In summary, with PTs wanting to have consumers directly access their services, we are seeing an groundswell of ideas, successes, marketing opportunities, and supporting services emerge in the market.

Considering consumer behavior, there are many opportunities but they have to match the market’s needs:

  • 8 of 10 patients are going online these days for healthcare information.
  • There are an estimated 150 million smart phones in use in the  US
  • Social media is part of consumers’ daily life
  • Ratings and reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising.

The future of PT is changing but there are a number of opportunities to reach consumers and convey value.  It will be interesting.

How NOT to Capture Physical Therapy Reviews

Don’t try to gain an unfair advantage over their competition by paying for reviews…it could cost you.

physical-therapy-reviews
Facebook post suggesting that reviewers of the practice could WIN!

 

Physical Therapy Review Incentive
Don’t pay for reviews – it could come back to bite you.

I was browsing the net and ran across a Facebook page that offered to incentivize its fans if they were willing to post a physical therapy reviews on Yelp for one or more of their locations.

There are a number of reasons why physical therapy practice owners don’t want to do this.

1. It’s illegal in some states (New York for one). https://officialblog.yelp.com/2013/09/yelp-and-ny-ag-go-after-fake-review-industry.html

2. It’s against Yelp’s terms and conditions. https://officialblog.yelp.com/2013/12/paid-reviews-dont-have-a-place-on-yelp.html

3. It’s unethical

4. See bullet point number one again.

If I Had a Dollar for Every Yelp Complaint

I’ve had dozens of clients call me and complain about Yelp filtering good reviews, removing good reviews, not removing bad reviews that are against their own terms and conditions, their sales people calling and if the practice doesn’t advertise, reviews are removed, etc.  Yelp is an imperfect and for-profit company.

Shift Your Focus to Google…and Do It Right

I do recommend you shift your focus to Google.  While Yelp is popular for reviews, Google get a lot more people using it to look for your PT practice.  You will stick out like a sore thumb if you have 6+  Gold Star (or green star reviews) Google reviews and your competition has none.

I also understand the market is competitive and there is nothing wrong with competing for business.  However, when it comes to misleading people by providing fake or paid Yelp reviews, there’s no place for this.  Take the time to learn Yelp’s Terms and Conditions and to earn them the “good old fashioned way”, by providing great care and asking properly.

Take the high road.  Don’t buy reviews.  It’s the right way to publicize your physical therapy practice.

 

Google Makes a Big Change in Local Search Marketing Stars

In working with clients to get them listed on page one of Google since 2003, we’ve seen a lot of changes.

Most of those are barely noticeable by the layperson that uses Google once or twice per day or less.

However, in a recent update, Google has made a change to local search results that most everyone will notice…Green Stars.

Why the green ratings stars instead of gold?  We can only speculate.  Perhaps it is to draw less attention to organic local business listings in hopes that users are more likely to click on ads.

Maybe it is to differentiate itself from Google.

Whatever the reason may be, I am sure Google will have a public explanation soon.

We First Noticed the Color Change Last Week on Aug 24th.

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Google Green Stars Much More Prevalent on Sept 4th

We now are seeing the stars in all the search results that involve the phrase physical therapy and a city (i.e. local searches).

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What Does This Mean for Small Private Practices – Not Sure

We will find out soon but our guess is that if the local listings are less attractive and more Google users click on ads, it will give some minute advantage to bigger practices (e.g. POPTS and corporates) that are using Google AdWords.

Whatever the outcome, getting your physical therapy practice listed in the A-G Google Local Business Listings (AKA the 3 Pack or 7 Pack) is still a great objective, less expensive than Google AdWords and your listing will stand out compared to your competition if you have the new “Google Green Stars”.

Personally, I don’t care for them but that’s just my opinion.  What do you think?

Stay Up With the Times and Modernize Your Practice With a Strong Web Presence

important web presence

Don’t Deny the Changing Tides of Business

Some business owners, especially those with a bricks and mortar business, might like to pretend the Internet isn’t happening. This can be particularly true for private physical therapy practices that have been around for a while and have never needed to make any real drastic changes to adapt with the times. They think if they ignore what’s happening around them and put their heads in the proverbial sand, it will all go away.

Sorry, but for those of you stuck in denial and the past, it’s time to take your heads out of the sand and face reality. The Internet isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. It’s like a juggernaut that’s thundering along, gaining more and more momentum, and all your potential patients are moving with it.

Get Mobile-friendly Now

Right now, just having a website is not enough. It is vital that your practice has strong web presence with a mobile-friendly version.
[note_box]
Your patients are not going to wait until you have one created. If they can’t see your site properly (if at all) on their smart phones, they will likely take their business somewhere else…your competition.[/note_box]

This is not scaremongering. The statistics all around are warning us what is happening right now: 49% of mobile subscribers in the United States own a smart phone, and they are eager to find information about your practice and possibly come to you with their business.
These numbers are growing: 9 out 10 phones now sold today are smart phones. In the first quarter of 2012 alone, almost 145 million smart phones were sold. By the end of 2012, it was estimated that more smart phones would be sold than PCs, with estimated sales of 657 million smart phones sold to consumers. As an experiment, ask your friends and family what kind of phone they have. If they don’t have a smart phone at the moment, no doubt they will tell you that they will be getting one soon.

A Vital Component of Everyday Life for Some

Smart phones are an important part of your patients’ lives. Some people may even get addicted to them, constantly using them for Twitter posts, updating their Facebook status and shopping online.

If you provide treatment services that they want, they will expect to be able to see your website on their phone. If your website content is not easy to read on a mobile phone, you are in trouble, because most mobile users will simply leave your site and take their business elsewhere.

So even if you don’t think you need a mobile version of your website, you will actually be doing your practice a lot of harm by ignoring the statistics and your customer’s needs. Every day you don’t have a mobile website you may be losing potential patients interested in your practice who decide to go elsewhere.

Future-proofing Your Practice

Having a mobile website will future-proof your practice by opening the doors to literally hundreds of new and creative ways to drive traffic to your site. For example QR (quick response) codes will allow you to create unlimited marketing campaigns that will drive potential patients to specific mobile friendly landing pages with calls to action that work.

Recent figures show that 50% of Smartphone uses have scanned a QR code and 18% of them made a purchase afterwards as a result. That’s an easy increase in business you wouldn’t have gotten without your mobile marketing platform. The opportunity to improve your practice’s web presence and boost business with something as simple as a QR code should be clear.

Another important point to focus on is you need get your name out there to constantly remind your potential patient-base of who you are and how you’re interested in helping them improve their condition. Using the right tools and resources is vital. Some business owners attempt to draw attention to their business by throwing away good money on large newspaper ads, the Yellow Pages and flyers.

Newspapers and the Yellow Pages are part of a dying business model, and in most cases, it’s a waste of time putting a one-time advertisement in them. Flyers are expensive and only reach a limited demographic.

Mobile marketing is the most effective way of keeping in contact with your current and potential patients that may have forgotten you or not known that you were there.

Consult Us for Additional Expert Guidance

We would advise any private practice considering using mobile marketing to reach potentially millions more customers to contact us at E-Rehab to discuss how you can employ traffic generating marketing strategies and turbo-charge your practice.

Having a mobile-friendly site will not only impress your patients, but will set you well apart from your competition, who still have their heads in the sand and are refusing to acknowledge that times are moving at such a terrific pace.

[colored_box bgColor=”#788794  ” textColor=”#ffffff  “]Keep up with the times and bring your practice up-to-date with a web-based marketing strategy and you’ll notice a change in the way you’re perceived.[/colored_box]

The Top 7 Questions Private Practices Ask About Social Media

physical therapy social media
More and more of the private practices we work with are starting to realize how important social media is for their business and recognize the need to have a presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Some physical therapy practices who are too busy running the day-to-day affairs at their physical location, though, might tend to find social media marketing and the technology surrounding it a bit intimidating.

Social media can seem daunting at first but because many small businesses realize social media is not a fad and it’s here to stay, they generally have some questions that they would like answered before they decide to get involved.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Hopefully a question that you might have asked is included in this list:

1. What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing involves interacting with your customers and other users on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

You do this by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests. This process allows you to build online communities or networks, encouraging patients to participate and engage with your practice, which will promote their loyalty to you and your brand name.

2. Why Does My practice Need to Get involved with Social Media?

The way that your customers communicate and use the Internet has changed dramatically. Most people now access the Internet via their smart phones and tablets, where the information is literally there at their fingertips. There are billions of people of all ages now using social media, and they expect your business to be there too.

[note_box]By embracing social media your practice will:

• Increase your online presence
• Raise awareness of your services and treatments offered
• Build loyalty with existing patients
• Build trust with prospective patients
• Increase website traffic through social sharing
[/note_box]

Not only that, but you could also see an increase in your search engine rankings. Likes, shares, tweets and social authority are all taken into consideration in the search engines’ algorithms.

3. HELP! I Don’t Know Where to Start

Marketing on social media sites is not really much different from other marketing campaigns that you may have run. It is a good idea to start with a plan. Write down your goals and objectives you want to achieve with your social media campaign.

With a well-structured plan, you will be able stay focused and not get distracted, which is so easy to do with social media.

4. How Much Time Should I Spend on Social Media Each Day?

It does not have to be particularly time-consuming, especially if you set off with a clear objective about what you want to achieve.

The only time it gets time-consuming is if you allow yourself to get sidetracked by all of the ‘noise’ and activity happening on the site. You can easily have a profitable marketing campaign by spending just 10-20 minutes in the morning and 10-20 minutes in the evening.

5. When Should I Post on Social Media?

The best time is when your target audience is likely to read your posts. In order to determine the best time to post, consider the lifestyle of your target audience. For example, if you want to target people who work, post in the morning when they are most likely be on their way to work and check their messages on the journey. You could then post at lunchtime and again when they are travelling home again after 5pm.

If want to target an audience that is retired or does not work, post mid-morning, mid-afternoon and mid-evening.

With practice and experience, you will soon be able to decide when the best time to post comments for your patients. The secret is to test and to measure the responses and comments that your posts generate (or the lack of them). Over time, you will discover what works best for your practice, industry and patients.

6. Which Social Media Platform Should I Use?

There are a number of popular platforms you could choose from. Facebook is the most obvious choice with well over 1 billion users and more new ones daily.

Facebook is a good choice for businesses as you can target audiences with a variety of advertising options. Not only that, but Facebook is now part of people’s daily routine, and they check their accounts many times a day.

Twitter is another platform that’s part of people’s lives. It’s fast-paced and gives users access to information and news much quicker than traditional news channels.

As tweets are limited to just 140 characters, you need to learn how to get your message across using as few words as possible. It is a reminder of how people’s attention span on social media and the Internet in general is extremely short because there is just so much information out there. People tend to scan information online rather than read huge amounts of it at once.

Three relatively new social media platforms are also becoming incredibly popular.

The first one is Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual platform used to upload and share photos of literally any subject you can think of. It has a huge female following, but is starting to level out as more men are discovering and using it.

Google+ (Google Plus) is starting to flex its muscles now, too. Online giant Google owns it, so naturally it has huge financial backing. Google+ is widely tipped to be the social media channel to challenge Facebook as the king of social networks.

LinkedIn is a business-to-business social media platform, and is a lot more formal and corporate than the other social platforms. It’s an excellent way to connect with peers and network professionally within a specific industry such as physical therapy.

There are many more platforms out there, but these are the ones that are more widely used by businesses.

7. How Much Does Social Media Cost?

If you are a private practice with little or no marketing budget, then the only cost is the time you need to buy out of your busy working day.

If you have a modest budget and would like to increase your practice’s exposure, then you could consider Facebook advertising, which can be affordable and very effective.

We Can Help Get You Started with a Social Media Marketing Strategy

As we said earlier, social media is not a fad and it is here to stay. Your patients are using it on a daily basis. Also, it’s worth mentioning that social media is not just for big brands, either.

You don’t have to be a global conglomerate to get involved with social media. In fact social media platforms give all businesses, no matter what their size, a level playing field. Small private practices like yours can reap terrific benefits from the range of opportunities that social media has to offer too.

The list above is merely meant to present some of the most commonly asked questions, but is not a list of all the possible answers provided.

[colored_box bgColor=”#788794  ” textColor=”#ffffff  “]If your question has not been answered, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at E-Rehab, and we will be happy to share our experience and expertise with you.

We hope that this article has provided you with enough information to see how important social media marketing is and how it can reap great benefits and boost business for your practice.[/colored_box]

Video Marketing Services for Physical Therapy Private Practices

E-rehab.com is now offering video marketing services for physical therapy private practices.

Other than a direct referral from a doctor or a patient, there aren’t many better ways to market to your community than with the video endorsement of the quality of your physical therapy services.

What would a prospect think if they searched for you and saw videos similar to these with your name on them?

Ratings and Reviews are Quickly Becoming a Highly Trusted Marketing Channel

Use the Power of Video Marketing

There are some very effective ways to achieve top Google positioning and beat your competition

Back in 2006, when Google paid $1.6+ billion for a tiny business above a pizza parlour, many wondered if the management at Google had lost it!

However, that tiny business was YouTube and in just a few years later it has officially become the number 2 search engine (second only to Google itself).

The growth of video is crazy.  It already accounts for 70% of the search engine results on Google with text trailing in third behind images. In fact Cisco Systems, the world wide leaders in networking and the way we connect on the Internet, predict that by the end of 2015, video will drive 90% of web traffic.

If you are marketing your local business online and haven’t started to use video marketing yet, it’s time to get started.

Generate more Physical Therapy Referrals and Improve Customers Service with Video

They say that ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’. If that is true, imagine how much more effective video can be. It is a scientific fact that humans make a decision based on emotions. Motion pictures have the power to tap directly into the emotions of a viewer with a combination of video, words, voice over and music in a way that words simply can never achieve.

Business surveys have proven that videos convert visitors into buyers three times better than a normal sales letter.  With a sales letter the viewer can scroll down the page very quickly and not read the benefits of your rehab services or the reasons why they should should choose you.

With a video on the other hand, you control the whole sales sequence, unfolding your presentation in the way that shows your office, your services, your clinical expertise in the best possible light and only revealing the call to action at the precise ‘magic moment’ when your viewer is primed with the benefits your service will provide them.

The result is more happy patients and more calls from prospects that are comparison shopping.

However, that is only the beginning. For example, imagine trying to learn how to tie your shoelaces using just written instructions. But when you show visitors how to do it, with video, they understand instantly.

Improve Your Chances of Ranking High on Google

video rankings
video rankings

Google unveils ‘universal search’.

In an effort to better accommodate users, Google now provides universal search results.  What this means is that search results are now a mix of text, news, graphics…and yes, video.

It now takes less effort to rank your video on YouTube and it’s a wonderful opportunity to show up on the first page of Google’s search results.  Imagine how many your visitors your website would receive from ranking high on the largest and second largest search engines in the world, simultaneously.

You too can rank your videos on YouTube and Google for the most common search patients do when looking for you…your business name (we blogged on this months ago).

Follow this simple rule – include your business name and the city your practice location is in in the title, the description and the tags of your YouTube video.  In most cases, this will do it.  That’s it!

Just Do It!

There is no doubt that creating videos for your business will attract more visitors and potential patients to your website but we also know that it might all sound rather daunting.

The worst thing you can do is ignore the video revolution that is happening all around. Video really is here to stay.

The good news is that E-rehab.com is here to help you to take advantage of the easy and affordable opportunity.

Contact us today to learn more about our video marketing services and how we can create an affordable video marketing strategy that will help establish you as the market leader.

Call us at 800-468-5161 x 1101 for more information.

PS: here’s another example:

How to Use E-Mail Lists as a Beneficial Marketing Tool

email lists and newsletter tips
As a private practice owner you’re probably always looking for better ways to bring in new patients and market your business in the most effective way possible. New patients are essential to keep your practice growing, and the best way to draw them in is to have a strong presence in a number of different web formats. Among all the options out there, it turns out the most cost-effective and profitable marketing strategy is actually e-mail marketing.

 

E-mail marketing can help your practice in a number of different ways. For example e-mail marketing:

    Allows you to reach many people at once
    Gives you an unlimited number of contacts
    Is much more affordable than regular mail
    Is easy to update

All of these points are very important for any business, but especially for small private physical therapy practices such as your own.

Let’s look at each of these points in more detail to see why you should implement e-mail marketing for your practice.

E-mail Marketing Allows You to Reach Many People at Once

When you read that statement, it is important to realize that this literally could be hundreds and thousands of real people, all of who could be current or potential patients.

[note_box]For example, you might have a hundred e-mail addresses to work with and e-mail marketing will allow you to send a targeted message to all of them at once. That is the beauty of e-mail marketing: not only can you e-mail many people, but you can e-mail them all at once with the same message and at the same time, no matter how many people are on your mailing list. [/note_box]

Gives You an Unlimited Number of Contacts

E-mail lists can be unlimited. There are many tools that will make it much easier for you to manage your list of contacts – from getting your site visitors to subscribe to your mailing list to easily sending out a newsletter or e-mail to literally thousands of interested people.

It is More Affordable than Regular Mail

The cost of postage for regular mail may be cheap, but if you’re a small practice, sending out one mailing to all of your contacts can quickly add up and get expensive. However, when you send a letter it’s not just the price of a stamp; there are other costs to also consider like the paper and envelopes.

Those are just the outside costs. Mailing a letter through the posts incorporates many other costs. For example you will have to make multiple copies of the letter, which you might do yourself on your printer or if there are thousands you will outsource it to a printer. All of this costs time and money.

Then you need to address the envelopes.

You can either do this by hand which would take hours or you could do it on your printer. However, you would need to type and enter the address data before printing it on to special sized labels. Again, all of this takes time and money.

When you break it all down, sending out hard mail to multiple contacts is time consuming and expensive.

On the other hand, sending an e-mail to a modest sized list is free. It doesn’t get any better than that does it? When it comes to marketing campaigns there are not many things that are free or as cost-effective as e-mail marketing.

E-mail marketing eliminates all of that extra wasted time and money you would have spent on sending your letter or advertisement to your clients through the post.

It’s Easy to Update

One of the most difficult parts about regular mailings through the post is that some details of your practice or services are constantly changing.

Whenever some aspect of your product or service changes, it’s always good to be able to notify your customers and mailing list so that they are aware of the changes.

Doing it the old way through regular mail as we discussed earlier is time consuming and expensive. However with an e-mail list, you write to your patients and keep them up-to-date on any news or developments within your practice without having to send out a single piece of physical mail.

Using an Autoresponder Service to Build Your E-mail List
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to build and maintain a database of your subscribers is to use an autoresponder service.

There are many autoresponder services available and they all vary in price and capability. Contact us at E-Rehab to find out which one we recommend for your specific practice.

In most cases they are an all-in-one solution to building, maintaining and e-mailing your database.

In addition, you can personalize your e-mail correspondence with your subscribers’ details such as their first and last name as an autoresponder collects those details for you when they subscribe.

An autoresponder allows you to put attractive forms on your website so visitors can enter their details to be updated with news about your services, get tips, download a report and so on.

If you have a special message or offer that you want to send to your e-mail list, simply send a broadcast message and they will receive it instantly no matter where they are.

An especially useful feature of using these types of autoresponder services is that you can schedule messages to broadcast on specific days after someone subscribes to your list. This makes it a very effective sales tool.

Top Tips to Get the Best Results from E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing can have a huge impact on your business. Here are some great tips to help you to get the best results:

Use the Split-test, click tracking and open rate features to maximize your results. Most major Autoresponders have features that allow you to see which e-mail gets opened the most and how many clicks each post gets. You can even test two versions of the same e-mail to see which converts best. Monitor the results of each e-mail to get great results.

Have attention-grabbing subject lines: You want your e-mails to be opened and read, so it’s important to have a captivating subject line to increase open rates. The very first thing your subscribers will see other than who sent the e-mail is the subject line, so it needs to arouse their curiosity and engage with them in order to get them to open your e-mail.

One autoresponder site gives this expert advice: “The best e-mail subject lines are short, descriptive and provide the reader with a reason to explore your message further. Trying to stand out in the inbox, by using splashy or cheesy phrases, will invariably result in your e-mail being ignored. In short, keep your subject lines simple and to the point.”

Be consistent: The last thing you want is for your subscribers to forget who you are and why they subscribed to your list in the first place. It is a good habit to e-mail on a consistent basis. That could be once a month or once a day. People will want to know when to expect to hear from you.

Segment your list: It is a good idea to segment your list so that you can laser target your content. You will get a much better response from subscribers who are actually interested in a specific topic. Segmenting your list helps you to send the most relevant e-mails to your target audience.

Use e-mail to drive traffic to your website: E-mail marketing makes life so much easier and helps to convert sales. For example, you could write 1,000 words and make your subscribers read a long e-mail or you could simply tell to click on the link to view the message on your website.

The idea is to get your subscribers to visit your website. You could send them to a blog post or a page with new information. You want them to engage with your content so that it results in them considering your practice for their business.

How Often Should Your Contact Your Subscribers?

This is the dilemma that most business owners face. When it comes to contacting your subscribers how often should you contact them? You don’t want to leave it so long that they forget about you but then you don’t want to bombard them with e-mails either.

So what is the right frequency that works best? The simple answer is there is no one rule that fits every business model.

It depends on your own practice and how you actually use your e-mail marketing.

A simple tip is to let your subscribers know what to expect right from the very start when they opt in to your mailing list. If for example they are signing up for your newsletter, tell them what day you publish your newsletter. You could also tell them that you will be sending them other news and updates that you think will interest them so that they know to expect other e-mails from you too.

We Believe In Doing Things Right

[colored_box bgColor=”#788794  ” textColor=”#ffffff  “]Whether you need a little help getting started, or you just want to enhance your existing e-mail campaigns, here at E-Rehab we want to help you make your e-mail marketing a successful component of your private practice.

We can help your e-mails to showcase your brand, company and messages to increase open rates and resulting in sale. Contact E-Rehab for more information.[/colored_box]

Wield the Power of YouTube to Get More Online Traffic to Your Practice

YouTube Marketing
As you should very well know by now, traffic is essential for the success of any private physical therapy practice.

Without traffic and new visitors to your website, you’ll fail to draw in potential patients, and you’ll have difficulty growing as a business. Unfortunately, you can have the best-looking site on the Internet, but if no one knows who you are or where to find you, they’ll never be able to visit your site and give you their business.

If you’ve been trying regularly to bring more traffic to your website but have not had much success, one option you should strongly consider that can radically change the game for your practice, is, believe it or not, YouTube.

Sure, you might not expect that a site such as YouTube serves any purpose beyond entertaining and often foolish video clips, but as it turns out, it can also be used as a strategic marketing tool to attract prospective patients to you.

Some Facts About The Power of YouTube and Those Who Use It

Here are a few facts to point out about just how many people actually use YouTube.
• Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
• Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
• Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube!

Thousands of businesses are using YouTube to drive traffic to their sites by creating viral videos about their products and services. Viral video is basically a video that becomes popular and is shared through social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus), e-mail and video sharing sites.
[note_box]They use these strategies because:
• It’s free
• It’s an effective source of targeted traffic
• It’s evergreen
• It’s easy
• It’s fun
• You don’t have to be in the video or even talk in it[/note_box]

It’s no secret that Google loves video; after all it does own YouTube. Do a search for almost anything that can be shown through a video and you’ll notice YouTube videos dominating the first page. What you might surprise you are these amazing behind-the-scene facts:
• According to industry watchdog, eMarketer, 52% of all web traffic is video
• Another source, Comscore states that 38% of Google Universal Search results included video
• More than 70% of all web visitors watch online video report the New York Times
• The average YouTube visitor spends 27 minutes watching video per day
• The search engines visit video sites every few minutes-so your videos appear in Google, Yahoo and MSN just minutes after you submit, not days or weeks like written articles. Because video is so popular, video links and clips often show up before other content.

How to Set Up an Account

Using YouTube is very easy. All you need is a Google account. If you have a Gmail account, a Google+ account, a Google Adwords account or a Google Adsense account, then you already have a Google account and you can get on YouTube.

If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to go to YouTube, click “Create an Account” and sign up.

From there, don’t dive in just yet. First, you need to know that there is a right way and a wrong way of creating your video on YouTube if you want it to go viral and get people to come and visit your site.

The wrong way is to create a video first and then hope for the best that people will come and watch it. Unfortunately, that is what most people do. So the video that they hoped would go viral instead just sits there with an embarrassing 1 or 2 viewers.

Investigate Your Target Audience and Cater Video to Them

The right way is to find out what viewers are looking for first and then create a video specific to what they are looking for. In order to do this, you need to find out exactly what type of information people want by understanding who you are targeting and what they are looking for. This is how you do it:
1. Go to www.YouTube.com
2. Find the “Search” box at the very top of the page
3. Start typing in something that you think is related to what you are selling or promoting on your website
4. As you start typing you will see that YouTube gives you a list of results very similar to the way that Google does when you are searching on the search engine. The very top one that appears on the list is the most popular.
5. Find the ones on the list that are relevant to your website and jot them down in a notepad to use as your titles and subjects in your videos

By investing this bit of time, you will be able to come up with a highly targeted informative video relating to your product and service that will work for months and even years to come if it goes viral on YouTube and social networking sites.

Keep it Short and Basic, but Effective

Don’t overdue it or spend too much time on your video. No need to use any special effects or features you don’t think are necessary. Get to the point in an effective manner and be sure to make your message clear by the end of the video: we are a successful and reliable private physical therapy practice and we think we’re the best choice for your business.

[colored_box bgColor=”#788794  ” textColor=”#ffffff  “]Using YouTube can be a great way to get the name of your private practice out there and bring in new business. Don’t underestimate this important tool and feel free to ask us at E-Rehab any questions you might have about how to best go about using YouTube for the first time.[/colored_box]

Why Your Private Practice Can’t Afford to Ignore Tablet Users

Tablet User
Tablet User

Who would have thought when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad back in 2010 that it would become anywhere near as popular as it is today? All over the Internet, reviewers were openly mocking the tablet as a clumsy oversized iPhone.

Now a quarter of all U.S. Internet users own tablets and the figures are similar in other countries too. That means in the U.S. alone, there are 56 million people who are just as likely to encounter your site on a tablet as they would on their laptop or desktop. Your practice really can’t afford to miss the opportunity to talk to that many people, and if you don’t make your web design tablet-friendly, you will miss them completely.

Having a tablet-friendly website can mean a huge boost to your revenue.

Who are tablet users and why should your practice care?

Tablet users aren’t just a random selection of the online community. They are a discerning group of patients and are among the wealthiest because they come from demographics with the largest disposable income.

[note_box]Recently released stats give you an idea of the market your site could reach as a result of having a tablet-friendly site.

  • The gender of tablet users are pretty much evenly split—51% female, 49% male
  • About half of tablet users fall between the ages of 25 and 44
  • Just over half (51%) are college graduates
  • Just over half (53%) make over $75,000 a year
  • 71% prefer to read their news as opposed to watching it—a huge boon for bloggers.
  • Tablet users are more likely to be employed full-time (62% of tablet users are employed full-time versus 41% of the general population)

In other words, tablet users are Internet-savvy, educated and financially independent. This is why it is so important to reach this demographic.[/note_box]

Another hugely important reason to target tablet users is the way they use them to view information online. You will often see people in waiting rooms, on public transport and in coffee shops and bars using their tablets. That is in addition to them using them before they go to bed or other opportunities when they just want to wind down. They are giving their undivided attention to the information that they are browsing, so they are much more likely to explore and shop online without any distractions.

How you can attract tablet traffic

It is the sites that fail to accommodate tablet-based browsing that will eventually lose out and get left behind, so if you want your site to attract these visitors, then you need to make your user interface as smooth and visitor-friendly as possible.

The most important part of attracting tablet consumers is to make sure that your web design displays correctly on both Android and iPad tablets. Users should be able to check out your site in both portrait and landscape mode. They definitely will not want to have to zoom or swipe their device in order to navigate around your site.

[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]Now is the perfect time to start attracting highly-connected, high-income consumers and make sure that your practice is doing all it can to keep up with the times so it prospers rather than getting left behind. If you need any assistance getting your site tablet friendly, call E-Rehab. We will be happy to help.[/colored_box]

How To Use #Hashtags And Get The Most Out Of Twitter

Hashtag Notification Concept

Meet the hashtag “#.” It doesn’t look like much, but if you use Twitter and haven’t mastered the hashtag yet, it is soon going to be your new best friend.

Let’s face it: If you are new to Twitter or don’t use it very often, it can be very overwhelming. It’s hard to wade your way through thousands of irrelevant tweets to find the interesting little gems.

[note_box]The humble hashtag transforms your tweeting experience. It helps you easily find what you are looking for, as well as being able to help you get your message out there to the right people.[/note_box]

So let’s start from the beginning and show you how to use #hashtags:

What is a hashtag?

Even if you’ve never been on Twitter, you are probable still aware of hashtags without even knowing it. You may have noticed the trend for seeing a certain word or phrase with the hashtag symbol, “#” just before it.

For example, if you’re watching a TV program, let’s say The X Factor or the Super Bowl, during the links they will display the words, #xfactor or #superbowl.

Sports presenters and chat show hosts alike will tell people a specific hashtag address if they want to learn more about or get involved in certain topical stories.  Magazines, newspapers, even music songs feature the hashtag. It has now become part of our cultural psyche.

The hashtag comes alive once you go on Twitter. When you see a post with the hashtag you will find that hashtag is clickable. Clicking on the hashtag will bring up a page listing all of the recent tweets featuring that specific hashtag.

So now you know what it is, let us show you how you can use the hashtag for your business.

Find relevant people to follow

Hashtags are an excellent way to look for people who have similar interests to you. So for example, if you were watching the Super Bowl and want to see what other people were saying about the game, you could easily find out by using the #superbowl hashtag.

Now imagine how you can use this for your practice. If somebody is using a hashtag that you’re interested in, then the chances are they would be a good person to follow. So look out for hashtags that are relevant to your practice or prospective patients by following major physical therapy publications and organizations.  This makes it very easy to find key people in the physical therapy industry, as these are the ones who will be regularly tweeting people using these hashtags.

Make your practice easy to find

You can make your private practice easy to find by using hashtags, as they will allow relevant people to find you right away. Hashtags will not only help you get discovered, but as you begin to tweet more often, they can also be a great way to categorize your tweets into different areas.

So if your practice happens to offer a variety of services, you will be able to segregate your tweets by using hashtags relevant to the specific areas you want to highlight. This will help you to target your tweets to the right people and make it easier for them to not only find your tweets but to also follow and engage with you.

Join in the conversation

As hashtags group together all the tweets with a common theme, you can effortlessly seek out the hashtags that focus on your particular niche. Once you find them, join in the conversations that are already happening on Twitter and share your expertise. These conversations give you a ready-made platform to showcase your knowledge and help make you an authority on the subject, meaning more people will be inclined to seek you out for treatment in the future.

Get people talking

Don’t rely on joining in other people’s conversations. Take the initiative and start a discussion off yourself. This is a useful way to drive engagement with your practice.

Encourage people to interact with you on various topics or ask for their opinions.  For extra interaction don’t forget to promote your hashtag by adding it to your social media bios, your website and your marketing material. After all, it’s pointless to have a hashtag if nobody sees it.

Use hashtags to promote events

Hashtags are unbelievably useful for spreading the word if you are promoting an event. Not only that, but you can create a buzz and boost interaction with attendees during the event.

We have even seen some promoters add their hashtags to promotional items which is a brilliant idea, but don’t stop there. At the event, feature your hashtags prominently on your pop up stands and media displays. Why?  Because this could encourage attendees to tweet about the event, upload photos and comment on the presentations etc.

All of this activity can really help to boost interest in your event on social media. If it happens to be a regular event, it could increase attendance at your future events.

[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]

Hashtag reminders

Keep your hashtags short and sweet. Long hashtags can be difficult to read and eat up precious characters in Twitter’s small 140-character limit.

Another potential pitfall of extended hashtags is the longer they get, the more susceptible they become to being misspelled when people are typing them out.  Not only will this dilute the power of your hashtag, but your message will get lost in the Twittersphere.

Don’t go hashtag crazy. You don’t need to use a hashtag on every tweet, but if you do use a hashtag, limit them to one or two in any single tweet.

The whole point is to focus your content on one or two key subjects, so using too many hashtags in one tweet means you will be joining too many conversations. Not only does it make it hard to monitor, it will also make your tweet difficult to read.[/colored_box]