This post will answer the following questions:
Why should a therapist use social media?
How should a therapist use social media?
Why should MSK practitioners use social media?
Your clinic is a business. Businesses need customers. A good social media strategy can magnify your marketing efforts.
As an MSK practitioner a large part of your job is to inform your patient of cetain procedures and training. Your role involves a lot of communication and so does Social Media. Social Media can act as microphone that allows your to amplify your knowledge and skills. With the option to post images, promotions, and information about your clinic, your patients already know and trust you without ever physically meeting you.
How do you distinguish yourself?
Have you heard of Dr. Christian - from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies? There’s a very good chance you have! Is he a good doctor? Who knows? He might be, but I can guarantee that millions of people have heard of him. If they were facing a health issue and they could book an appointment with Dr.Christian, they would. Why? Because of his qualifications? Not at all. It's because people have heard of him and he’s considered an expert in the field. That's certainly up for professional debate, but the reality is that he's perceived as an expert because of his media exposure.
Become a thought leader!
So how do you become a TV star? Sadly/ Gladly this is not the case, the above was just an example of how perception is key, and how you can encourage perception. Social media is the first step to making that happen. When people follow you on Twitter or read your business Facebook page, they start to get to know you professionally and start to see you as an expert. Promote your expert status by creating and sharing content that reinforces your professional knowledge.
The bottom line
Whether you are a Physiotherapist, Podiatrist, Chiropractor or Osteopath, you should use social media to reinforce your thought leadership within your niche. The reality is that nearly all of your potential clients use the internet and you are missing out on educating them. They will research you, they will look to see if you're the "expert" for the problems they have.
How can you use social media to market your private clinic?
Create a Facebook Business Page
This is very important. If you have a personal Facebook profile that you use to communicate with family or friends, keep that profile private. You should instead create a Facebook page for your therapy business. This page is a business page, it's free and you can manage it from within your normal Facebook account. This is where you can provide your practice information and start having potential patients "like" your page.
Liking a business page is different from a friend request. Anyone can like your page; you don't need to worry about who likes your page because it's public for all to see. Consider it an extension of your office. It's ok for clients to like your page. Liking a page isn't a problem for privacy or anything else because it's just someone saying they like your page. In fact, you want everyone you know to like your page because it amplifies your social reach. Liking your page is not admitting a therapeutic relationship.
Within Facebook, there is also the potential to proactively market to potential clinics. This costs money and will be the subject of another blog post.
Hot Tip - When creating a business page, you have the option to create a ‘contact us’ button. You can change the text within this button to ‘book an appointment now’ and link it to your booking page = more patient bookings! If you don’t have an online bookings page, not to worry, TM2 can help you! - http://bit.ly/1O19be2
Create a business Twitter account
Twitter is more business orientated than Facebook and allows for mini conversations. It's important that you create a Twitter account specific to your business.When you create your account, start by following some other MSK professional accounts and of course, follow us here : https://twitter.com/TM2practicemgmt . Read, respond and retweet interesting things you read that are loosely relevant to your therapy niche. Find an interesting link to an article that might be interesting to potential clients -- tweet it! Have some words of wisdom -- tweet, tweet, TWEET!
Hot Tip - Create Twitter Cards and highlight the different promotions or services you currently have on offer. You can promote tweets and cards for free but there is also the possibility to increase exposure by paying a sum of money - we will focus on this subject in another post.
What’s important is that you embrace Social Media, make it work for you. Communicate and amplify your clinical knowledge to the world, become the thought leader!
Now, if you liked this article, how about getting off to a good start by sharing it!