Want to grow your business on Facebook but not sure if you’re doing the right things? We looked at two of the most successful practices on Facebook – getting up to 70% of their new patients through the channel – to see what they were doing right.
- Case Study: Sam Hall Osteopathy (1700 followers)
- Case Study: Shaun Tyler Osteopath and Personal Trainer (2100 followers)
- Guide to What Works on Facebook
Case Study: Sam Hall Osteopathy
Sam Hall works with his wife Eve and several other practitioners around the Windsor area. As well as offering traditional osteopathic treatments they also offer relaxation treatments in the form of massage and CBD oil massage.
Sam has over 1700 followers making him one of the most popular osteopaths on Facebook. He also gets a high engagement from his followers.
Sam’s Facebook content strategy is excellent and feels really engaging and accessible. There is a mixture of promotional posts, general osteopathic advice and Sam sharing his own training ups and downs as he trains for the Windsor half marathon.
As a sport-loving non-osteopath, I found Sam’s videos about his training to be extremely encouraging. Seeing that Sam has all the same training problems that I have – having to take forced days off when tired, trying to recover better, not always hitting goals but staying positive and patient – is very inspiring. It’s easy to think that the professionals have everything worked out and never have the same issues you do, but this makes Sam feel extremely human and lowers the barrier for engagement or for seeking treatment or advice.
The general osteopathic advice is well-tailored to be suitable for everyone, without being too specific to individual problems which most people won’t suffer from. For example, Sam posts about the importance of stretching, of listening to your body and of not just putting up with problems, accompanied with a meme or video. These are simple points that everyone can relate to and feel like a gentle reminder in the day to be mindful of your body and put your health first.
Overall Sam’s page gives him and his practice a very human and accessible image. Sam shares his own training experiences interspersed with gentle and uplifting advice and news about the clinic and practitioners. It’s interesting, engaging, and gives the feel of a welcoming community of caring and positive individuals.
What Sam Had to Say
I spoke to Sam to ask about the philosophy behind his social media and whether it helps his business. Sam told me his strategy from the beginning has been to be authentic, which is born out in his personal posts. It has been an incredible marketing tool for his business, with up to 70% of new patients coming via his social channels, often via personal referrals with patients recommending his facebook page to friends.
Sam is very aware of the high level of competition in his space, with other very good osteopathic clinics not far from him. He told me he has been using social media to promote his business for over a decade and has seen its use grow among his competitors – whereas once he would be almost the only osteopath recommended in response to a post looking for treatment, people now recommend several practices in the area, increasing the need for a strong social media presence that encourages people to contact.
Case Study: Shaun Tyler Osteopath and Personal Trainer
Shaun Tyler is an osteopath and personal trainer based in Colchester, Essex. He specialises in staying fit and healthy over the age of 50, whilst offering a full range of osteopathic and personal training services.
Shaun’s content mixes general informational posts with relevant media articles and news about the clinic and what he’s up to.
The informational posts offer positive, gentle advice along the lines of Why Resistance Training is Important As You Get Older and How Long Will My Back Pain Last?. As with all osteopaths who are successful on social media, the key thing here is that the posts feel supportive and empathetic to the struggles we face in trying to keep healthy, so they are realistic and engaging.
For example, Shaun starts a post with “It’s really scary having back pain”, cutting straight to the real issue – not the musculoskeletal problem but the fear that accompanies it – constantly giving the feeling that he “gets it” and doesn’t just see your body as a machine to be fixed. This massively lowers the barrier to contact or engagement as Shaun comes across as an empathetic human rather than a bellowing sergeant major.
The media articles which Shaun shares cover things like coping with chronic pain and success stories of older people who have got into shape. These are interesting and informative, and make for conversation starters. Once again Shaun’s take on them gives him an immensely human and empathetic face, for example introducing an article on pain with “It really highlights the daily struggle of living with a condition which doesn’t necessarily have any outward symptoms.”
Shaun shares information about his own activities, including running bootcamps or giving advice on Essex Radio, which gives the feeling he is serious and genuinely invested in the health and fitness of others. All this is interspersed with information about the clinic, latest opening times and appointment times, providing a ‘call to action’ and lowering the barrier to contact.
Like other osteopaths who are popular on Facebook, it’s the human face which Shaun projects which really makes a difference. The empathy in the posts and sharing something of himself means he comes across as someone who genuinely cares and understands how you feel about your problem, and who is helpful and easily accessible.
What Shaun Had to Say
Shaun kindly spoke to me about his social media. He told me he also gets 70% of his new business from his Facebook and Instagram, most of the rest coming through word of mouth. Due to the high engagement it gets, his Facebook page actually ranks higher than his website. Shaun notices a clear correlation between how active he is on social media and the level of new enquiries he gets, and got the most new patients when posting four or more times a week.
What also helps Shaun is his specialisms, treating mainly runners and women aged 35-70. A recent post on lateral hip pain as a result of the menopause brought Shaun eight new patients, as people share his posts with friends who may be experiencing the same symptoms.
Shaun says it is really important to put yourself into a potential patient’s frame of mind and speak to them in their own terms. Along these lines he also likes to read research and then write articles summing it up in everyday language for his patients and followers to read.
Guide to What Works on Facebook
All successful practices we have seen on Facebook post 2-4 times per week
Mix Up Your Content
Post a mixture of information about your services and clinic, general health advice, interesting media articles and posts about what you and your colleagues are getting up to.
Show Your Human Side
Whereas on your website you need to show a professional, clinical face, Facebook is the place to be more personal. Post about your life, training, studies or anything else you’re working and striving towards. Keep it positive (no ranting or moaning). Followers will appreciate this window into who you really are and feel more of a connection with you.
Keep Your Posts Relevant to Everyone
Where you share osteopathic advice, try not to be too specific. For example a post on good stretches for RSI is only relevant to people who have RSI right at this moment in time. A post on how to set up your workstation to avoid RSI in the first place is relevant to almost everyone.
Be Human and Empathetic
Avoid being cold and clinical and try to empathise with the emotions people have around their health. For example, instead of “Have a running injury? Come to our running clinic…” write “Injuries are a runner’s nightmare, forcing you to miss training when you’ve worked so hard for so long. At our running clinic we know how much your running means to you…”
Don’t Be Discouraged by Low Engagement
Very few osteopaths get engagement on their posts beyond several likes and a couple of comments on any given post. This includes those who are picking up lots of new patients from the channel, so if you aren’t getting many comments or likes, don’t worry, it’s the fact you’re posting it that’s important.
Tell People About Your Page
Be proactive in attracting new visitors to your page. As well as encouraging your own patients to like your page (e.g. with links in your email footer, QR code in your waiting room, etc.), try to engage in local community pages to share your content and posts and to answer people’s questions and concerns about their body, aches and pains and so on.