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Why you should be using social media for your physical therapy business

This article was originally posted on the Co-Kinetic blog.

In this post we’re going to be talking all about social media and how to utilise it for your business. Social media can be an essential tool for any size business. It’s important to understand what it can and can’t do for your business. Let’s take a look at some statistics…

The numbers…

Social media is fantastic, but it’s crucial to remember that less than 1% of your page followers are likely to see your unpaid for social media posts (these are referred to as organic posts). To make matters worse, it will also be the same 1% of your followers who are seeing your posts. This is why it’s realistic to expect (and get) low engagement on your social media posts, and a low level of action in response to your calls to action.

Why only 1%?

Social networks don’t gain anything from growing your business for free; they are more focused on encouraging person-to-person interactions as opposed to page (ie. business)-to-person interactions. That means the best way to get your posts seen by a wider audience, is to pay to boost them (or run them as ads). But before you jump the gun and click that boost button, it’s absolutely vital that you have a strategy in place. In other words, what are you looking to achieve from more people interacting with your posts?

So what can social media do for my business?

Despite the statistics above, social media can do a lot for your business. Let’s split the positives into two categories, subjective goals (which can’t be measured (at least not easily)) and objective goals (which can be measured).

The subjective goals

Social profiles are increasingly being used as search engines. People will look for your business on them and use them to asses whether or not they want to take the next step and book an appointment. That means your social media pages need to come across as being professional, reputation-enhancing, authority-building and engaging while at the same time communicating a more human and social side to your business, that a website would struggle to achieve, because it’s those kind of interactions that will help to build the all-important ‘know-like-trust’ factor. If you can also throw in a good  number of posts which offer useful resources, or links to helpful information, this is super-effective for demonstrating your investment in adding value to everyone, regardless of whether they pay you or not. Networking and participation in local social media groups is a great way to raise awareness of your business and if you’re engaging in these sorts of discussions in a positive way, it’s highly likely readers will follow your trail, and visit your social pages. Social pages, particularly Facebook has it’s own Reviews tab, and even Google counts these in the Google Business Profile, underlining the importance of both social and testimionals in search success. And hopefully you are more than well aware by now of the power of reviews in influencing people’s decisions to become a customer, if not, keep an eye out on this blog, as it’s a topic that’s coming soon. The importance and impact of social proofing (in marketing lingo) on influencing new customers, can’t be under-emphasised and your social network pages are a great place to publish these. Another way in which social media can boost your business is by developing and building relationships with customers through interactions, for example Q&As to build engagement and to get your customers asking questions and interacting more. This also helps to humanise your business – which is particularly useful in the healthcare sector where trust is particularly important. In short, having a good social media profile helps break down barriers and makes you more approachable, it gives you easy ways to build authority and most importantly it helps to build trust, arguably the single most powerful customer-attracting quality out there.

The objective goals

There are many measurable perks of social media. To start with, you can use your posts to promote useful resources which can be downloaded via email lead collection forms or offer free value-adding downloads (obviously you can count and measure this). This in turn helps you to build targeted audiences and learn who is interested in what (something often referred to as customer segmentation), which can be handy for future email targeting. You can use paid social posts to build your email list, promote events you’re running, widen the readership for your blog, encourage people to visit your website and to carry out research. As mentioned above, there is also a growing amount of very compelling evidence that your social media pages can influence your search engine optimisation (SEO), something that’s extremely important for locally-based businesses. There’s more about that here. If you’d like to delve into this topic in a bit more detail, you can find a longer article at the following link. We hope you’ve found this blog post useful. We understand that social media can be stressful – but did you know that we can take the pain out of marketing your social media with our pre-made (and pre-scheduled) social media campaigns? Join the thousands of physical and manual therapists worldwide who subscribe to our ethical marketing system – click here for more information.