Search Engine Optimization…
These terms are becoming as much a part of the modern chiropractic, medical or physical therapy practice as Preferred Providers and deductibles.
We all know that people are looking for everything online but chiropractors and physical therapists have been some of the last to join the Social Media Revolution.
But join they have and they’re using the internet like every other savvy business owner.
What Does This Mean To Your Chiropractic or Physical Therapy Practice?
Two studies conducted in 2008 showed that 41% of all the research medical professionals are doing is now done online (and that number was expected to double in 2009) and that the large pharmaceutical companies were gearing much of their marketing efforts to the online community as the best way to communicate with and educate their target audience – healthcare providers, including chiropractors and physical therapists.
Just take a look at some of the more popular social networking sites for medical professionals – Ozmosis, SocialMD and DoctorNetworking – each of these sites has literally thousands of members.
If you’re going to develop a presence online and reach your potential patient base, now is the time to do it if you haven’t already.
5 Trends In The Use Of Web & Social Media by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists
1. Increase in Social Networking.
There are a growing number of sites that give healthcare providers the opportunity to connect with other professionals in their specialty to share knowledge, network, and support each other. Most of these sites are protected and allow users to communicate and share opinions and results in a safe online environment. Check out our own NeuropathyDR site as an example.
2. Scholarly Medical Journals Have a Presence Online
Newspapers are not the only print media suffering the effects of online information. Many scholarly medical journals have opted for an online-only format to save printing costs and to reach a broader base of readers. Even beyond the convenience of their information being a mouse click away, many of these sites are increasingly interactive with Q&A sessions and even online classes and seminars for CME credit, perfect for the busy chiropractor or physical therapist trying to build a practice.
3. Blogs and Online Articles.
Many chiropractors and physical therapists are now blogging and publishing online articles to reach potential patients and educate the public about their particular specialty. Where it used to take months to be published in a medical journal, now you can set up your own blog, sit down and type a post (or have someone else do it for you), and you’re done. This allows you to share a unique perspective about your specialty, local events, even the healthcare system. All from the vantage point of a practicing chiropractic or physical therapy professional. Your patients and future patients see you as a human with particular expertise and a voice they recognize.
4. Twitter and Facebook.
Do you have a Twitter account? A Facebook page? If you don’t have at least one of these social media tools working for you, you’re missing a huge marketing opportunity that’s virtually free. The only real cost is time. If you don’t have the time to post to your own Facebook page or send regular “tweets”, we’ll do it for you! In fact, I can help you get all of this done, and even get an ezine in the hands of YOUR patients for just pennies a day, automatically. “Frequent, relevant content” as my friend Nitin Chhoda DPT says, will keep you in constant contact with your patient base.
That puts you first in their minds when they, or someone they know, needs your specialty.
But if you are doing it all yourself, an important thing to remember about either of these tools – don’t use “doctor speak” when posting your messages. Imagine you’re talking to your next door neighbor at a barbecue and keep that tone in your social media message. You’ll get your point across and impress rather than intimidate your patients.
When diving into the social media scene, the first thing to consider is exactly what you’re attempting to accomplish. Don’t go in without a plan. You’ll do nothing but send mixed and scattered messages.
Post strategically, wherever you post, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you profit from this new social interaction. Join the Social Media Revolution and make this year the best your chiropractic or physical therapy practice has ever seen.