Are you looking for ways to grow your chiropractic practice? Do you want to learn how other chiropractors are using social media marketing to effectively grow their business? Maybe you have a personal Facebook account and have already started trying to promote your practice using social media.
Many savvy chiropractors are seeing the benefits that social media can bring to their practice and have started “going social” with their business. In this article you will discover how you can use social media to grow your practice, how to create an effective strategy and how other chiropractors use social media to get results.
How Chiropractors Can Benefit From Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is less expensive, faster and more efficient than traditional marketing methods:
1. Social media is less expensive and more effective than previously used methods of chiropractic advertising
- Although it’s free to setup a profile on various social networks, it’s crucial that you invest enough to establish a professional, customized presence and a consistent branded image.
2. Your message can reach the right people faster than ever before
- Have you tried running an ad in the newspaper, waiting for it to come out and then hoping people buy the newspaper and read it? These forms of more traditional chiropractic advertising (such as print ads, radio, television, tradeshows, health fairs) are becoming less and less effective.
3. Greater efficiency with identifying ideal clients online
- You can quickly identify your ideal client by doing a little homework and a couple online searches. There’s no need for you to waste your marketing efforts on the wrong audience. A major flaw of previous chiropractic advertising methods is that they were typically untargeted and too broad of an audience.
Certain social media tools allow you to quickly monitor people’s perception of your chiropractic practice (and your competitors). One quick method is to do a search for keywords or hashtags on Twitter to see conversations happening in real-time on the corresponding topic.
You are now able to find out what people think about you, your competitors and your industry without any barriers.
How much could your practice improve with this knowledge alone?
With online search tools, you can quickly identify people of influence among the social media communities you join. If you build online relationships with these people, and they find you trustworthy, they can bring referrals and prospects to your practice by promoting you to their many followers.
Once people begin to recognize you online, you too can build your reputation and establish yourself as an influential expert in your community. The more you are perceived as knowledgeable and credible, the more people will seek out your chiropractic services and you will quickly be perceived as the leading authority.
6 Steps to Creating A Successful Social Media Strategy
There are six important factors that are required in creating an effective social media strategy:
1. Ideal Clients – There is no sense in trying to market to everyone. You want to concentrate your efforts on those who are likely to visit a chiropractor and those who would refer a chiropractor to their friends and family. Social media tools have search functions that allow you to search for your ideal chiropractic clients. Twitter, for example, allows you to monitor topics using keywords and #hashtags—try putting “back pain” or “chiropractor” in the search box to see what comes up. Ideal clients can be those currently suffering in pain and also those who suffer a car accident or sporting accident. You can see when people talk about those kinds of things online and invite them in for a complimentary assessment. These people are your target market for your social media marketing campaign—follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, point them to helpful videos on your YouTube page, useful news and articles on your website.
2. Objectives – As a chiropractor, your main objective can be to increase the number of clients and referrals you have after going social. Becoming known as the leading authority in chiropractic health care in your local community is another goal that will eventually grow your practice.
3. Strategic Plan – Your strategic plan will be based on your objectives. If your objective is to be known as the leading chiropractor in the city then your plan should include having a blog on your website where you post helpful resources such as articles, videos and case studies. You can then use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to post links to these valuable resources. Your plan may also include inviting your readers to ask questions on your blog or social sites so you can answer them—your readers may turn out to be ideal clients so interacting with them is key. Your blog may even lead to you writing a book once you’ve accumulated a significant amount of content. Becoming an author instantly positions you as an industry leader, far above your local competitors.
4. Online Tactics – These are some of the online tactics that you will want to include in your overall social media strategy:
Blogging – Blogspot, WordPress . . .
Microblogging – Twitter . . .
Social Networks – Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn . . .
Video Social Networks – YouTube . . .
5. Offline Marketing Tactics – Trade shows, conferences, local health fairs and so on. A good strategic plan is usually a combination of online and offline tactics. Promote your blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile and website in offline marketing venues. This keeps an online connection with your offline audience and gives you a platform to promote a book, upcoming seminars and events online. Your online and offline tactics should support each other for optimum results.
6. Measurement – This video from Socialnomics shows the many ways people measure social media’s return on investment (ROI). Your investment is the time you spend on doing social media or the money used in hiring an employee or outsourced expert to do the work for you. If your objective is to increase your number of clients, then you can measure ROI as the amount of new clients and referrals gained as a result of social media in your chiropractic business. A positive ROI in the long run means you’re doing your social media marketing right.
How Other Chiropractors Make Social Media Work For Them
Below are three chiropractors that have been successful in using social media to promote and build their practice.
Alternative Health Clinic
Based at Greensboro, NC, Alternative Health Clinic launched its new Facebook page in November 9, 2011. This wellness center chose Facebook as one of the tools they will use to implement their tactic of increasing patient engagement by reaching out to them online. Dr. Jeff Lissenden, owner of Alternative Health Clinic, said their Facebook page will offer useful content—chiropractic info, notices, tips, photos, videos and blog postings. The Facebook page will also be encouraging patients to post their questions.
“The new Facebook page is part of our continued efforts to reach out to the community and increase awareness about effective, all-natural treatments for pain management. I encourage everyone to join our Facebook community . . . our page is also a great place to connect with other patients for inspiration, advice and support on your wellness journey,” said Lissenden.
Michael uses Twitter to create interest around his practice. He usually wears a bright yellow t-shirt with the Twitter tag “@chiropractic,” and this usually generates conversations with people he meets.
Michael finds Twitter a great help in creating his articles for Planet Chiropractic—usually by following Twitter hashtags like #anklesprains or by tweeting questions on topics of interest. This is a great example of using microblogging services to spark creativity for useful blog articles that are of interest to his audience.
Dr. Jason Hare says Twitter gives his business a significant return on investment (ROI). “Over the past 9 months our chiropractic clinic has built up a large following of local Twitter users. Through Twitter we are able to stay in the daily consciousness of many people that live in our neighborhood.
Twitter now only takes about 15 minutes out of my day. If I have a 5 minute gap between appointments, I’ll scan recent twitter posts to see if there’s anything I would like to respond to, or I’ll post a link to an interesting health article that I’ve read that day. I’ll do this 3 or 4 times a day. Effortless, no? But whether you are talking time or money, Twitter has an excellent ROI,” said Jason.
Jason didn’t put a dollar figure on how much ROI he got from his use of social media, and that is understandable—it is not easy to measure money generated by mindshare. Instead, Jason put it as a series of questions: “Is it the sole source of my business? No. Is it the main source of my business? No. Would I miss this source of business if it wasn’t there? Yes. Is this source growing? You bet!” Indeed, evidence of social media’s power to influence people is increasing.
Ultimately, social media is about looking out for people. Treat your customers exceptionally well, deliver a great product and make it easy for people to talk about your practice. Your return on investment is that they will! This kind of ROI is shown by one of Dr. Hare’s patients who said: “Dr. J also uses social media to ensure his followers are doing ok. I had a wipeout on my stairs and he is the first one to provide advice and a caring voice. I loved that he was looking out for me… and in turn; I will send clients his way. Kind hearts and actions do go a long way!”
Your Chiropractic Practice Can Grow Through Social Media
Social media is an incredible tool in positioning you as the “Go-To Expert” when someone is suffering and in need of a chiropractor. It is also a wonderful medium to educate people on the benefits and many uses of chiropractic treatment. It allows you to build relationships with clients, prospects and referral partners.
Gary Vaynerchuk says in his bestselling book The Thank You Economy, “If you apply social media correctly, your clients will buy more, they will be more loyal, they will spread your message, and they will defend you should you ever need them to.”
It’s not about tweeting about what you had for lunch…
Social media is the most effective word-of-mouth marketing tool in your arsenal.
Today, the preferred method of finding trusted referrals is people seeking out recommendations from their friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t let your chiropractic practice miss out on this powerful medium.