The not-so-new kid on the social media block is TikTok and, with over a billion users a month, it looks like it’s here to stay.
According to TikTok themselves, “TikTok is the world’s leading destination for short-form video entertainment.”
You might be thinking that you’re a physical therapist, not an actor or an entertainer, but stick with us. TikTok really can be an excellent place to advertise your physical therapy practice.
Before you dive in and start making videos, however, what you really need is a TikTok marketing strategy geared for physical therapists.
While it’s great to play and experiment, to have fun with seeing what works, it always helps when marketing if you have a plan before you start.
So, let’s dig into how you can use TikTok to engage people with your physical therapy practice and why you’d want to.
Well, that billion users a month we mentioned is nothing to sneeze at, but there’s more to TikTok than just the volume of people you can attract.
TikTok allows you to create short videos of just 15 or 60 seconds. This enables you to post content that’s short, snappy, and to the point that people will watch to the end if it’s done right.
You don’t need to spend days filming and editing a three minute promotional video on what you do, because you can get a lot of attention by showing these shorter videos on different topics that will appeal to your followers. We’ll get into what sort of content to post later, but just know that you can find your audience and create content they want to see, and it will work to advertise your practice and build engagement.
TikTok also isn’t meant for endlessly edited and polished formal content. Many people, including companies, post with just their mobile phone and none of the fancy gadgetry and lighting that you have to invest fortunes in. That means it’s a low-risk, low-cost form of marketing that you can try out without breaking the bank. It also allows you to be more informal, personable, and creative than you might be on a platform such as LinkedIn. You can show off your personality and the personality of your business and give people an idea of what to expect when they have an appointment with you.
While potential clients, of course, want to see that you know what you’re doing and that you are a professional, at the end of the day, people buy from people they like. It’s far easier to show the kind of person you are and to engage with people on a platform where letting go and being authentic are positively encouraged.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t do the ultra-formal content if you really want to. Just do that on other platforms and allow yourself to have fun on TikTok and show off another side of you and your practice.
What to think about prior to getting started on TikTok?
As we mentioned earlier, by all means, join the platform with a personal account first and play around with TikTok. Find content you like, follow some people, look at your competitors and see what works from their content. But before you jump into having a business account and marketing your practice on there, you really do need to craft a TikTok marketing strategy for your physical therapy practice.
Take your time and think about the items below and whether TikTok really could be for you.
What content will you create?
With such a short amount of time per video, you’re going to have to plan out what to say and what to do with each video to make sure you can fit it in.
TikTok has a number of sounds and hashtags that can add to your popularity, so you’ll need to get used to using those and save your favorite sounds so you can use them again.
We have some content ideas for you below, but the obvious place to start is to look at both your direct competitors in your local area, and at other physical therapists and clinics for ideas. Obviously, don’t just copy what they’re doing, but do your research and look at what’s working for them. Then put your own twist on it, be creative, and see how you can do it better.
Can you sustain an active presence?
This is an important question, as you do need to be consistent on TikTok, just as you would with other social platforms. This isn’t a place where you can post every hour for a couple of days and then leave it for months on end. That doesn’t work.
You need to be present, and you need to be responsive to comments and replies on your videos. That’s a big part of engaging with people on this platform and you can’t ignore it.
Look at your current marketing plan and decide if you really do have time to add TikTok into your marketing mix. Will the benefits you gain justify the extra time spent?
That’s a decision only you can make.
Will you be able to have fun with it?
Again, this is an important question. It will be really obvious if you aren’t having fun on video and that will put people off from watching and following you. People want to see you enjoying yourself and if you’re so obviously not doing so, they won’t want to see that.
If you know that creating videos is a lot of hard work that you don’t enjoy, then TikTok is probably not for you.
If you’re open to giving it a try and seeing whether it’s something you’ll stick with, then that’s great, but don’t beat yourself up if it turns out it’s not for you. Not everyone enjoys this sort of marketing and that’s perfectly okay. Better to spend your time on things you enjoy that you know you can get results from than force it.
TikTok strategy essentials
Start yourself off on the right foot with our best tips for your TikTok strategy.
Customize your profile
Fill in your profile before you start posting so that your followers can find out more about you. You only have 80 characters, so this does require some thought, but you can still make your bio reflect your business.
Update your Username and your Account Name. Use your name for your Username and the business name for your account name. It’s helpful for followers to be able to look you up by that name, rather than by the generic string of numbers that your username starts off as.
You can also connect both your YouTube account and Instagram.
Add an image too, but use the same one you use on all of your social media accounts. It’s important to be consistent with your branding everywhere you use it.
Brainstorm content ideas
Now you can enjoy generating content ideas and having fun with trying new things out. It is important to entertain and humor certainly goes down well on TikTok, but you also want to educate and inform with your videos.
Here are just some ideas you could use for your videos:
1) Patient reactions and testimonials
User Generated Content (UGC) goes down well on all social media platforms and on the search engines. People pay far more attention to what your customers have to say than they do to what you say about yourself.
As well as asking for reviews and testimonials, it’s great to get patient reactions when they show how good they feel after treatment and what results they are getting.
This is important social proof that reassures potential clients and makes them more likely to contact you and sign up for treatment.
2) Before and afters
Again, this is great social proof. Whether you create this content, or your patients do, it shows just how effective your treatments are and what a difference you can make to someone’s quality of life.
3) At home tips
Patients and potential clients can do some exercises at home to help with their conditions and you can help them by giving free demonstrations and tips on what to do.
This shows off your expertise and gives free help to people who may well be in pain. You’re creating a great impression of your practice, being generous with your knowledge, and letting people help themselves until they can come in and see a professional.
And all of that makes it more likely that when they do book to see someone, it’s going to be you.
4) Educational info
From your training as a physical therapist, you’ll know a huge amount about the human body and how to help and prevent injury. You can give practical advice, debunk myths, provide exercises and advice to prevent injuries or correct problems… the list is endless.
And the reasons for doing this are exactly the same as the reasons why you’d want to provide at home tips.
If potential clients have never had physical therapy before, they’re bound to have questions. Ask people what they want to know and then record short videos of you answering them.
Not only is this helpful to people who might be thinking of booking with you, but again, it’s a great way to show off your expertise and show how you can help.
There are useful hashtags on TikTok, such as #PT or #physicaltherapy. Use these in your content because they’ll help more people find you.
Keep an eye on trending hashtags and use any relevant ones that might also help you gain visibility.
Plan a content calendar
It’s much easier to post consistently if you have a plan for what videos you’re going to create and when. You can then prepare properly, film ahead with some videos, and take advantage of any national days, such as Fitness Day and World Physical Therapy Day.
Create a plan for the next three months and see how it goes. You can always make extra videos if you get ideas for them or follow any relevant trends. And you can adjust as you go and as you learn the platform and what works.
When you create your next three-month content plan, you’ll have a much better idea of the types of content that get you more views and better results.
Engage in comments and on other people’s videos
You aren’t posting on TikTok in isolation. It’s equally important that you interact with other people’s relevant videos and other entertaining videos that fit your brand. You can gain new followers and fans from doing this and grow your audience.
Request a demo of our business intelligence marketing software
Any marketing takes effort and time, but you can make life easier for yourself if you use business intelligence marketing software, such as the Surefire Local Marketing Platform.
You can gain insights into your patients with our software’s advanced analytic reporting. You’ll be able to see what language and jargon they use and how they behave. You can also run a brand sentiment analysis to find out what your current and potential clients think about your practice. This can help to inform what content your patients really want to see from you and give you fresh ideas.
You can also save time and free up your calendar by managing all of your online marketing activities from one platform; things like reputation management, social media, your Google Business Profile, website analytics, lead management, and more.
Why not book a demo today?