With social media, it’s possible to grow your audience, build your brand, and build a community of engaged followers in your local community. If done well and consistently, you can find yourself with an audience of genuine fans who come back to your pages time and time again, because they know you have the knowledge they need and the skills to help them.
But a community of fans isn’t built overnight, and it does take quite a bit of work, so balancing your social media marketing with running your physical therapy practice can be quite the trick.
In this article, we’re going to show you why you need to be on social media, provide you with our top social media tips for physical therapists, and tell you how Surefire Local can make life easier for you and save you time with your social media and the rest of your marketing.
Why is being on social media valuable?
Social media has now been a part of business marketing for quite some time and it’s not going away any time soon. But, apart from the fact that your competitors are likely to already be on social media, why is it so valuable for marketing your physical therapy practice?
1. People expect your business to be active on social media
When potential clients want to find a new physical therapist, they will look on social media to see who is available in their local area. When they find you, they’ll expect to see a relevant, up-to-date, and highly active page with regular, interesting posts from you and comments and likes from your followers.
It’s rare today when a business isn’t on social media at all, and if potential clients can’t find you or your page isn’t active when they do, they will, more likely than not, move on to the competition.
2. People rely heavily on peer validation
The first thing most people do when they’re looking for a physical therapist is to ask around and talk to their friends and family. They hope that someone they know and trust can recommend a good physical therapist so they don’t have to rely on a Google search that can be a bit of a stab in the dark.
If they can’t get a recommendation, their next step is to search online for physical therapists in their area. This search should bring up your website, your Google Business Profile, your social media listings, and possibly your other business directory listings too.
Of course, the search will also bring up your competitor’s online presence too, so yours has to be just as good, if not better to stand out.
Naturally, people will gravitate to any reviews you have, because social proof is the next best thing to a personal recommendation, so make sure you are consistently and regularly requesting and responding to your reviews.
As we mentioned in section one, they will also look at how active your social media presence is and how well you come across online.
3. People use social media platforms as a discovery and research platform, just like Google
People are just as likely to search Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more to find a local physical therapist, rather than doing a Google search so, again, what they find has to be high quality and very convincing.
You have a lot of places on your social platforms to share what you do and what services you provide. You can also provide your opening hours and, of course, your contact details. Make it easy for potential clients to quickly see what you offer, how good you are, and how they can get in touch and book.
4. People want an insider view into what their experience will be like with your business
With social media, you have the opportunity to show potential clients what they can expect when they visit your business. You can do video tours to show them your facilities, introduce your employees, talk them through what will happen the first time they arrive, and other ideas that show off what’s unique about your PT practice.
You can also establish your expertise by posting helpful and informative articles to answer questions and educate your audience.
Obviously, quality images of the outside of your building and the inside can also help to give people an idea of what their experience will be like when they visit your practice.
5. People want to see results and how others have found success with your business
Some businesses can rely on before and after shots to prove their results and show just how much of a difference they have made. Depending on what was wrong, you might not want to do that for every case you have, but you can certainly write up case studies, showing what the condition was initially, what you did, and any exercises you gave the client to do to assist their recovery or progress, and the results you got for them.
You may also be able to include statistics, such as how many patients you’ve helped, to show your audience what they can expect and prove your expertise.
Social media tips for physical therapists
Work your way through our social media tips for physical therapists and you’ll soon find that you gain better results from your social media marketing and begin to build a community of fans.
1. Post consistently and share visually appealing images and videos
One of the main things that will put potential clients off is if you post one or two things and then don’t post for months. You can’t build a community like that because there is nothing on your feed for your audience to enjoy and react to.
To create and increase engagement, you need to post consistently and regularly. That doesn’t mean you have to be on social media morning, noon, and night. You can plan in advance with a content calendar for both your blog and your social media and you can also schedule your posts and have them automatically post when you want them to, whether you’re in the middle of treating a patient or sitting on a beach enjoying a well-deserved break.
The important thing is to be consistent and post highly relevant and engaging content that you know your audience will appreciate and comment on.
It’s also important to remember that many people enjoy visual content, particularly video, and to mix up your content types on your social platforms so that you post a good mix of text posts, GIFs, memes, quality images and graphics, and videos to keep things interesting.
2. Treat platforms differently; each has its own algorithm and people use social media platforms differently
Every platform is different, with its own algorithm, different times when it’s best to post to reach your audience and different content requirements.
Obviously, you can’t post long-form blog posts on TikTok, for example. Take the time to look at your statistics and analytics on each platform and find out when best to post and what your audience is enjoying from the content you have already posted. You should be able to see what your most popular posts and content types are for each platform.
Then it’s a case of applying that knowledge, posting at the most effective times, and providing more of what your audience wants.
3. Respond to comments and questions
Your social media feed shouldn’t be a one-way street of just you making posts. Ideally, you want to encourage comments, feedback, questions, and emoji reactions. That content is another way to find out what your audience wants, so it’s important to have from that point of view, but when new people find your page, they want to see it full of people like them asking questions, commenting, and reacting. But more than that, they want to see you responding and helping people, saying thank you for compliments, answering questions, asking questions to get to know your audience better, and more.
Your page should feel interactive and welcoming, like your potential client has arrived in the right place, where they belong, with the added benefit of reassuring them that you can help them.
4. Educate your community
Social media gives you a great platform to show what you can do and how you can help your community. With the right posts and content, you can establish yourself as the expert in your field and the one to go to for advice and help.
That’s really powerful stuff and it’s exactly what you want your audience to feel.
The only way to get to that point is to educate your audience by answering their questions and by posting how-to articles and advice to show off your knowledge. You could also run live Ask Me Anything Q&As, create instructional videos and infographics, provide step-by-step instructions, case studies, and more.
If you have a podcast or run regular webinars, you should absolutely be shouting about those on social media because, not only is it a great way to build your audience for those, but again, you’re showing them how much you know and how much they can rely on you.
5. Be authentic
There’s only one ‘you’ and that’s a very good thing. You know you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and you can automatically do that simply by showing up authentically as you. Your competitors can’t copy that. They can’t copy who you are.
You don’t need to put on an act or a show, unless that’s exactly what you would do and what you want to do. You just need to show up consistently and be genuinely helpful and authentic. People want to deal with honest, genuine people. They don’t want to buy from people who are faking anything. And yes, people can tell, and it will put them off.
Be you. It’s not only the easiest thing to do but also what your audience wants to see.
6. Set goals and be strategic with your time spent on nurturing your social media presence
You’ll get far better results from your social media if you set goals up front and decide what you want to get out of your social media marketing.
Whether you’re aiming for a certain number of leads or conversions each month, trying to build your brand, or raising awareness of your business in the local area, write it down and then you can work your content around meeting that goal.
You can then be more strategic about what you post and when to gain the biggest impact.
Goal setting also stops you from wasting time, keeps you focused, and allows you to see when you might be drifting off from what you wanted to achieve. It’s much easier to realize that and to pull your posting back into line with your goals.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
As we said at the start of this article, you can’t build a community on social media overnight. It takes some planning, time, and quite a bit of work. But it’s certainly possible. We hope our social media tips will help you take your physical therapy business forward and grow your own community of fans.
But we can help you in other ways too. Our business intelligence marketing software can save you time and a lot of effort when posting on social media. You can make notes on content ideas, plan your content out, and schedule posts in advance from our dashboard. You can also post directly from our software to all of your social platforms and reply to your comments. Imagine how much time you don’t have to spend logging in and out of different platforms just to get your social media posting done for the day or the month.
Not only that, but our professional marketing platform can help you with all your most important online marketing activities without having to leave our software.
You can manage your content marketing, set up, schedule, and send emails, request, manage, and reply to your reviews, manage your paid ads, and update over 80 business directories, including Google Business Profile all at once.
Let Surefire Local help you run your whole marketing plan, including your social media marketing, build your online presence, and grow your business.
Why not book a demo of our local marketing software and see how we can help?