Find the perfect size for your chiropractic office
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING AND MAINTAINING A MODERN AND EFFECTIVE DIGITAL FOOTPRINT cannot be overstated. Don’t blink. We are in an incredible and rapidly evolving health care technology world. For businesses, especially those in the health care sector like chiropractors, having an online presence is not just an option; it is a necessity.
Therefore, it’s about more than whether you should employ a digital footprint, but deciding how expansive it should be. Much of this depends on many important considerations, including time, budget and human support.
Careful planning is key
Like a well-designed treatment plan, crafting an appropriately sized digital footprint requires careful financial consideration and strategic planning.
A good rule of thumb for a total dollar marketing plan budget is 4%-6% of your practice’s gross revenue. The plan’s digital footprint portion, including support staff, ad buys, content and more, could be 40% of the marketing plan budget.
Visibility, authenticity and finding a healthy balance between cost and benefit are crucial to your practice’s profitability.
The power of a digital footprint
Before delving into the specifics, let us understand what a digital footprint is. Think of it as the virtual trail your business leaves behind as it interacts with the online world and your patients. It encompasses your website, social media profiles, online reviews, blog posts and every other digital touchpoint that collectively shapes your online identity and brand.
A well-constructed digital footprint is a gateway to reach a broader audience and establish trust. It is the equivalent of a warm smile at the reception desk — it makes patients feel welcomed, informed and eager to engage with your services. Here are several ways to find the sweet spot for the size of your digital footprint:
A professional website: Set the cornerstone of your online presence
Your website is your virtual clinic — it should be informative, user-friendly and visually appealing. This is where potential patients will learn about your services, “meet” your team and understand your approach to care. Be mindful that almost 60% of viewers use mobile devices (according to Techjury.net), so ensure your website is desktop-friendly and mobile-responsive.
Include sections that provide valuable resources, such as patient testimonials and educational blog posts. Remember to incorporate a clear call-to-action, prompting visitors, with a frictionless way to contact your practice, to schedule an appointment directly online or through a third-party service, like Zocdoc.com.
Active social media engagement: Build relationships beyond the clinic
Social media platforms are excellent tools for building a sense of community and fostering relationships with current and potential patients. Depending on your capacity, choose a few key platforms that align with your target audience. Overall, Facebook still ranks as the most popular platform by monthly active users (according to buffer.com), followed closely by YouTube.
Regularly share informative content, success stories, exercise tips and even behind-the-scenes glimpses of your office. This keeps your audience engaged and positions you as knowledgeable and approachable.
Having a social media link back to your website (and vice-versa) will also improve search engine optimization (SEO) results.
Informative blog posts: Share your expertise
A blog is an excellent way to highlight your expertise and provide value to your audience. Consider writing about common conditions you treat, sharing recovery tips and explaining the benefits of chiropractic care. Not only does this establish your authority, it also helps potential patients feel more comfortable and informed about what to expect from their visits.
Twice-a-month, exciting, engaging blog posts will keep patients returning to your website. Be sure to commit to publishing blogs regularly. Note: Keeping up with blog writing sends a ‘message’ to the reader that you make informing the consumer an essential aspect of your practice.
Online reviews and testimonials: Use the words of others
Positive reviews and testimonials serve as digital word-of-mouth recommendations. Encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp or Healthgrades. Respond to positive and negative feedback with professionalism and empathy (and within HIPAA guidelines!), showing you genuinely care about your patients’ experiences.
Video content: Add a personal touch
Incorporating video content can offer an individualized touch that resonates with potential patients. Consider creating short videos introducing your therapists, demonstrating exercises or providing insights into common misconceptions about and benefits of chiropractic care. Video content can potentially engage a wider audience and make your clinic feel more relatable. According to a Databox.com survey, social media platforms with video content outperform those with only static images.
Email newsletters: Stay connected
An email newsletter is an effective way to stay connected with your patient base and a great way to keep your name in front of them. Send regular updates about new services, success stories, health tips and any upcoming events or workshops you host. If you are involved with your community, highlight those efforts. This direct line of communication also demonstrates your ongoing commitment to your patients’ well-being.
Quality over quantity: Find the perfect size
In the vast digital landscape, getting caught up in the idea that more is always better is easy. Size does not necessarily matter. When it comes to your digital footprint, quality trumps quantity. It is better to have a strong presence on a few key platforms than to spread yourself thin across every channel. More content can be overwhelming to maintain for your practice, and it can create brand fatigue with viewers and patients.
Start small and build from there. Focus on maintaining a consistent and authentic voice across your chosen platforms. Engage with your audience genuinely, addressing their concerns and providing helpful information. Authenticity and empathy are the pillars of demonstrating commitment to your current and future patients, both in the clinic and online.
Monitor, adapt and support
Once you have established your digital footprint, the journey continues. Regularly monitor your online presence. Keep an eye on engagement metrics, website traffic and reviews. Adapt your strategy based on what resonates with your audience. If you notice your blog posts generate much interest, consider expanding your content in that area. If certain social platforms yield more engagement, invest more time there. A successful digital footprint requires attention, dedication and a genuine desire to improve the lives of those you serve.
Is the idea of starting or updating your digital plan a bit overwhelming and time-consuming? Many marketing agencies, small and large, can assist with all the digital footprint support you need. This support system can include copywriters, Google specialists, website creators and more.
The size of a perfect digital footprint for your chiropractic facility is not about quantity but quality. It is about providing genuine value and fostering connections. Your digital footprint is an extension of your clinic’s identity —make it a reflection of the warmth, professionalism and care patients experience when they walk through your doors.
RUSSELL GREENSEID, DC, is a chiropractor, major shareholder and chief of staff at Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a recognized advocate and respected voice in the chiropractic field with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, N.Y. He resides in Short Hills, N.J., with his wife and two sons. Visit metrohealthnyc.com for more information on Greenseid and his multidisciplinary team of professionals.